Amaqghira as a dancer, singer and drummer
Benjamin Obeghare Izu
Music and Performing Arts Department
Nelson Mandela University, Gqeberha, 6011, South Africa
Alethea de Villiers
Music and Performing Arts Department
Nelson Mandela University, Gqeberha, 6011, South Africa
Music and Performing Arts Department
Nelson Mandela University, Gqeberha, 6011, South Africa
Alethea de Villiers
Music and Performing Arts Department
Nelson Mandela University, Gqeberha, 6011, South Africa
Citation: Izu, Benjamin O. and Alethea de Villiers. 2023. "Amaqghira as a dancer, singer and drummer." Accelerando, Belgrade Journal of Music and Dance 8:8
Amagqirha have primarily been viewed and discussed in relation to divination and traditional healing practices. There have been very few studies on their involvement beyond healing. In order to address that gap, this paper explores the artistic aspect of amagqirha. The thesis of this work is that by concentrating on the amagqirha ritual space, which entails singing, dancing, drumming, and divination, we may unveil the artistic nature or prowess of amagqirha practices while recreating the significance of traditional healers in modern societies. Using informal discussions, interviews, and participant observation during amagqirha ceremonies in the townships of Motherwell, Gqeberha in the Eastern Cape and Rosemore, George in the Western Cape, this paper argues that amagqirha are not only diviners and healers but also great dancers, singers, and drummers, drawing heavily on indigenous knowledge inculcated in them during initiation rites and rituals.
Keywords: amagqirha, Xhosa, dancer, singer, drummer, divination practices, personal and collective identities, rites and rituals
Amagqirha, ( plural of igqirha - Xhosa traditional healers/diviners - who communicate with the ancestors), also known as diviners and traditional healers, serve as the living link between the Xhosa populace and their ancestors, making them one of the traditional cultures of the Xhosa people that is possibly the most unique (James 2008). According to Kokoma (2021), amagqirha are the gatekeepers of the Xhosa culture and guide ritual performances. They immerse themselves in places that are connected to their ancestors in order to interact with their spirit, especially where they passed away. Mndende (2002, 59) states that amagqirha are chosen by the ancestors to provide healing and engage in divination. Mlisa (2009) says that igqirha is a healer who has received spiritual training and is chosen by the ancestors when a person is troubled by nightmares and catastrophes. Every amagqirha apprentice must go through at least five years of instruction and training before they are ready to wear the igqirha mantle since this is how the ancestor awakens the chosen one to their calling (James 2008).
Although they have artistic skills, Xhosa communities generally regard amagqhira practice within the context of traditional healing. Kokoma (2021) claims that amagqhira has only been perceived through the lens of health and illness, where most studies have concentrated on how they understand and treat ailments utilising herbal remedies. This demonstrates how gravely understudied amagqirha's artistic skills are. The amagqirha's artistic expressions are mostly confined to ritual spaces where they express themselves freely. This study reveals the art ingrained in amagqirha practices and their interface between being a singer, dancer, drummer, and traditional healer.
The other creative forms of amagqirha, such as dancing, drumming, and singing, have received little academic attention (Kokoma 2021; Sandlana 2014; Simelane & Kerley 1998). Thornton (2017) deviates from this typical paradigm, questioning widespread perceptions that associate these practitioners only with traditional healing practices by providing a commentary on experiences of trance, possessions, and music experiences. While focusing on healing practices, and the use of herbal treatments, these studies analyse songs, dances, and drumming and how they play a significant role in healing. According to Dowling and Stinson (2011), music is essential to Xhosa amagqhira traditions since the effectiveness of a healing ceremony depends on the amagqhira's musical performance.
In amagqhira ceremonial rites and rituals, singing, dancing and drumming serve as a means of interaction with the ancestors, hence the amagqhira must be both a skilled singer, dancer and drummer to serve as a conduit between the participant and the ancestors (Stinson 1998). The repertoire of divination songs varies greatly between diviners, but its mainstay comprises well-known ritual standards, with lyrics and rhythm adapted to the ritual context. Also, much music is derived from dreams, particularly those of initiate amagqhira. Camagwini, cited in Dowling and Stinson (2011), endorses the view that these songs are 'given' to the amagqhira by the ancestors and constitute their repertoire in the ensuing years as a healer. According to Faxi-Lewis (2003), singing, dancing, clapping, and drumming are important for amagqhira during ceremonial rites and rituals and during the training period.
