Dancing Prophets: Musical Experience in Tumbuka Healing (2nd edition)


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For the Tumbuka people of Malawi, traditional medical practices are filled with music. This ethnography explores a health care system populated by dancing prophets, singing patients and drummed spirits. Tumbuka healers diagnose diseases by enacting divination trances in which they "see" the causes of past events and their consequences for patients. Music is the structural nexus where healer, patient, and spirit meet - it is the energizing heat that fuels the trance, transforming both the bodily and social functioning of the ...

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