Patient Gafumu Liksongola (22) of Madamba village’s witchdoctor Arnaldo Rodis. During 4 months Gafumu had been treated from mental disease by the healer, who tied a violent patient’s leg to a wooden pole that he wouldn’t run away. All this time Gafumu slept on the ground and ate the food fed to him by the villagers.
In Mozambique, traditional healers are more popular than professional doctors. All witchdoctors are members of AMETRAMO – Association of Traditional Medics of Mozambique, which brings together practitioners from across the country and issues them a license to “doctor” activities.
To help people, healers call upon spirits, who enter their bodies for a short time during a given session. After a session, doctors give patients compounds of dried herbs and roots, or take their patients through a variety of “wellness” ceremonies, such as bathing in goat’s blood or making special cuts with a razor blade all over the patient’s body.