Inside South Africa’s Sangoma Shops: Cures and Curses in One-stop Shopping

Scar Paper Press Book Blog

Mason Barry Thursday 9 May 2013

148667044Some people call them witch doctors, but sangomas are trusted advisors in medicine, healings, love, and money. They often use muti, medicine used from animal body parts.

Not all sangomas are to be trusted. There are those who deal in the black arts, selling muti made from harvested human body parts. They promise to get you your heart’s desire, no matter the cost.

Sangomas are rampant and often add to the squatter problem. So, in 2001, the city of Johannesburg allotted 300 market spaces to sangomas.

The shop I visited was dark and mysterious, with animal parts hanging from the ceiling, candles and concoctions for every ache, bones, sticks, and magic books. Everything has a price, but not all of it was affordable. The taller the order, the higher the price.

I purchased what he promised was very strong muti for a very strong…

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