My First Sangoma

Trip Start Jan 10, 2006
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Trip End Jun 02, 2006


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Flag of Botswana  ,
Thursday, January 26, 2006

This morning we set off to find Seipone, a sangoma Frank had met on his first journey to southern Afrika. We got directions to someone who was supposed to know directions, and then directions to her neighborhood. It wasn't easy, but we found her.

The seven of us sat with her and talked about sangomas and what it means to be a sangoma. Sangomas are the traditional healers in southern Afrika. They've mastered soul control. Many agree that the sangoma tradition is the oldest human medical system on the planet. They are messengers between the living and the dead. They also hold a wealth of knowledge of medicinal plants.

We each took turns having our bones read, while those waiting sat around with another sangoma, Limbo Ishmael, to gain more insight into sangomas and life in general. My reading was somewhat anti-climactic compared to others'. Hopefully this means my ancestors are cool with me and my current path. I was told to take some whiskey, brandy, wine, and one other liquor (vodka or gin or burbon or something) down to the river to share with my ancestors so that I could talk to them.

When it was time to go, we stopped at Seipone's little sangoma shop where she sells herbs, roots and trinkets of all sorts. Then we headed back to Charles' house for our last night in Botswana.

We had a great dinner, and Charles was in the mood to party. He got wasted, spilling wine all over the place and tossing frozen bread around the kitchen. Then, when I caught him cooking Polish sausage at 3 a.m., he tried to spoon feed me pesto. I guess the sausage satisfied him, cause he finally went to bed. Ken and I made it to sunrise and finally crashed as we were leaving the next morning, back to South Africa.
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