Finding Folk Art

I went on an excursion today with Dr. Femke Veldman, Elisabeth Faile, and two nurses. We headed to Nakpanduri to meet two local healers (herbalists, witch doctors, what ever you want to call them) and find out about their medicines and techniques. I’ll write more on that later.

This post is about the amazing art I saw at one of the healers’ home. We had been visiting with a woman healer and she asked us to greet her father (who taught her everything about the trade). She asked me to go in the room to take his picture. Thank goodness I brought my flash because there was no window and no light – it was almost pitch black.

I could only see his feet and had to guess where he was laying. The old man that my flash revealed was a bit frightening. I turned around and noticed some drawings on the wall. I took several pictures that revealed an amazing series of paintings on his wall.

Due to the small size of the room and the various things hanging from the ceiling I couldn’t get a wide shot to show how the drawings fit together. Basically, the lion and the crocodile have chased the man up the tree and he is crying “Help Oh God”. The angel Gabriel is flying to his rescue. On another wall, directly across from the entrance was another mural of a mermaid with a snake wrapped around her head. The snake was spitting its venom(?) into a bowl she was holding.

Click images to enlarge