Healing Dances: A Case Study of the Luo Juogi and the Dawida Mwazindika Dances
Orawo, C. N.
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During miend juogi and mwazindika dance ceremonies, the dancers dramatize the activities of the healing process. To perform the act of cleansing the possessed, and the cleanser move to the possessed, and pours water on the head. During such activities, the dance becomes more provoking and involving. The dance climax is known as yiengo juogi, for juogi and benzi for mwazindika. This is one of awe, wonder and admiration at the techniques of the drummers, especially the ones who play master drums (min bul for juogi and the simba mbaa for mwazindika). The simba mbaa player steals the show, especially when hu zira ngoma or kushevera ngoma. The idea behind pouring water on the heads of the possessed is to assist them get rid of the evil spirits. The significance of the spirits is medical as it is believed that these spirits caused diseases whose cure lay in the dealing with them. It could be said that it was the diseases which were spiritualized, in the same way the illnesses were diagnosed in terms of the anger of the ancestral spirits, or the curse of the living parents. If it was stomach ache, headache, miscarriage and other diseases that are spiritualized, the techniques of treatment deal not only with the physical aspects; the patient was given herbs to drink or rub on the affected part, but at the same time receives psychological treatment as well. It is important to note that the complaints that deal with spirit possessions in the two communities are cases anxiety. The diseases attributed to ancestral spirits result from guilt as a dominant factor. This is because the ancestors are angry because they have been neglected, because somebody among the living has not done his/her duty.