Mphutungwane Traditional Healing & Consultation

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Zulu-English Translation pitfalls

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I've been struggling of late to put into a proper English context some of the concepts involved in African Healing.  I will look firstly at two words, Ukubhula/ukuhlola and Amadlozi.  I feel that the common English translations for these concepts (Consulting for Ukubhula/ukhlola and Ancestors for Amadlozi) are inadequate equivalents and leave a lot out of the true meanings as well as adding things which aren't there in other cases. 

Ukubhula/Ukuhlola does not equal consulting 
My problem is that on closer examination, the use of the word consulting implies some kind of a consultitive process which it actually is not. The word which is more appropriate is "check up". 
When you go for a "check up", you are given the facts about your current status (this could be health, finances, whatever you are querying).  In most cases you venture out for what you perceive to be an expert opinion precisely because you feel that something is not quite right.  That is precisely what going to see a Sangoma is about or should be about. 

You go because there is something in your life that you can see/feel is not right or something that you are not quite sure about but are aware that it is not as it should be.  ISangoma is the expert who can see "behind" the physical into the real influence behind each and everyone of us and absolutely everything that happens in our lives.  There are no freak accidents in Africa! Looking beyond the physical is not resticted to looking at Amadlozi only  but also looks at the influence of the living on our lives.  This can be both positive and negative influences.  People always think that someone has to physically do something to bring harm your way, but our thoughts and the words we use against each other is also very important. 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 May 2009 11:12

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