Author Topic: Young White Men Claiming to be Indigenous African Sangomas  (Read 5855 times)

Offline Defend the Sacred

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Young White Men Claiming to be Indigenous African Sangomas
« on: July 03, 2012, 02:24:23 am »
My understanding is that Sangomas are Indigenous South African healers - elderly Black women raised in the tradition and who, after long apprenticeship and service have inherited songs, lore and ceremonies from their Elders. I think that very occasionally elderly Black men who have also been raised and trained this way have become Sangomas, but I think this is pretty rare. My understanding is that, like with Indigenous ceremonial people here, the real ones live in their communities and help their people.

Under Apartheid, and possibly still now for the rural, tribal people, I think the Sangomas have been the only healers many Black South Africans had access to. I have heard that, like in other brutally-oppressed communities, their spiritual traditions were a source of strength and survival in the face of vicious oppression by the white South Africans.

This is now the third time in the past few months I've come across a young white man online claiming to be a Sangoma, travelling the world, selling ceremony and "teachings" to other white people at nuage centers in the US and Europe.

Can someone who is actually South African, preferably Black South African, help out with this? I find it really disturbing that this young, white South African man, and at least a couple more like him, is leading thoroughly white groups of people, with no connection to Africa, let alone the tribes these ways belong to, in what is allegedly "African Shamanism". Rooms full of white people in Europe and the US, doing pay to pray, claiming to be practicing African religion.  :o

Here's one of them: http://www.african-shaman.com/

He even teaches "African Shamanic Yoga" and "Tibetan Lucid & African Dreaming". That's sure a lot of different traditions for a young man to be able to teach. Tibetans have to work for a very long time to learn those ways. So do the Indigenous Africans.

http://www.african-shaman.com/index.php/events/
Quote
6/10: African Shamanic Yoga

10 Jun 2012

Experience the merging of African Shamanic healing + yoga. John Lockley will teach heart beat meditation and yoga postures to facilitate heart opening and consciousness expansion.

Time: 6:00 – 8:00pm
Cost: $40/advance, $45/day of
...

Tibetan Lucid & African Dreaming Workshop

16 Oct 2011

    A one day workshop working with Dreams using traditional Tibetan & African Techniques.

    The talk will take place at the Academy of Dreams in London.



"African Shamans"?

I also found this bit, also from the above-linked events page, particularly interesting:

Quote
6/8: NYSC Open Circle

New York Shamanic Circle, 08 Jun 2012

7:30 – 10:00pm

Learn the basic techniques of core shamanism as you journey to meet your Spirit Guides and Power Animals. Deepen your shamanic practice through drumming, chanting, and movement at our monthly Shamanic Circle.

Please bring a drum or a rattle, a pen & notepad, and a bandanna.
You may want to bring a pillow, blanket to use when we journey.

Suggested donation: $20

Core Shamanism... Power animals... If he knows authentic Indigenous African ways, why is he teaching Harner's made-up tradition?

« Last Edit: September 12, 2016, 09:52:47 pm by Yells At Pretendians »

Offline educatedindian

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Re: Young White Men Claiming to be Indigenous African Sangomas
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2012, 03:01:23 pm »
Found this book. Go to chapter seven.
Working With Spirit: Experiencing Izangoma Healing in Contemporary South Africa
 By Jo Thobeka Wreford
http://books.google.com/books?id=WhqQpbod73MC&pg=PA249&lpg=PA249&dq=%22long+nosed+hybrids%22&source=bl&ots=gFI4xMNIYA&sig=gEnDSoYhPGBX2bT44UboZGOWWzA&hl=en&sa=X&ei=l1b0T6rYEeH36gGdmqXPBg&sqi=2&ved=0CFkQ6AEwBA#v=
onepage&q=%22long%20nosed%20hybrids%22&f=false

It comes from a white woman calling herself izangoma. She's defending her own claims, and says public objections aren't that common. But at the same time she points out the title is tied up with who your clan and ancestors are. To become one involves a calling from the spirit of your great grandfather. IOW, unless these white guys can point to an African great grandfather and consistent ties to an African clan, it's not a valid claim.

