Healing for Peace: Traditional Healers and Post-War Reconstruction in Southern Mozambique

Authored by: Alcinda M. Honwana

Categories: Statebuilding
Sub-Categories: Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Transitional Justice
Country: Mozambique
Region: Sub-Saharan Africa
Year: 1997
Citation: Honwana, Alcinda M. "Healing for Peace: Traditional Healers and Post-War Reconstruction in Southern Mozambique." Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology 3, no. 3 (1997): 293–305.

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After a long period of social and material destruction as a consequence of regional destabilisation and civil war, Mozambique has to confront both its material rehabilitation and its social reconstruction. This article analyses the social and cultural impact of the war and discusses strategies for post-war healing and social reconstruction. It examines more particularly the role that traditional practitioners and the family can play in healing the social wounds of the war in rural communities. Bearing in mind that the majority of the population affected by the war is rural, the article suggests that in this context these traditional institutions are essential in bringing back balance, harmony, and social stability. This is so because the philosophy that underlines the practices of these institutions is embedded in the cosmological model that regulates social life, particularly in rural communities.