Vimbuza - from S. Friedson – Dancing prophets
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
S. Friedson – Dancing prophets [as quoted in Dr Peregrine Horden – Musical solutions in Music as Medicine]
Vimbuza - a multivocal term, a complex of meanings and references - encompasses a class of spirits, the illnesses they cause, and the music and dance used to treat the illnesses.
- As spirit, vimbuza is the numinous energy of foreign peoples and wild animals;
- as illness, it is both a spirit affliction and an initiatory sickness;
- as musical experience, it is a mode of trance.
For patients possessed by vimbuza spirits, trance dancing is a cooling therapy; for adepts, it is the means for transforming a disease into a vocation; and for healers, it is the source of an energizing heat that fuels the divination trance.