PRINCE LUKANGA : a royal healer

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Famous healer Prince Lukanga is descended from the kings of Buganda, the kingdom at the heart of present day Uganda. He has a large compound in the heart of Kampala, where hundreds of people were waiting for the great man when I arrived to film with him. In the compound are various huts where patients are treated, some outbuildings where patients who require lengthy treatment stay, and a number of shrines dedicated to healing spirits.

Lukanga uses his large knowledge of herbs to heal people, but also goes into trance to get the advice of spirits, and he uses a rather spectacular method to drain poisonous substances and bad spirits from a patient.


Lukanga in his sacred hut


The first patient he treated was a man who had a successful shop with imported goods from China. Lately, whenever he went to his shop, he had visions and felt unwell. Lukanga determined that he had been bewitched by relatives from his home village. Using a cowhorn into which he put an unpeeled egg (brought by the patient himself) he heated it, pressed it to the man’s skin and drew the bad spirits out of him and into the egg. He then peeled the egg and showed the contents, strange black shapes not normally found in an egg.


treating a woman with leg problems

  Lukanga is also a proficient bone setter. He set the thighbone of the woman with the red pants right, after it had come out of its socket. Later in the day I filmed a spirit session, in which Lukanga went into a trance and the spirits spoke through him to various people who came and kneeled before him. The spirits revealed the reasons for their various sicknesses; in all cases it concerned withcraft practiced by evil relatives.


the spear altar in the shrine




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