Sangoma – The Zulu Witch Doctor
Ashley DAvidoff Copyright 2015
Using healthcare art, we depict the significance of the anatomical organs used in the Zulu Witch Doctor’s headdress. In Zululand, South Africa, the Sangoma are practitioners and counselors of folk medicine in traditional Zulu societies. The dress of the Sangoma highlights their ancestral relationship.
Healthcare Art and the Significance of the Zulu Witch Doctor’s Headdress
The gallbladder for the witch doctor has cultural relevance among the Zulus. A characteristic constituent of the head dress is the presence of the gallbladder derived from the goat given as a sacrifice at the time of the Sangoma’s graduation. There is a profound
The artistic rendition of the Sangoma was created by a whole mount of the tissue of the gallbladder. The face of the Sangoma is shown with multiple pear-shaped gallbladders crowning the headdress. The rest of the face is reconstructed with variations of the histological mount of the gallbladder.
The art piece below reveals the method of creating the Sangoma art piece above.