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.


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
References in periodicals archive ?
The NAPTIP boss, however, explained that some of the local witch doctors said they were not properly briefed by the traffickers on the natural business they do.
The government has launched a crackdown on witch doctors and traditional healers who are responsible for orchestrating attacks against persons with albinism.
He says the killers believed their victims were witch doctors who had been extorting money and demanding sex from poor jungle villagers for supernatural services.
Residents said that at least three military pickup trucks filled with soldiers descended on a street of corrugated tin shops, looking for Aaa local witch doctor.
Police believe parts of the bodies of 11 murdered and mutiliated albino men, women and children were smuggled across the border into Tanzania and sold to witch doctors, who claim albinos' flesh brings luck in love, life and business.
And as Csaba cranked himself up for Saturday's Tynecastle tussle he laughed: "The witch doctors are part of the culture over there.
The Russians today are spending millions trying to research the way to relay and receive thought messages - this thing that the witch doctors in Africa manage with so little effort.
COMPLAINTS about spiritual healers and witch doctors are on the rise, Birmingham trading standards warned.
But Andrew Bainbridge has travelled 4,000 miles for an appointment with a difference - with some traditional African witch doctors.
WITCH doctors who claim to cure cancer backed down yesterday after the Daily Record exposed their profiteering lies.
The topics include witchcraft, witch doctors, and the fight against superstition in 19th-century Germany; mid-Victorian stories and beliefs about the witch and the detective; and witchcraft, healing, and vernacular magic in Italy.
In comments that are sure to anger the Catholic Church, the outspoken rock star also said that witch doctors are no different to parish priests in Ireland.