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Translating "Ngaka": Robert Moffat rewriting an indigenous healer

Show simple item record Dube, Musa W. 2014-07-24T09:12:20Z 2014-07-24T09:12:20Z 2014-05
dc.identifier.citation Dube, Musa W. 2014,' Translating "Ngaka": Robert Moffat rewriting an indigenous healer', Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae, vol. 40, no. 1, pp. 157-172. en
dc.identifier.issn 1017-0499
dc.description Peer reviewed en
dc.description.abstract Ngaka (the indigenous doctor and healer among Tswana speaking people) represented the spiritual priest among the Batswana and hence a great challenge to missionaries of colo-nial times, whose agenda was to sell a different form of spiri-tuality. That the modern colonial framework dismissed all other forms of spiritual knowledge(s), situated the ngaka and bongaka (the practice of ngaka) at the centre of the colonial missionary displeasure. This article traces and analyses Robert Moffat’s rewriting of the concepts of ngaka and bongaka in his 1842 monumental volume. It analyses Moffat’s encounter with the ngaka, his characterisation of the ngaka and his efforts to translate the ngaka from a central social welfare figure among the Batswana to a marginal, if not an outright evil, pretender. The article also traces the resistance Moffat encountered in this specific endeavour. It also examines how the Batswana began to translate Moffat and his books (the Bible) into their own spiritual categories by regarding him as ngaka and referring to his books (the Bible) as bola (the divination set). What wisdom, what meekness are necessary to him who proposes to introduce the elements of a spiritual empire, to sweep away any refuges of lies, to prostrate idols and altars in the dust, to abolish rites and ceremonies, to transform barbarous and antiquated judicial systems, and after the apostolic fashion, to turn the world upside down (Moffat 1842:258). en
dc.format.extent 1 online resource (1 unnumbered leave, 158-172 leaves)
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher Church History Society of Southern Africa en
dc.subject Ngaka
dc.subject Indigenous healer-doctor
dc.subject Missionary labours and scenes
dc.subject Robert Moffat
dc.subject Traditional healer
dc.subject.ddc 201.7096883
dc.subject.lcsh Religion and culture -- Botswana
dc.subject.lcsh Traditional medicine -- Botswana
dc.subject.lcsh Moffat, Robert
dc.subject.lcsh Botswana -- Colonisation
dc.subject.lcsh Healers -- Botswana
dc.title Translating "Ngaka": Robert Moffat rewriting an indigenous healer en
dc.type Article en
dc.description.department Research Institute for theology and Religion

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