African diviner-healers and oral performance: a perspective on Sepedi divination

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 17
  • Abstract:

    English: Divination is receiving ever more attention in the media. Communities, groups of people and individuals are asking questions, voicing opinions, and making judgements on the function of this important branch of African life and philosophy. This paper investigates African oracle-speech as a typical genre of oral poetry. In short, it argues that the African diviner-healer (ngaka) becomes an oral performer, employing some of his or her clan praises (among other dynamics of orality) during the divinatory process. The data on African divination oracles drawn from interviews with diviners is provided and analysed in terms of theories of orality.