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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.

The source of the experience

African tribal

Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps


Music therapy