Technical musical features of form and structure are not the focus of this paper. This paper is concerned with describing and explaining the central role of amagqirha as a singer, dancer, drummer, and healer. The study aims to show that drumming, singing and dancing, are key resources for realising personal and collective identities among the amagqhira. As a result, this study is situated in line with the works of Kokoma (2021) and Thornton (2017), and the researchers expand the discussion by examining amagqhira artistic prowess.
Rituals are the essence of the amagqhira profession, and without engaging in ritual activities, amagqhira cannot become traditional healers and diviners (Sandlana 2014). Hewson (1998) asserts that it is constricting to view rituals solely as activities carried out for traditional healing purposes. Rituals, on the other hand, convey a broader worldview that is not only limited to the sick body but also serves as a conduit between people and the world of the ancestors and spirits, as well as the primary mechanism for building and maintaining social worlds and relationships (Matory 2018; Monteiro 2011).
The artistic side or prowess of amagqhira, which consists of singing, dancing, drumming, and divination, is brought to life through rituals. According to Mtuze (2004), traditional healing encompasses those who function as diviners or amagqirha based on a combination of naturally derived medicine and rituals that include drumming, dancing, and singing. These artistries have their roots in intergenerational tales that have been passed down through many generations; these tales are crucial to amagqhira practice because they illuminate the historical context of their rituals and influence performances; without them, amagqirha cannot exist (Kokoma 2021). This paper contends that the amagqhira profession is a complex one that incorporates divination, singing, dancing, drumming, and other arts while strongly relying on generational knowledge and artistic ability.
This paper is informed by in-depth fieldwork and ongoing discussion with amagqirha practitioners and aspiring igqirha concerning their artistic prowess observed during ceremonial rites and ritual activities. Data was also obtained through participant observation during amagqirha ceremonial rites. The researchers visited places where amagqirha ceremonial rites and rituals were taking place. The amagqirha and other participants offered their voluntary participation in the study with their written and verbal consent obtained by the researchers. In order to gather first-hand information, participants were observed in their natural settings. The researchers also asked for permission to observe, record, and take pictures of the ceremonies. The researchers ate and dined with them during the various rites, so their roles during the events were those of both a participant and an observer. To ensure the validity and trustworthiness of the results, triangulation was employed for data collection and analysis. As a result of the participants’ ability to talk freely, the researchers collected as much information as feasible. The open-ended questions allowed the participating amagqirha to provide more details about their dancing, singing, clapping, and drumming experiences and how they interpreted those experiences.
Discussion and interpretation of findings
The amagqirha tradition is structured into schools around a senior instructor (gobela , the person chosen by the ancestors to guide you on your way to becoming a traditional healer/ diviner) and they regard their calling as professions, not as forms of spirituality or religion. They evaluate the efficacy of their divination and healing techniques, disseminate their knowledge, and rate one another's performance in ways that go beyond the simple passing down of tradition. Their practices entail various disciplines, such as divination, the use of medicines, the management of ancestor spirits, singing, drumming and dancing, and the instruction of new amagqirha. The student or initiate must undergo a difficult teaching and learning process in order to reach the position of amagqirha. During this process, they are simultaneously healed and taught to join the profession that revolves around these knowledge practices.
Amagqhira has long been revered for their abilities as healers and diviners, but little is known about their other abilities, such as singing, dancing, and drumming. It has become common that when they gather, they are bound to singing, dancing, and drumming, as observed during fieldwork. To the amagqhira, dance and music, in general, are of great significance, as a form of communication, particularly during ceremonial rites and rituals. These are often subtle exchanges, and they respond without giving it much thought because it enhances their sacred connection with their ancestors. According to Juslin (2013) and Ruud (2013), music is a metaphor for emotion; it helps to express the inexpressible, yet it cannot convey anything to unprepared or unreceptive minds.
The gobela aims to impart knowledge in a particular order. The student begins by learning how to play the drums, dance, and sing, these are usually the first items on the agenda whenever there is a new teaching. The thwasana (initiates/apprentices) are instructed in how to dance and drum, according to Athilita (Pseudonym), who stated this in an interview. Additionally, they learned how to behave in amagqirha society. The rigorous practices of singing, drumming, and dancing produce a state of exhilaration and total immersion. This state is referred to as a trance.