She does go on to argue that Blacks who give izangoma titles to whites were actually intending to adopt them into the family, not make them healers, and that this is a good thing to have allies and promote healing between communities after so much prolonged conflict. My guess is that white men claiming the title are equal to every white over here claiming adoption makes them entitled to be shamans or run sweats. They took a gesture to cement friendship and just saw a moneymaking opportunity.

That chapter also mentions public statements by the Icamagu Institute vs white izangomas. The articles they've published do have strong criticism of commercializing ceremony too.
http://www.icamaguinstitute.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=14&Itemid=18

Also some books that'd be useful resources.
http://www.icamaguinstitute.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=21&Itemid=53

Offline Defend the Sacred

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Re: Young White Men Claiming to be Indigenous African Sangomas
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2012, 06:40:01 pm »
Found this book. Go to chapter seven.
Working With Spirit: Experiencing Izangoma Healing in Contemporary South Africa
 By Jo Thobeka Wreford
http://books.google.com/books?id=WhqQpbod73MC&pg=PA249&lpg=PA249&dq=%22long+nosed+hybrids%22&source=bl&ots=gFI4xMNIYA&sig=gEnDSoYhPGBX2bT44UboZGOWWzA&hl=en&sa=X&ei=l1b0T6rYEeH36gGdmqXPBg&sqi=2&ved=0CFkQ6AEwBA#v=
onepage&q=%22long%20nosed%20hybrids%22&f=false

It comes from a white woman calling herself izangoma. She's defending her own claims, and says public objections aren't that common.

Given the conditions Black, tribal Africans live under in South Africa, I'm not surprised few of them have access to media to complain about this. Probably most of them have no idea these people they were kind to are betraying them this way.

Offline Defend the Sacred

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Re: Young White Men Claiming to be Indigenous African Sangomas
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2014, 07:40:32 pm »
IOW, unless these white guys can point to an African great grandfather and consistent ties to an African clan, it's not a valid claim.

She does go on to argue that Blacks who give izangoma titles to whites were actually intending to adopt them into the family, not make them healers, and that this is a good thing to have allies and promote healing between communities after so much prolonged conflict. My guess is that white men claiming the title are equal to every white over here claiming adoption makes them entitled to be shamans or run sweats. They took a gesture to cement friendship and just saw a moneymaking opportunity.
[bolding added]

I think making of relatives has been misunderstood (or misrepresented for commercial gain) the same way Manhood Rites have been misrepresented. See this thread on Malidoma Somé for a very similar issue: http://www.newagefraud.org/smf/index.php?topic=4323

Those rites have nothing to do with "shamanism."  They aren't intended to make boys into ceremonial leaders. They are only about making boys into men by the standards of that culture. From my limited knowledge on the topic, they involve integrating a boy into his role in the tribe as a man. If Somé even went through this whole ceremony, I'm not sure how well he could have grasped what was going on, since he didn't know the language and couldn't even understand his own family. Obviously, the process of integrating him into the tribe did not work. He only stayed for a few months and then left to sell ceremony.

I can't even imagine he witnessed, let alone understood, enough of the ceremonial life of that tribe to even begin to make the claims he has. I think he had fully assimilated into a Western mindset, and chose to confabulate something every single member of the tribe goes through into a unique, speshul snowflake experience. And for his claims of being an elder, who can make other young people into elders? What living culture makes a kid in his early twenties an elder? It doesn't happen. That only happens in the minds of fantasy-prone nuagers like Kiesha Crowther.
...
Somé claims to make white people who've never been to Africa into Elders of the village he was not wanted in, where he only spent a brief period of time, where they named him, "friend of the enemy" and we're supposed to believe that they then sent this enemy out into the world to sell their seekrits and make strangers the "elders" of their village. It's the same story we hear over and over from people who are exploiting a tiny bit of exposure to NDN ways (or NDNs who've sold out); the claim they are the saviour sent forth by the tribe to sell ceremony. I think out of either white guilt, ignorance or greed, people have cut Somé more slack because he's African. What he's done is very sad; but that doesn't make it OK.