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Between faith and tradition

Traditional Medicine

Religion, whatever it is, has always two faces. The most formal one, that is written in the holy books and disseminated by their leaders. And the most profane, in which everyone believes but few admit. I mean that traditional medicine practiced by witch doctors from around the world. And Darfur is not an exception.

Despite the presence of a strict Islam in the Sudanese society (the country is controlled by the ‘sharia’, the Islamic law that forbids alcohol, requires the scarf on women and punishes indecent behavior), there is a belief that there are problems that can be solved without having to go through the will of God. Solution for diseases, weapons, economic problems and even against the broken-hearts are in the hands of the ‘fakir’ (how witch doctors are called in Darfur). This is job that is learned through genetic (passed from parent to child) and, according to them, it should be performed with honesty and a deep knowledge of the Koran, the sacred book of Muslims. In witchcraft, the religious component is always present.

The ‘hijab’ (amulets made of goatskin) and ink and water potions are made with written messages from the Koran itself thoroughly by the ‘fakih’ and solely intended to cure the problem of his client.

Many say that this tradition is silly, but all practice it.

Just in case…

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