At Orlando, the huge native location to the South of Johannesburg on November 24, the Isambana African Medical Research Institute Association held its annual congress.
Reel One. One Finger slats.
General scene of delegates dancing the Sangoma dance, part of the ritual they perform when meeting..
ditto LS with pan
ditto high shot
The President, Howard Hthembu taking with the host delegates from Orlando
The President Howard Hthembu, he does not speak English
Delegates from Cape Province, Xosa tribe.
CU Northern Transvaal, Paul Fotgeitererust, delegates confer with president.
ditto with drum from second member.
foretelling the future of the meeting with aid of bones and much holding of the head.
They stay for a few days and visit friends and patients then return to their homes.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: At Orlando, the huge native location to the South of Johannesburg on November 24, the Isambana African Medical Research Institute Association held its annual congress. It sounds like just another meeting of eminent medical men -- similar to the conferences of the British Medical Council.
But this was different: for the members of the Isambana African Medical Research Institute, as they prefer to be known, are WITCH DOCTORS.
Wearing congressional badges, in the manner of their white counterparts, they came from all parts of Southern Africa to talk, dance, exchange ritualistic remedies and practice their 'cures'.
There was clairvoyance, too, with much head-holding and the study of a miscellany of bone charms.
The witch doctors, these days are fighting a losing battle for survival; but they still cherish hopes of retaining some of their standing by offering their secret remedies to white people.