International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Indigenous Beliefs and Healing In Historical Perspective: Experiences from Buha and Unyamwezi, Western Tanzania
Salvatory Stephen Nyanto

This paper explores the relations between indigenous beliefs and healing practices in Buha and Unyamwezi in Western Tanzania. I argue that beliefs and healing practices are an integral part of the lives of the people in the region. Diseases, misfortunes and religion have coexisted for many centuries and affect people’s lives and their relationship with the deities. Medicine--whether physical, spiritual, or psychological--is used to cure, heal, protect, and to ensure people’s health and wellbeing of the society. Ideas on healing and religiosity are neither homogenous nor static. They vary from one place to another and change in response to changing social contexts. This paper relies on oral interviews and secondary sources to provide an account of healing and religiosity in Buha and Unyamwezi and the changes that have shaped the two from the late pre-colonial period to the present. It employs a comparative approach to examine healing and religiosity on societies that have different social and cultural backgrounds.

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