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One of the highlights of our visit to Ghanzi was accompanying, Setano, a healer on a bush walk. He pointed out, with the help of Gurt our translator, the various medicines that can be found in the Kalahari, including the famous Devil’s Claw. We asked Setano if he could heal Pauline's swollen lympth node and he gave her an acacia root to chew. He tied a necklace of the same root around her neck, with two matching wristbands and she was ordered to wait for them to fall off by themselves, at which time the swelling will have gone. The two wristbands went first but the necklace is still in place, though the swelling has gone down drastically, so much so that the planned surgery has been postponed and the gland is being monitored. Setano has been given a home at Chris and Jeanette Woolcott’s Thakadu camp, so you can take your ills to him. If you have a more serious condition Andrea Hardbattle, at Buitsivango can arrange all night healing ceremonies. We have been told that these dances are particularly good at relieving the pain of grief brining you close to your lost loved one. Sadly the numbers of healers are falling, Andrea didn’t know of one under the age of fifty. To help stop this decline she is sponsoring two young men to become apprentice healers, though they were at first very reluctant, it was pointed out to them that they had the special qualities need to heal, so they agreed. Both these young men are studying healing through dance, drawing the pain of sick and into themselves. The other from of healing practiced by the San involves blood letting, drawing the illness out through an open wound and into the mouth of the healer. In the age of HIV, you will not find a young person to carry on this tradition, so sadly this form of healing is doomed to extinction. Many people swear that this drawing of black blood has cured them but the skill will pass with the last of these healers.
Written Sep 5, 2006
Address: Thakadu Camp PO Box 601 Ghanzi, Botswana
Phone: +267 72120695