A major goal of this book has been to explore the basis for the institution variously known as the “ritual of affliction,” “cult of affliction,” or “drum of affliction,” the latter term being derived directly from the widespread notion ngoma, a Bantu language cognate. It has also stressed the centrality of discourse in ngoma interaction and knowledge. Ngoma resources have been effectively integrated into national institutions in Swaziland, where the king has personally endorsed, and underwritten the care and training of, skilled healers such as Ida Mabuza. Public health and hygiene instruction of healers in Ghana and Sierra Leone has produced significant reduction of infant mortality rates. Ngoma is considered as a uniquely ngoma instituted combination of processes and attributes that the West puts together in other ways, or leaves undone.
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