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Who Consults Sangomas in Khayelitsha? An Exploratory Quantitative Analysis

Year: 2005
Author: Nattrass, Nicoli
Unit: ASRU
Journal: Social Dynamics
Volume: 31
Issue: 2
Pages: 161-182
Abstract:

This paper employs quantitative analysis to explore which people in Khayelitsha (an urban African community in Cape Town) are likely to be clients of 'sangomas', that is, traditional healers who specialise in divining illnesses usually perceived to be caused by witchcraft. It shows that sangoma clients are older, disproportionately female, poorer and less well educated than other people and that they are less trusting of others and more likely to believe in the efficacy of witchcraft. Being a recipient of a disability grant is the most significant predictor of whether the respondent is a sangoma client or not. The paper also discusses different quantitative sources for the use of traditional healers in South Africa, showing that the way the question is posed is all important.


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