To express what seems to be an intense state of what would more accurately be termed “subjective alterations of consciousness” (Kirsch & Lynn 1995), in which the healer becomes extremely absorbed in their emotional state – the word ‘trance’ is used in both cultural and scientific, particularly neuroscientific studies (like in an “emotion-based theory of trance” in Becker 2004). The interaction that the igqirha engages in with others in their immediate context is usually strong, even though the amagqirha experiences society more keenly, particularly the societal realm. It serves more as an escape from other social norms and a window of unusual mental freedom to work on the vision that has been lurking in their intuition. It would be more accurate to refer to what is commonly called a trance as the intense psychological work required to critically integrate information from vision, wits, and society. It is a discipline that is taught, acquired, and practised, not a supernatural state.
Learning to sing, dance, and play the drum is more of a logical exercise than a spiritual practice leading to a trance. It is a learned mental and physical ability rather than a naturally acquired one. It accomplishes its objectives by employing drumming patterns, vigorous dancing and singing, precise instruction, and observing. Accordingly, by correcting the apprentice’s efforts by this approach, the apprentice gains understanding and profound knowledge.
THE ARTISTIC PROWESS OF AN AMAGQIRHA
Amagqirha as a dancer
Dance is a form of a cultural communication system that allows people to convey cultural knowledge and messages useful in a society (Moyo 2016). Intentional cultural knowledge can be communicated through dance, or dance can be utilized as a channel to communicate such knowledge. In the amagqirha context, dances are performed in two separate contexts: the original context, like rituals and entertainment. Dance, however, serves as an essential link between the living and the dead for the amagqirha. Its main goal is to promote the arts and cultures of the people. According to Snipe (quoted in Rani 2013), the concept of art for art's sake is alien to Africa; it has a connection to the culture of the people performing them.
Dance has always been a component of amagqhira ceremonial rites and rituals. Umxhentso dance, (traditional dance performed by Amagqirha during cultural ceremonies, rites and rituals) though artistic in nature, is a ritual dance carried out by the Xhosa amagqirha (traditional healers) to forge relationships with mystical beings (Gamedze 2019). Perhaps the most well-known of the amagqirha arts among the Xhosa people are the intensive singing, dancing, and drumming that takes place during amagqirha ceremonial rites and rituals. One of the participants claimed during an interview that the umxhentso dance raises the amagqirha's consciousness and that the umxhentso dance is a spiritual activity that shapes and modifies the mind, opening it up to the hidden or esoteric wisdom that traditional healers seek and rely on.
The dances are performed in public and offer some amusement to neighbours, onlookers, and other amagqirha. When an igqirha is providing treatment to a patient or during an initiation ritual, they would also perform the umxhentso dance. To the audience's singing and clapping, the dancers twirl in an anticlockwise circle while stamping their feet and bending their bodies. An amagqirha apprentice may also play the drum to amplify the handclapping's mystical percussion effects. Sometimes, while performing the umxhentso dance, the amagqirha and their trainees are spontaneously inspired to engage in ritual divination. This is similar to practices among traditional healers in South Africa and those found throughout the Bantu-speaking region of Africa (Janzen in Thornton 2009). This is possibly the earliest historical foundation for traditional healing practices in South Africa (Thornton 2009).
According to one of the participants, the umxhentso dance is essential to amagqirha ceremonies and has a mystical or mythical function in calling forth ancestral spirits and supernatural forces, which enables them to tread on their ancestors' footprints. As a result, they experience transcendence and affinity with their ancestors.
Another participant asserted that the umxhentso dance is a tool used to establish a connection with the ancestors and solicit their help during ceremonial rites. While dancing the umxhentso dance, the spirits take control of their bodies. She continues by saying that the umxhentso dance is seen as a spur in the amagqirha realm. Another participant mentioned that although other traditional dance forms are taught and can be performed around the world to earn a living, they do not invoke nor spur the ancestor spirits like the umxhentso dance performed by amagqirha.
The umxhentso dance performance has diverse variants, according to research participants' responses and field observations. One variation, for instance, has the amagqirha rise on the balls of their feet, then fall hard onto their heels while standing in one place and shaking ferociously. Another variant was performed by one amagqirha on the knees for about eight minutes, ostensibly without any pain or discomfort. One amagqirha explained that while dancing, she had been able to disconnect from everything. In other words, she underwent an altered state of consciousness.
Another amagqirha performed a solo dance at the same gathering. The amagqirha performed a stomping move and then kicked upward and outward, but unlike the previous performer, this amagqirha did not bend down on her haunches. These are essentially unique umxhentso dance variations performed by different dancers that improvise on the main umxhentso dance pattern with its distinct movements. One can find as many umxhentso dance variations as possible during amagqirha ceremonies.
