This chapter describes Zulu ritual purity. This tradition invokes a rite that applies “white” medicines to purify oneself (ukuphothula) from the effects of “black” medicines, associated with witchcraft. On that note, achieving extraordinary purity, such as that of a novice diviner, requires staying cool by avoiding the heat of sexuality. Anthropologist Axel Ivar Berglund documented that, during their training, novice diviners do not only abstain from sex but also avoid any contact with people who might be sexually active. They maintain their purity by starting their own fires in preparation of their own food. The fire and the food, in this practice, must be cooled untouched by anyone (i.e pregnant women) carrying the heat of sexual activity.
California Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.