Saturday, 11 April 2015


There is a word form that has always intrigued me in Papua New Guinea. That is the word for the sorcerer who has a culture of murder in the Sepik area.

He kills and removes body parts. He kills and brings the victim back to life to die at a time in the future. This is the sangguma man.

There is another sorcerer who kills and heals. This person can be a man or woman. The last sangomah I read about 22 years ago was a woman who lived and worked among the Zulu.

This raises a question of the possible relationship between the Zulu and the people of Papua New Guinea. What does it tell of the sea going skills or land bridges between the two land masses?

The Zulu and PNG highlands people seem very ethnically different. A DNA test may be in order. We all know of the movement of continents under tectonic drift. The Zulu and PNG people are a little far removed for drum and smoke signals or shouting across valleys.

But a clue has revealed itself on Google. The term Sangoma is a Dutch word or a word they took from the Zulu. The Dutch were settlers in both South Africa and Dutch New Guinea. Please click:

Language Shift and Cultural Reproduction: Socialization, ...
Don Kulick - 1997 - ‎Language Arts & Disciplines
These sangguma men are considered to be especially horrific because 
of the way theykill their victims. First they ambush and mesmerize them. Papua New Guinea.

Culture & History – South African Tourism
Over 80% of the population of South Africa visits a sangoma more than 3 ... 
collections of local as well as pan-African, British, French, Dutch and Flemish art.

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