Divination Techniques

By Eileen Moyer
University of Amsterdam (formerly University of Iowa)

Diviner Solochi with his divination instrument, Mbunda peoples, Kawanda Village, Zambia, 1992. Photo by Manuel Jordán.

It is rare for an individual to be born directly into the role of diviner or to inherit the practice.  Rather, one is possessed or called by a spirit.  Illness and hardship may accompany the possession.  One then might seek out the services of a diviner as a client and be informed that the only means of healing is to join the network of healers in the community.  This information may be ignored initially, or perhaps other diviners will be employed to verify the diagnosis.  Eventually, the person gives in, becomes educated in the ways of the local practitioners, and is healed upon initiation into the order.