The elaborate atmosphere created during the ceremonies is another vital aspect of the umxhentso dance performance. For the amagqirha, apprentices, and spectators, the colourfully attired amagqirha and guests, the incense adornment, and the drum performance all stimulate and contribute to an overall sensory experience. The drummers execute complicated, polyrhythmic performances with the igubu drums, which can be performed with bare hands or with a stick or a combination of both, integrating with the dancer's body, which may dance vigorously and elegantly.
The amagqirha perform the umxhentso dance while wearing different percussive objects on their legs, such as tin bells and ankles belts that generate sound as the dancers strike the ground with their feet. The dancer needs to be a quick thinker in order to grasp the dancing technique. While some amagqirha pick up the skills naturally, others practice before they can dance well. Once they have mastered a style, the amagqirha gain the ability to develop their styles or variations.
Another dance observed while conducting fieldwork which was also corroborated by the writings of Levine (2005), is the ukusina dance, which entails dancers kicking their legs upward and outward in any direction before stamping their feet into the ground. This dance is generally performed for entertainment during amagqirha ceremonies. According to Sithole (quoted in Izu and de Villiers 2021), ukusina dance is socially developed and centred on the amagqhira singing interlocking word phrases. Sithole (2016) claims further that ukusina dance performances are a necessary component of every amagqirha religious event. The foregoing explanations demonstrate how important dance is to amagqhira social, religious, and cultural life.
Though dancing is imparted through imitation and practice, not all amagqirha learn how to dance seamlessly. According to one of the research participants, there is no problem with not knowing how to sing and dance appropriately as an igqirha. However, it is a necessity for amagqirha to dance during ceremonial rites and rituals. The most vital things are mixing herbal remedies, performing healing, and divination. Dancing, drumming and singing are added advantages in accessing the spiritual world. That is why all amagqirha strive to learn to dance, drum and sing during their initiation rites.
Dancing is believed to awaken the spirit or raise the thwasana's (initiates/apprentice) consciousness. The thwasana were compelled to dance for extended lengths of time and learn the songs and drumbeats that accompany the dance when they first arrived at the gobela. Dancing is a form of spiritual activity that recalibrates and transforms the mind, opening it up to the subconscious or intuition wisdom that the amagqirha seeks and uses (Thornton 2009). During the ceremony observed by the researchers, groups of amagqirha assembled, and they took turns dancing one after the other in long durations that continued all night for several days. The dance moves, drum beats, and songs accompanying the ceremonies serve as the group's principal means of expressing its identity. Different amagqirha compete for recognition as the best dancers in this vastly competitive dance.
However, even people who are not good dancers are admired for their attempts. Therefore, being an igqirha involves more than conducting healing and divination; dancing skill is also essential for amagqirha practices, and dancing attracts the ancestors during a performance, so it should be considered an integral part of amagqirha practices.
Amagqirha as a singer
The profession of amagqirha often evaluates the philosophy of its members' humanity, religiosity, and the behavioural principles governing its practice. One of the participants in this study claim that they are ingrained in the songs utilized in divination rituals to retell their stories about the ancestors, and the surrounding creation, through which they feel embodied, fused with and connected to their principles and calling. Clan praises are important in amagqirha customs because they foster a strong sense of community. The amagqirha and the audience experience distinct moments during ceremonial rituals when they lose themselves due to the amagqirha's singing prowess. Another participant in this study who is an igqirha claims that dancing, drumming, clapping, and singing clan praises are essential to amagqirha traditions and have a mythical or magical function in conjuring up ancestor spirits and supernatural forces. The amagqirha sing their songs and follow in the footsteps of their forefathers. That gives them a sense of transcendence. As a result, the themes of the songs describe struggles, suffering, victories, and achievement. They describe themselves with a narrative. Amagqirha believe that while dancing during ritual rites, they sing with and to their ancestors. (listen to audio souce - autors recording)
Singing is a significant component of the social, indigenous and healing identity of the amagqhira. A foremost capability of an amagqirha is the ability to stimulate umbilini (intuition), which they perform as part of their calling. They receive a distinctive song from their ancestors at ukuthwasa (initiation). That song is a component of igqirha's healing identity because it relates to the ukuthwasa path. This facilitates transition and spiritual regeneration (Mlisa 2009). The amagqirha also utilizes reeds or ankles rattles strapped on their legs to add percussion rhythms to the songs.
