This study has arisen out of a fascination with the vibrant nature of African societies, their vitality, and particularly the way in which they seem to be able time and again to overcome tribulation and turmoil.
In the southern African region, ngoma, an indigenous ritual of healing, dance, rhythm, and rhyme, is at the heart of the social effort of turning the tables for individuals and communities so that their well-being is restored.
This volume investigates ngoma in its many culturally diverse manifestations. It seeks to explore how these manifestations are perceived, how they function in relation to the needs of individuals and communities, and how they maintain their key functions in the face of modern developments and institutions.
The contributions included here transmit an appreciation of the social capability of African societies to turn misfortune, affliction, and repression into a valued experience of growth and fulfillment.
Rijk van Dijk is at the African Studies Centre, University of Leiden.
Ria Reis teaches Medical Anthropology at the University of Amsterdam.
Maja Spierenburg is at UNESCO, Dakar.
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