witch doctor

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witch doctor:

see medicine manmedicine man,
among Native Americans and other traditional peoples as far back as Paleolithic times, a person believed to possess supernatural healing powers. Like the shaman the medicine man was a specialist in spiritual healing.
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; shamanshaman
, religious practitioner in various, generally small-scale societies who is believed to be able to diagnose, cure, and sometimes cause illness because of a special relationship with, or control over, spirits.
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.
Enlarge picture
N'Ganga, or witch doctor, in Zimbabwe. Courtesy Cynthia Hind/Fortean Picture Library.

Witch Doctor

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

A term used for a shaman or practitioner of magic and healing in primitive cultures. Among the indigenous peoples of Africa, Haiti, Australia, Polynesia, South Africa and elsewhere, the local wise man or woman who uses spells and charms to cure and exorcise may be referred to by outsiders as a Witch Doctor. He or she is akin to the Hedge Witch but has no real connection to the European Witch in the sense of a Wiccan and follower of the Old Religion.

W I T C H O F E N D O R see ENDOR, WITCH OF

witch doctor

1. a man in certain societies, esp preliterate ones, who appears to possess magical powers, used esp to cure sickness but also to harm people
2. a person who seeks out or hunts witches in some African tribal cultures