The Spirits of Africa: The Lala, Zambia & Taming Wild Spirits

    Wednesday June 4, 2014 @ 1:00 PM

    Price: $15.00

    Buy Tickets

    All over Africa, traditional healers and their ancient knowledge of nature and spirituality are disappearing fast. Spirits of Africa is a series of documentaries that records and preserves their wisdom. Featuring The Lala, Zambia: a river cleansing ceremony and Taming Wild Spirits. Post-screening discussion with Lee Van Zyl.

    The Lala: Spirit Hospital Possession Dance
    2013, Africa, Ton Van der Lee, 12 min.

    In this short, we meet Shula Marindi, a traditional healer in the bush of central Zambia. She runs what she calls a 'spirit hospital'. Shula is possessed by three healing spirits. She sees up to 50 patients a day, and some stay for weeks in the compound of her hospital. When she sees a patient she goes into trance, the spirits come into her, which then tell her what the problem is and how to treat it. Finally, she also cures madness and drives out bad spirits in a healing dance.

    Zambia: a river cleansing ceremony

    (2013, Africa, Ton Van der Lee, 10 min.)

    In this video we see the traditional healer Chushi driving out the bad spirits that haunt two women. He takes them to a holy river, sprinkles them with herbs and water, and beats them with branches to chase away the evil spirit of their dead husband. Such bad spirits usually haunt widows who have not performed the proper rites after the death of their husband, like abstaining from sex for a certain period. This video was shot in the land of the Lala people in the remote mountains of northern Zambia.

    Doctor Chushi is possessed by seven healing spirits who speak through his mouth when he goes into trance and they heal his patients. Together these spirits have decided to call themselves Chushi, or 'Smoke', because they want the healing work of the doctor to spread far, just like smoke when you light a fire.

    The ceremony had a strong sense of purity and connection with the spirits of nature which impressed me with its spiritual force.

    Taming Wild Spirits
    2013, Africa, Ton Van der Lee, 10 min.

    This woman is possessed by wild healing spirits but cannot control them yet. She shakes, moans and dances wildly. An experienced spirit healer, Dr. Luchele, helps her to understand and harness them in order for her to heal other people.

    About The Speaker

    Lee Van Zyl, a medium & healer is from Pretoria, South Africa and spent most of her adult life, as a lawyer. She was actively involved in the prosecution of many of the witchcraft trials during the early 1990’s in rural South Africa during the uprising. She lives and works in NYC /NJ where she owns a school for mediums & healers.