(top to bottom)
1. Reda’s mom - a beautiful and talented Afrikaan school teacher and artist!
2. One of her beautiful crocheted works — adorned with glass beads.
3. A crocheted glass cover.
4. Nurse researcher and clinician Reda Jacobs with her daughter, Le-Marie.
5. Marie with Reda’s mother.
The UJ doctoral nursing student who took me to Limpopo province, soon-to-be Dr. Reda Jacobs, was kind enough to have me in her home in Polokwane. Her mom and dad live with them and her mother - a school teacher of many years, was an absolute delight! She is not only beautiful - but also very talented. She crochets the most beautiful works and uses glass beads to adorn the beautiful stitchery. I was amazed that she could do such fine work at near 80 years of age! She truly creates art! See photos above
From top to bottom:
1 & 2. Maria, the traditional healer, with Fulbrighter Marie Hastings-Tolsma
3. Goat skin used as part of healing.
4. Burner used to burn herbs in her office. She has the person being healed sit next to the burner, places a blanket over them and has them breathe in the smoke.
5. Cattle horns taken from a sacrificed cow. Maria uses the horns to speak with her ancestors during healing sessions. Her ancestors guide her in healing.
6. Goat skins hanging behind her house — drying for later use in healing.
7. Maria’s office used for healing. The building is behind the main home. Of note, she must do well as a healer as her home was by far the nicest in the community.
8. Maria’s mother who lives with her.
While in Limpopo, I had the opportunity to meet with a Traditional Healer, Maria, and discuss her work. She has a master’s degree in education but is not longer teaching. She had the calling from her ancestor’s about 10 years ago. She now heals those who need her healing services. People come to see her for aches, pains, general worries, and for some, because they feel they have had a curse placed on them by a witch doctor.
She told me that once or twice a year she has a healing ceremony where many, many people come to participate. At the ceremony she sings, dances, and speaks with the ancestors. In addition, a cow or goat are sacrificed and the blood is smeared on the person she is healing with the meat given to the people. These two animals hold special significance for traditional healers. The animal skins are put on a rack behind her house to dry — then used later in sessions with individuals.
In individual healing sessions, she prays, dances, speaks to her ancestors through the horns of cattle, and burns herbs so that individuals can breathe in the smoke for healing purposes. She also mixes herbs for specific conditions - including pregnancy. For pregnant women, herb use typically begins in the last month or so — and are used again following birth.
(top) Marie outside shop in Haenertsburg, South Africa.
(2nd down) Le-Marie — my lovely tour guide and driver!
(3rd down) Cafe worker…lovely dress…
(4th down) Cafe owner (and a midwife too!) with her pet pot-belly pig!….Her “baby”!
(5th down) Penelope the Pig roams about — cleans up around cafe visitors. Was also told that the pig is house broken…geez! :-)
(bottom) (Marie) Haenertsburg, SA’s main street on a beautiful fall day.
The daughter of one of UJ’s nursing doctoral students, Le-Marie, was kind enough to act as my tour guide and driver so that I was able to see some of the countryside. We went to one small village in the eastern portion of Limpopo — not too far from Kruger National Park. It is very hilly there — beautiful landscape with tons of pine trees. In fact, they have a mill there. We spent some time in one small village — Haenertsburg — very quaint, quiet, and peaceful with small shops and a few key shops (grocery, couple of restaurants, and a bar).
(top) Sweet little 2 y/o in Nobody, Limpopo.
(bottom) Her 4 y/o sister stands in front of their home.
(top) cows being herded down a street in Nobody, Limpopo.
(middle) This man spends his day herding the cows. He carried a big bull whip and had a dog and they drive the cows to different fields to graze.
(bottom) heading to an open field at the end of the street
I was invited to travel to Limpopo province and it was just a wonderful experience. Limpopo is one of 9 South African provinces and you can see where it is on the map below (I am living in Gauteng province — pronounced “how-ting”). We visited one small town and experienced a bit of rural South African life. Above are pictures of housing in the town of Nobody — which has a population of a a few hundred.
(top) Panelists (left to right): Dr. Yolanda Havenga, Prof Marie Poggenpoel, Prof Chris Myburgh, and Prof Anna Nolte
(bottom) Panelists Prof Jeannette Maritz and Prof Elzabe Nel