Sangomas

PhotographerCorinna Kern
Entry Description

Finding its roots in Xhosa culture, the practice of sangomas has experienced an influx of Westerners after apartheid. Chris Ntombemhlophe Reid became the first white and highly respected sangoma of Pondoland, South Africa. Spending long periods of time in his remote homestead, he hosts traditional ceremonies and mentors his thwasas (trainees). Called onto their paths by their ancestors, Reid’s thwasas embark on journeys of self-deprivation to gain spiritual enlightenment. Self-healing is their aim, preparing them to heal their ancestry and fellow humans, hence to become instruments of spirits. This project gives insights into these spiritual, yet demanding journeys.