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Title:The use of ditaola (divination bones) among indigenous healers in Sekhukhune District, Limpopo Province
Authors:Makgopa, Mokgale
Koma, Magaelane
Periodical:Indilinga: African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems (ISSN 1683-0296)
Geographic term:South Africa
traditional medicine
indigenous knowledge
Abstract:This article examines the role of 'ditaola' (divination bones) in traditional healing. Twenty-five indigenous healers were selected through purposive sampling and were asked to respond to thirty-five questions that related to the classification, different kinds of falls and the interpretation of divination bones. In addition, the researchers observed the lives of the people through participant observation. The study shows that the origin and the naming of divination bones tend to reveal a very close relationship between human beings and the environment. Furthermore, the symbolic names given to the different 'ditaola' seem to make these diagnostic tools more significant in the context of indigenous healing. Unlike Western healing systems, indigenous healing is found to rely heavily on symbols and figurative language. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]