The amagqhira typically employs the call-and-response singing pattern throughout a performance, where the second phrase is a response or commentary to the first phrase. The amagqhira, drummers, dancers, and the audience participate in a dialogue through this call-and-response performance structure. Clapping, which is essentially the responsibility of the audience and those amagqirha or initiates who are not performing in the dance, is used to accompany the singing.
Additionally, the majority of the repertoires of amagqhira songs are inspired through dreams, especially those of initiate diviners. They believe that these songs are offered to them by their ancestors and that they can interact with them through the songs. As a result, the amagqhira must be a proficient singer in order to serve as the conduit between the ritual's participants and the ancestors (Stinson 1998).
The amagqhira songs mostly adhere to the musical forms of other Xhosa traditional music types (Dowling and Stinson 2011). They are short topical repetitive songs that follow particular rhythmic patterns that include recurring iambic beats. The amagqirha songs are distinguished by the fact that a drum is used to accentuate the beat. The metrical structure of the song is defined by the amagqirha movement patterns, the drum pattern, and participatory clapping from the audience or observers. The call-and-response structure of the songs is often made up of contrasting solo and chorus phrases that are either simultaneous or overlapping.
Additionally, improvisation is a crucial component of amagqirha musical traditions. The amagqirha creates polyrhythmic harmony by adding additional vocal interpolations based on the call or response phrases (Hansen 1981). To exclude the singing prowess as part of amagqirha practices would mean that part of their social, cultural, and spiritual identity is missing. More significantly, all rituals performed during the training process feature unique songs sung during the ceremony. Thus, singing plays a role in connecting with and pleading for blessings from ancestors who must bless the entire ukuthwasa process.
Amagqirha as a drummer
One of the most important places for the amagqirha to develop their personalities is the ritual space. Ritual practices like singing, dancing, and drumming help to achieve this. No ceremonies can be performed without drumming, and amagqirha play a significant role in this regard. Their contribution as drummers has a big impact on how amagqirha develop their uniqueness, demonstrating that “we are what we are because of others” (Horsthemke 2018). Each participant has a duty to fulfil in the ritual area.
Drumming always serves as an accompaniment to the umxhentso dance and a necessary prelude to stir the audience's passion and awe during amagqirha rites and rituals. The igubu drums have long been a significant factor in amagqirha ceremonies and serve as a symbol of the ceremonies. The drum is largely viewed as the principal musical instrument during amagqhira ceremonies. The drumbeat is the main source of melodic information, and it creates harmony when combined with singing, hand clapping, and organized foot thumping. During ceremonies and rituals, drumming can be used for entertainment and ritual purposes.
The amagqirha drumming during rites and ceremonies illustrates the difficult path that healers must traverse to become a healer and how the ritual space allows them to release themselves through drumming, dancing, and singing in the sacred space. The amagqirha converse with their ancestors through the drum rhythm during the performance. Mlisa (2013) claims that drumming can intentionally initiate the intuition process. The amagqirha start drumming to induce trance and begin the intuition process demonstrating how vital drumming proficiency is to them.
The drumming skills are bequeathed through oral traditions and observation, which the researchers find enthralling about the amagqirha drumming culture. The amagqirha initiates are trained in different drum languages and rhythms through observation and imitation under the guidance of a gobela. Erudition of Xhosa traditions is a necessary skill for initiates since they make up the indigenous wisdom that is weaved into and passed down through the expression. The initiates must be aware of the importance of tradition and be able to communicate them through the rhythms of the drums. For the drumming cultural continuity and survival, such informal training is essential for the amagqirha during initiation.
During one of the observed amagqhira ceremonies, the tempo of the drum was intensified, prompting the amagqirha to increase their dance tempo while the audience and amagqhira apprentice clapped and sang along. The researchers observed two distinct drumming styles, namely the call-and-response, where an igqhira plays a beat “call” that is recognized by the other drummers and dancers, and a cross-rhythm or polyrhythm, which refers to the simultaneous use of different complex rhythms.
The drummers dictate the events with their drum rhythm by playing overlapping patterns which create rhythmic dialogue. Even if the rhythmic pattern may be the same, the spacing between the rhythms causes a polyrhythmic effect. Leg rattles, whistles, hand clapping, foot stomping, and rhythmic dancer motions are among the additional rhythmic elements that are incorporated. (see audio above - authors' source)
From field observations, the drummers start the performance, set the tempo, and establish a steady rhythm, which is then replaced by other rhythms in various tonal colours. In a sort of call and response, the other instruments (whistles, rattles, and shakers), dancers, and singers react to the predetermined drumming pattern. A vocal call and response are also present, which provides another element to this polyrhythmic performance.
