MBIRA: Healing Music of Zimbabwe
Author : Azim, Erica
Erica Kundidzora Azim
Mbira music has been used by the Shona people of Zimbabwe to heal physical and mental illness for more than a millennium. For the Shona, healing results from both the mbira’s sound and its power to summon ancestor spirits who influence the health of the living. The Shona describe that–when you listen to mbira, you are a spirit. Your thoughts and worries are gone and your body can heal. The sound of mbira will affect you with or without your belief in its healing power. There is no music as sacred and touching as mbira. Mbira music is circular in form. The fundamental melodic and rhythmic lines of an mbira song repeat themselves in spiraling cycles, drawing musician and listener into a state of meditation. In this state, mind and body find balance and natural vitality asserts itself.