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Zulu Superstitions: Witchcraft
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The Zulu people do not believe in fate and every event occurs for a reason. Bad events are certainly the doings of witches, which have to be exposed and suffer an agonizing death for the good of the clan. Those accused rarely object as it is thought that their spirit can be taken over without their knowledge.
Not only they but also their families were put to death, their belongings passing to the chief. Excessive wealth resulted in a person being high on the 'hit list' for the next exposure, therefore poverty ensured a longer life.
Whereas the Inyanga treats physical disease, the Sangoma is concerned with the psychic world but may use similar media. The sangoma is charged with ascertaining the cause of bad events, of protecting the clan against evil spirits and of exposing antisocial individuals.
In former times the training took approximately twenty five years. Today, as a rule, the training period covers a span of five to seven years - in cities, frequently only several months. The sangoma may otherwise lead a normal life and perhaps have a second 'job'.
Incorrectly thought of as the witch doctor, the inyanga is the doctor of the tribe - more correctly, the naturopath. Each inyanga trains his son and the information is thus passed on from generation to generation.
Both plant and animal parts are used in the remedies and Zulu people will travel long distance to see an inyanga - in fact 80% of the Zulu population still consult inyangas. Remedies for unsatisfactory love lives and such things as protection against lightning are also dispensed.