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Tangoma Graduation Ceremony, Lomahasha, Swaziland 1980

Catalog Data

Sully, Paul filmmaker (1949- )  Search this
Gardsbane, Diane  Search this
Mr. and Mrs. Mahlalela diviner "sangoma"  Search this
Physical description:
reference 3 video cassettes (2 hours 20 minutes) sound/silent color 3/4 inch video
master 3 video cassettes (2 hours 20 minutes) sound/silent color 3/4 inch video
archival original 3 film reels (2,100 feet) sound/silent color S8mm
Swazi (African people)  Search this
Motion pictures (visual works)
Collection descriptions
Lomahasha, Swaziland
Supplementary materials: annotation, audio recordings, photographs, master's thesis
Title supplied by Archives staff (unpublished work) -- archival collection
Addl. KW Subjects:
Southern Africa
Full film record depicting the three-day initiation and graduation rites of tangoma, Swazi diviners and herbalists who are acknowledged for their ability to communicate with the ancestors and to diagnose and treat illness. Footage includes scenes of an all-night session of singing, drumming, and dancing in the chief sangoma's homestead; preparations of food, medicine, and an altar; the consumption by initiates of food prepared with medicine followed by ritual emesis; ritual interrogations of candidates to test their divinatory powers; riverbank ceremony at which initiates become possessed by ancestors; and final processional dance of tangoma, graduates, and kinsmen.
Sully, Paul, 1982 An Account of Fieldwork among Tangoma in Swaziland. manuscript
Repository Loc.:
Human Studies Film Archives, Smithsonian Museum Support Center, Suitland, MD
Ceremony--drumming--dancing--singing  Search this
Ritual--altar--ancestors--colors--symbolic objects--medicines  Search this
Ritual--animal sacrifice--purification--blood--confession--vomiting  Search this
Drumming--drums--double membrane--kettle drums  Search this
Ritual--preparations--space--medicines  Search this
Ritual--vomiting--induced--feather--"washing the stomach"  Search this
Adornment--initiates--hairstyle--plaiting--rubbed with red clay  Search this
Adornment--ceremony--initiates--necklaces--leg rattles--beads--vests  Search this
Speech--stylized--initiates--diviners--interrogation--"goo-peng-mula"  Search this
Rites of passage--separation--testing--reincorporation  Search this
Drumming--polyrhythms--drumming techniques--entertainment  Search this
Ceremonial dress--headdress--feathers--red--royalty--clanship  Search this
Spirit possession--drumming--water spirits--shaking  Search this
Ritual--animal sacrifice--blood bath  Search this
Feasting--food preparation--cooking--goats--chickens  Search this
Taboo--ritual--animal sacrifice--disposal of bones  Search this
Rites of passage--transition--spirit possession--initiates--crawling--return to homestead  Search this
Rites of passage--initiates--seclusion--hut  Search this
Dancing--ceremony--choreography--counterclockwise--processional  Search this
Dancing--ceremony--staffs--headdresses--animal pelts  Search this
Ceremony--conclusion--moral instruction--chief diviner  Search this
Rites and ceremonies  Search this
Music  Search this
Instruments--musical instruments  Search this
Language and culture  Search this
Local number:
HSFA 1983.7.2
Restrictions & Rights:
Information on reproduction and fees available from Human Studies Film Archives T: 2, 4, 8, 11, 13, 18
Data Source:
Human Studies Film Archives