Drumming proficiency was indicated as being essential to invoking the ancestors to aid in divination and healing as part of the initiation rites that the researchers observed. During the drumming session, initiates were instructed to dance in order to help the initiate reconstruct their physical, social, and spiritual environments and communicate with their ancestors. One of the igqirha used the following statement from an interview to explain this: "Sometimes drums are beaten to allow ancestors to take control and connect directly with them; they deliver a special revelation regarding the unforeseen situations". Drumming is a tool to get clarity on circumstances and, ultimately, to understand a problem with the aid of the ancestors noted by another participant.
Therefore, the use of drumming by amagqirha in their practices or profession due to ancestral calling has spiritual benefits, making the drumming skill essential for the amagqirha profession. It should be noted that among the various abilities employed by the amagqirha in their practices, particularly purifying, herbal administering, singing, dancing, drumming, and ritual enactment, were viewed by interviewees as being fundamental to the amagqirha practice. It is noteworthy that certain rites are undertaken through drumming. When asked about the significance of drumming skills in their practices, participants believe that drumming may positively influence their spiritual connections with their ancestors, so all amagqirha must possess drumming skills.
These performances offer an indication of how seriously Xhosa amagqhira take their sentimental ties with their ancestors and how significant such relationships are to them. They displayed a humble demeanor, great respect, and humility the entire time, which was gratifying. The performance evoked complex feelings in the researchers, a sense of being a stranger within the cultural group under investigation.
Reflections on the amagqirha ceremonies observed during this study revealed that singing, dancing, and drumming are integral parts of amagqirha practices within a ritual, given that they can be performed in isolation or as a component of all other key ukuthwasa rituals. Every time it is performed, the ancestors are present, so there must always be a purpose. The independence of a diviner is severely constrained because they must first contact their ancestors before making any decisions or taking any action.
Everyone in attendance has a sense of connectedness, and there is always homogeneity during ceremonial rites performances. In Kokoma (2021), Jung attributed this to the songs accompanied by foot stamping, drumming, and hand clapping, as well as the presence of ancestors. The mystical effect of the songs can lead to a trance during a performance. It is not only the words in the songs that stir up unconsciousness. one can get this stimulation even if he/she does not understand the language, as the rhythm is sufficient to interpret the message.
According to Gasa (2004), when amagqirha dances during a ceremony, they experience a deeper connection with their ancestors. Dancing is also one of the key elements that strengthen this connection among the amagqirha as well as with the audience. The amagqirha and the spectators all share a sense of purpose. For instance, whatever reason the ceremonial rites are being performed, they all participate in the joy, agony, healing, and welcoming of another diviner. Because of this, amagqirha rites, like other rituals, are extremely important for fostering ubuntu and communal bonds.(The concept of ubuntu is an ancient African word literally meaning human dignity and interdependence, “being self through others”, and is often described as “I am what I am because of who we all are.” For ubuntu philosophy see Hailey 2008.)
Conclusion and recommendations
The present study has shown that amagqirha practice or profession does not involves only divination and healing skills but also singing, dancing, and drumming, as enumerated in this paper, so it is important to bring to the fore the artistic skills amagqirha are inculcated during their initiation and training period. Studies on Xhosa amagqirha and other African traditional healers have always excluded their dancing, singing, and drumming prowess. This study provides a rallying point in addressing the exclusion by offering both divination and artistic side. It would help complement other studies by providing an account of their traditional healing acumen.
However, the following constraints should be noted when interpreting the study's results. Firstly, the study relied only on amagqirha, their initiates, and attendees during ceremonial rites attended by the researchers’ subjective accounts. Non-participants, for instance, were not interviewed. As a result, it is acknowledged that this study's interpretation was one-sided. Furthermore, the study was administered to a limited number of Xhosa amagqirha practising Motherwell Township in Gqeberha and Rosemore in Western Cape, South Africa. Finally, the researchers have employed Western terminology on various occasions. This was required to make the language understandable to a wider audience.
To completely comprehend how being a singer, dancer, and drummer influences an igqirha's practice of divination, a thorough study with a larger sample of amagqirha is advised. In a similar vein, a thorough investigation into patients' subjective experiences with amagqirha artistic ability and its effectiveness should be the focus of further research. Future research in this area may shed more light on the numerous songs, dances, and drumming techniques utilized by amagqirha for divination and healing. It may also pave the way for closer cooperation between amagqirha and musicians with western musical training.