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Kwasi Konadu

Ghanaian indigenous healer and blacksmith, was born in 1913, three years after an outbreak of yellow fever in the Gold Coast colony (present-day Ghana), to Yaw Badu of Nkoranza and Akosua Toa, into a Bono (Akan) family in Takyiman. Nana Donkor’s early years and socialization in a family of well-respected healers and blacksmiths were significant to his eventual vocation, for he engaged matters of spirituality and healing from a very early age, and his family nurtured and supported those interests.

Kofi Donkor’s path as a prominent healer was suggested by the very circumstances of his birth. After Kofi Donkor’s two elder sisters were born, the next five children died shortly after birth. This troubled Yaw Badu and Akosua Toa greatly, and so they consulted an obosom (pl. abosom a spiritual agent often viewed as a child of the Akan Creator Both parents made several ritual sacrifices and as ...

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Werner Graebner

taarab singer, drummer, and healer, was born in urban Zanzibar. Her parents had migrated to the islands from the Kilwa area of Tanzania on the East African mainland. She is better known as Bi Kidude. Some controversy surrounds Kidude’s birthdate; considering all evidence, the latest she could have been born is around 1920. Growing up in suburban Zanzibar’s Ng’ambo area, she showed interest from a young age in taarab song, a genre of poetry sung to musical accompaniment developed in nineteeth- century Zanzibar. One of her uncles, Buda Suwedi, was a member of Siti Bint Saadi’s group, then the most popular singer in Zanzibar. Kidude attended night rehearsals at Saadi’s place, pretending to sleep in a corner or on the outside baraza bench, soaking up the songs, which still form her main repertoire today.

When Kidude was in her teens, dhows traditional Arab sailboats from all over the ...

Article

Kenyan poet and healer, was born in Mombasa, Kenya. He is the older brother of Abdilatif Abdalla and a cousin of the famous taarab singer Juma Bhalo, who recorded song versions of many of Ahmad Nassir’s poems. Nassir’s earliest poems were published in the newspaper Sauti ya Pwani. His poems next were anthologized by Lyndon Harries in Poems from Kenya (1966) . Nassir’s second anthology, Malenga wa Mvita: Diwani wa Ustadh Bhalo (1971) , was awarded the Kenyatta Prize for Literature, Kenya’s major literary award, in 1972. Nassir’s poetry is deeply religious and philosophical. While both of the anthologies of his poems contain poems on religious topics, his religious and philosophical concerns are most fully explored in his 457-verse narrative poem on moral virtue, Utenzi wa Mtu ni Utu (1979) . This work has been analyzed in detail by Kai Kresse who ...

Article

Anne Waliaula

revered Tanzanian Maasai laibon (prophet, diviner, healer, and ritual expert; an alternate form of his name is Mbatian), was the son of another famous Maasai laibon, Supeet, son of Kidongoi. Mbatiany’s grandfather Kidongoi is said to be the first laibon, an orphaned child who was raised by the Laiser clan of the Maasai, only to be found to possess extraordinary divination and healing power. Thus, Mbatiany’s laibon lineage began with the Kidongoi family who later formed their own clan or group of families known as the Inkidongi clan The sons of Kidongoi were Lesikireshu Sitonik and Supeet Supeet then became the father to Mbatiany Mako and Neelyang Very little is known about the other children of Supeet and even the female in Mbatiany s life The known sons of Mbatiany are Senteu Sendeyo and Lenana Olonana Other children are not mentioned probably because they did not have ...

Article

Baptiste Bonnefoy

was born in Santiago, Chile, sometime during the 1740s, the illegitimate son of María Luisa Morales and an unknown father. Morales was known as a pardo, a designation commonly applied in eighteenth-century Chile to free persons of color.

During the 1750s, Morales entered the artillery unit of Santiago’s urban black militia, a group responsible for the night patrol of the streets of the city and the protection of its shops and warehouses. In the militia he became acquainted with the pardo captains Mariano Barros (1749–1822), Gregorio Arenas (1727–1792), and Juan de Dios Portillo (1746–1813 He also set up shop as a barber a type of informal medical practitioner without official certification Barbers typically bled their patients pulled teeth and treated the widespread infectious diseases that particularly plagued the poorest segments of the population Only those of European descent were legally permitted to obtain ...

Article

Juan Angola Maconde

known for her knowledge of natural medicine and her work as a midwife, was born on 2 August 1920 at Tocaña, a community in the town of Coroico, the largest community of Afro-descendants in the Yungas region of La Paz, Bolivia. As one of the oldest members of the community, Pinedo Pedrero was often consulted by those collecting oral history of life in the region before the agrarian reforms of 1952, in which the revolutionary government redistributed land and ended forced labor.

In Tocaña and the surrounding communities Pinedo Pedrero gained a reputation in her village of Coroico for healing and midwifery by the 1960s when she was in her forties For generations Tocaña s families sought her advice on healthcare matters and to remedy relieve and console those suffering from physical emotional or spiritual ailments The fields were her pharmacy She collected medicinal herbs and depending on the ...