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NgomaDiscourses of Healing in Central and Southern Africa$

John Janzen

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780520072657

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520072657.001.0001

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(p.189) Appendix B Distributions of Terms in Bantu Languages Pertaining to Therapeutic Concepts and Actions

(p.189) Appendix B Distributions of Terms in Bantu Languages Pertaining to Therapeutic Concepts and Actions

Source:
Ngoma
Publisher:
University of California Press

The verbal cognates in these maps are reconstructions of common ancestral terms derived from modern phonetic resemblances and presumed semantic shifts from an original basic sound and meaning. The distributions are based mainly on the work of Malcolm Guthrie, as published in his Comparative Bantu; the numbers given with most terms are from his Comparative Series (C.S.). Following his convention, the asterisk indicates a reconstructed ancestral or “proto-” form derived from contemporary phonetic and semantic variations. It must be emphasized that these reconstructions are based on a limited number of languages for which glossaries and dictionaries were available in the 1950s and 1960s when Guthrie did his work; thus the distributions shown are approximations and may have gaps. Maps 2, 7, and 19 are based partially on other work. (p.190)

Appendix B Distributions of Terms in Bantu Languages Pertaining to Therapeutic Concepts and Actions

This distribution indicates a proto-Bantu cognate, with B.14 coequal in the Eastern Bantu region.

(p.191)
Appendix B Distributions of Terms in Bantu Languages Pertaining to Therapeutic Concepts and Actions

The cognate-dúád-is distributed so as to suggest an ancient proto-Bantu lexical item that has been partially replaced by kon or okon in the Western Bantu forest area (Obenga 1985:196; Huygens 1987:86–93).

(p.192)
Appendix B Distributions of Terms in Bantu Languages Pertaining to Therapeutic Concepts and Actions

A widespread term in many societies of the subcontinent, an ancient proto-Bantu and central contemporary concept in therapeutic thought systems.

(p.193)
Appendix B Distributions of Terms in Bantu Languages Pertaining to Therapeutic Concepts and Actions

Both healer and medicine are derived from this widespread and presumably proto-Bantu cognate.

(p.194)
Appendix B Distributions of Terms in Bantu Languages Pertaining to Therapeutic Concepts and Actions

Guthrie suggests that C.S. 1534 was proto-Bantu and is part of a set including two synonymous cognates—293 * -càngó-, East Bantu (B.17); and 1072 *-kítì, West Bantu (B.12)—that emerged where the original item disappeared.

(p.195)
Appendix B Distributions of Terms in Bantu Languages Pertaining to Therapeutic Concepts and Actions

This bifurcated Western and Eastern Bantu distribution suggests a proto-Bantu status for this cognate, and the pervasiveness of the notion of “the cool” in connection with health, purification, or cleansing and by implication, of heat with sickness, disorder, and pollution.

(p.196)
Appendix B Distributions of Terms in Bantu Languages Pertaining to Therapeutic Concepts and Actions

The reconstruction of this cognate is based primarily on Huygens's recent work (1987) in the Tervuren Bantu languages project, which is a continuation and extension of Guthrie's work, as well as his intensive study of the Fang and Beti languages. Its pervasive distribution suggests it as a part of the proto-Bantu health conceptual scheme, although there are other terms for this concept.

(p.197)
Appendix B Distributions of Terms in Bantu Languages Pertaining to Therapeutic Concepts and Actions

Distribution of ngoma as song or performance:

The central cognate of this book, ngoma (drum), is distributed widely throughout the Bantu language areas, with the exception of the forest regions C and D. This, and the distribution of the additional meaning of “song” and “performance” supports the hypothesis of an Eastern Bantu origin of the therapeutic ngoma that is the subject of this work.

(p.198)
Appendix B Distributions of Terms in Bantu Languages Pertaining to Therapeutic Concepts and Actions

Of these two cognates for plants, or medicinal plants, the more widespread, --, proto-Bantu, is also identified as “tree” (C.S. 1729) and “stick” (C.S. 1731). The other terms denote medicinal uses of plants or the process of protecting with medicine, -kàg-, Tobacco, introduced from America, was assimilated to the Western Bantu cognates, -kaya-, -kayi-.

(p.199)
Appendix B Distributions of Terms in Bantu Languages Pertaining to Therapeutic Concepts and Actions

Eastern and Western Bantu terms for the cupping horn and for the process of bleeding by cupping suggest that these are part of an old system of therapy, although there may have been an even older cognate that is now lost.

(p.200)
Appendix B Distributions of Terms in Bantu Languages Pertaining to Therapeutic Concepts and Actions

There are two related Western Bantu terms for healer, divining, or the process of healing. Mbanda suggests mediumship in some settings. The distribution of the term búk suggests an earlier expansion in Western Bantu.

(p.201)
Appendix B Distributions of Terms in Bantu Languages Pertaining to Therapeutic Concepts and Actions

This Western Bantu concept and practice is present as a visible medicine or object in its western distribution. At its south and eastern expansion, or frontier, it comes to be identified mainly as spirit. Its easternmost occurrence is due to the expansion of Luba influence in the sixteenth century among the Senga-Sena linguistic group (Waite 1987).

(p.202)
Appendix B Distributions of Terms in Bantu Languages Pertaining to Therapeutic Concepts and Actions

The use of white clay or kaolin is pervasive in Sub-Saharan ritual, but this term for it is Western Bantu. That this cognate is ancient is seen from its presence among the Tiv of Eastern Nigeria, in the putative origin area of Bantu languages.

(p.203)
Appendix B Distributions of Terms in Bantu Languages Pertaining to Therapeutic Concepts and Actions

A common cognate of Eastern Bantu origin.

(p.204)
Appendix B Distributions of Terms in Bantu Languages Pertaining to Therapeutic Concepts and Actions

These two related cognates of Eastern Bantu origin may be related to the Tiv notion tsav, or tsawi (see Bohannan 1958), the evidence of witchcraft substance in the bowels of a corpse.

(p.205)
Appendix B Distributions of Terms in Bantu Languages Pertaining to Therapeutic Concepts and Actions

This apparently ancient and proto-Bantu cognate for spirits, usually ancestral, is widespread in ngoma rituals. Kulu may be the Western Bantu counterpart for this.

(p.206)
Appendix B Distributions of Terms in Bantu Languages Pertaining to Therapeutic Concepts and Actions

The Eastern Bantu counterpart of -kícì- (B.l2), both of which, according to Guthrie, may have replaced píngö (B.5).

(p.207)
Appendix B Distributions of Terms in Bantu Languages Pertaining to Therapeutic Concepts and Actions

Dagud is the Eastern Bantu counterpart to mbàndà and búk: (B.11), which together supplanted -gàngà- (B.4) in certain instances.

(p.208)
Appendix B Distributions of Terms in Bantu Languages Pertaining to Therapeutic Concepts and Actions

These are examples of numerous terms for God used in the attribution of illness etiologies that contrast to human-caused or spirit-caused etiologies. Obenga 1985:152–153) is the source for the distribution of the last two terms.