Title: The Role of Traditional Music and Dance Among Traditional Healers
Stream: Arts - Performing Arts Practices: Theater, Dance, Music
Presentation Type: Live-Stream Presentation
Benjamin Izu, Nelson Mandela University, South Africa
Alethea De Villiers, Nelson Mandela University, South Africa
Since time immemorial, societies have used traditional music and dance to celebrate events, share ideas, and communicate with supernatural beings, especially during important ceremonies. The central thesis of this paper is that traditional music and dance are used as a transforming agent by Xhosa traditional healers during ceremonies to gain insights into the nature of a society's experiences and to connect with supernatural beings. This study, therefore, investigates the sacred nature of traditional music and dance used during traditional healers’ ceremonies. To achieve this, the study employed direct observation, video recordings, and interviews, as well as a descriptive qualitative research design. The findings revealed that traditional music and dance provide a safe environment for the release of unconscious energies, heightening emotions and spirituality. Furthermore, traditional music and dance bring traditional healers closer to their ancestors, increasing acceptance and self-discovery during ritual proceedings. Even though traditional music and dance are deeply intertwined with various aspects of Xhosa cultural life, they have received limited scholarly attention. The purpose of this paper was therefore to gain a better understanding of the role of traditional music and dance during traditional healers’ ceremonies and what contemporary society can learn from them, and their viability in a contemporary context.
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