International Journal of
Sociology and Anthropology

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Sociol. Anthropol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-988X
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJSA
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 305


Indigenous and popular Islamic therapies of restoring health and countering sorcery among the Digo of Kenya

Hassan Juma Ndzovu
Moi University, Kenya.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 01 July 2013
  •  Published: 31 October 2013



Among the Digo of Kenya the belief and fear of sorcery is most prevalent that many things are explained in relation with it. Over the years, major sorcery-detection and eradication ‘crusades’ conducted by individuals alleging to be endowed with supernatural powers to detect and neutralize purported sorcerers have been witnessed among the Digo. During the eradication ‘crusades’ a considerable amount of money is collected to pay for the services of the presumed experts, indicating how serious the problem is regarded in Digo region. Islam is the religion of majority of the Digo, which has influenced their thinking and world-view, and has specific teachings on the practice of sorcery. Despite substantial influence of Islam on the Digo, the people continue to belief and practice sorcery leading to the development of popular religious therapy. This article will demonstrate that popular Islamic rituals and talismans have been adopted by the Digo to assist the traditional healers in countering the forces of sorcery as a means to restoring health to individuals and the general well-being of society. In exploring the practice of sorcery as experienced by the Digo, this article demonstrates how the traditional techniques of countering sorcery are rooted in the indigenous belief system of the Digo. Both the traditional and the popular Islamic approaches of countering sorcery reveal the ability of the different world views in making remedies and medicines for the victims.


Key words: Witchcraft, Sorcery, Islam, Digo and Magic