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ufufunyane


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A culture-bound syndrome found mainly among young women in Zulu-speaking and Xhosa-speaking communities of southern Africa, and in Kenya where it is called saka, attributed locally to spirit possession, witchcraft, or magical potions administered by rejected lovers or enemies, characterized by shouting, sobbing, pseudolalia, paralysis, convulsions, nightmares (1) with sexual themes, and trance or loss of consciousness. It is feared and despised among local communities and is sharply distinguished from thwasa (see spell). Among Xhosa-speaking people the plural form amafufunyane is used to denote the syndrome. [From Zulu ufufunyane a character or voice that has entered and taken control of a person, from ukufuya to possess (such things as herds of cattle) or to treat a person as a possession]


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