The Mystic Healers

Simone Tramonte


Burkina Faso

The World Health Organization estimates that 80% of the African population uses traditional medicine to meet their needs for primary health care. The African continent is a tangle of people suspended between respect for tradition and the desire for modernity, but to ancient beliefs, the roots, those remain. In Africa, feticheurs, sorcerers and healers are not extinguished. Mysticism and magic, along with a healthy dose of superstition, are the other face of a continent that, despite everything, does not abandon its ancient past. The locals regardless of their religion or social background when needed prefer to go to traditional healer rather than a doctor.

Here, where the border between medicine and mysticism is thin, many women are still accused of witchcraft, are persecuted, burned alive, or "killed socially." Who escapes a lynching, it is moved away from his village and his family, and is the only refuge in shelters for witches.

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