Namadu drum music and dance as mediation of healing rituals among the Bagwere people of Uganda
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This article reports on a study that investigated the namadu healing ritual of the Bagwere people of Uganda. The ritual involves drumming, singing and dancing, as well as sacrificing chicks, birds and animals towards gaining spiritual, emotional and physical healing of afflicted clan members. This music and dance mediated ritual is no longer commonly performed in African indigenous communities, and has not previously received scholarly attention. The current study sought to find out the deeper meaning of this indigenous heritage; what modern society could learn from it; and its viability in a contemporary context. Ethnographic data was obtained through observation, interviews, focus group discussions, and analysis of extant videos and photographs. The findings revealed that the namadu ritual embeds cultural identity, and increases agency in communities. Further, the music and dance have been re-invented into a royal and social entertainment, and a cultural festival for the Bagwere Cultural Union (BCU) and communities, respectively.