Witch doctor

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A witch doctor often refers to a healer in undeveloped regions who use traditional and sometimes out of date methods rather than modern medicine or science.

The term witch doctor is generally used with negative terms. It is often used to imply that the healer has little or no experience or ability in medicine.

Witch doctors in Europe[change | change source]

The Oxford English Dictionary says that the first recorded use of this term is in 1718, in a book by Francis Hutchinson.[1]

Witch doctors in Africa[change | change source]

The witch doctors in Africa are known as sangomas in Southern Africa. The Oxford English Dictionary states that the first use of the term "witch doctor" to refer to African shamans (i.e. medicine men) was in 1836 in a book by Robert Montgomery Martin (1803?-1868).[2]

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. An Historical Essay concerning Witchcraft. With Observations upon Matters of Fact: tending to clear the texts of the Sacred Scriptures, and confute the vulgar Errors about that Point, Francis Hutchinson, Printed for R. Knaplock and D. Midwinter, London, 1718.
  2. History of Southern Africa comprising the Cape of Good Hope, Mauritius, Seychelles, &c., R. Montgomery Martin, J. Mortimer, London, 1836.