Ngoma, in Bantu, means drum, song, performance, and healing cult or association. A widespread form of ritual healing in Central and Southern Africa,ngomais fully investigated here for the first time and interpreted in a contemporary context. John Janzen's daring study incorporates drumming and spirit possession into a broader, institutional profile that emphasizes the varieties of knowledge and social forms and also the common elements of "doingngoma." Drawing on his recent field research in Kinshasa, Dar-es-Salaam, Mbabane, and Capetown, Janzen reveals howngomatranscends national and social boundaries. Spoken and sung discourses about affliction, extended counseling, reorientation of the self or household, and the creation of networks that link the afflicted, their kin, and their healers are all central tongoma-and familiar to Western self-help institutions as well. Students of African healing and also those interested in the comparative and historical study of medicine, religion, and music will findNgomaa valuable and thought-provoking book.
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