Publisher: University of Port Harcourt

A Concentric Analysis of The Socio-Religious Significance of The Medicine Man In Emu Clan of Delta State, Nigeria

Kingsley I. Owete
KEYWORDS: Dibie, Medicine Man, Calling, Initiatory Rites, Traditional Medicine, Emu Clan


“Witch-doctor” and “fetish-doctor” are two of the most commonly and widely derogatory terms that Eurocentric scholars use to describe the medicine man in Africa. Such pejorative terms have adversely impinged upon the patronage medicine men receive in contemporary African societies. This study, among other issues discussed, portrays the medicine man in Emu Clan as a scientist who seeks to discover and use the laws of the universe for the health care and wellbeing of his people. This study discovers that the roles of the medicine man in Emu Clan cut across the political, legal, economic, religious and socio-cultural institutions of that society. This paper further reveals that a dibie in Emu Clan looks at his clients’ problems from a spiritual dimension and that an initiate into the science of medicine making experiences initiatory crises. The study concludes by stating that the socio-religious functions of the dibie, which are strategic in the communities, are sine qua non in a twenty-first century African society.

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