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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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.


The Witch Book: The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Wicca, and Neo-paganism © 2002 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.

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
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
WITCH doctors who claim to cure cancer backed down yesterday after the Daily Record exposed their profiteering lies.
Wenger insisted: ``Sometimes psychologically you try to change things to break things, but I'm not a witch doctor, I'm just a football coach.
In order to accomplish this he enlists the help of the mighty and allpowerful witch doctor, Dlondlobala.
"I'm a witch doctor, medium of the spirit of ancestors that can cure patients who are suffering," Lu said as he took a long drag from his bamboo pipe.
The Frenchman has worked throughout Africa, most recently as coach of Burkina Faso, and is known as the "white witch doctor" because of his beliefs in the less than traditional methods of football management.
Daniel Taabu and Alfred Misala were part of the crowd which turned up to witness the witch doctor, identified as Ogwang, performance.
And if it all proves to be too much the duo will take in a trip to a witch doctor to see if their bumps and scrapes can be cured.
Thiruvananthapuram: Police in Kerala have arrested a self-styled witch doctor on charges of causing the death of a woman from Kollam district following "treatment" he administered to her.
I convinced him to see my chiropractor, Matt Crowe, although he reacted as if he was going to a witch doctor.
He added: "They did a play - complete with a witch doctor, which frightened some of the little children!
I know a witch doctor from Birmingham who could let you in to the secret for just a few thousand quid.
Africa Africa reflects the heartbeat of the continent as it tells the story of a young apprentice witch doctor who discovers, while reading the bones, that he is soon to be married.