Why are there so many drums playing until dawn? Exploring the role of gamba spirits and healers in the postwar recovery period in central Mozambique

Igreja, Victor (2003) Why are there so many drums playing until dawn? Exploring the role of gamba spirits and healers in the postwar recovery period in central Mozambique. Transcultural Psychiatry , 40 (4). pp. 459-487. ISSN 1363-4615

Abstract

In the wake of a civil war, local resources can play a potential role in shaping the recovery process by providing both old and new exegeses for the disturbing effects of the past. Using the case of Gorongosa, this article aims to explore the ways in which the war has impacted upon traditional medicine by creating Gamba spirits that cause havoc but can also transform the psychosocial hurts of war survivors. Historically, traditional healing practice was under the sole responsibility of the Dzoca, an ancestral spirit that for generations was embodied in living people through lineage descent to exercise its healing powers. There is consensus among healers that the Gamba spirit and healers emerged after the war and are rapidly spreading throughout Gorongosa. I explore the emic theories to explain the Gamba’s puzzling origins and the role they are currently playing in Gorongosa.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Access to published version in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Arts - Department of Humanities and International Studies
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2018 00:29
Last Modified: 27 Feb 2018 00:29
Uncontrolled Keywords: Central Mozambique, Gamba spirits and healers, post-war reactions, recovery strategies, traditional medicine
Fields of Research : 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111714 Mental Health
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1177/1363461503404001
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/28320

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