Garikai Tirikoti

Mbira has been used in spiritual ceremonies since ancient times. Recently, it has been used in a type of "spiritual therapy" called a function. During a function, an ancestral spirit descends to the sight of the function for the purpose of purification and healing. The functions of Mr. Garikai are quite remarkable.

Mr.Garikai and a wife before a function.
It shows a slight some strain.

The First Day

Mr. Garikai's functions go on for three days. On the first day, four people gather and start playing mbira at around noon. Inside the house the participants make offerings to the ancestral spirits. These offerings typically consist of rice or corn powder. Sometimes a cock is even sacrificed. Mr. Garikai's wife acts as the spirit medium. The sound of the mbira plays a major role in the function, as it helps bring the spirits down to earth. People often start crying or screaming out of the blue as these spirits enter the room.

The age or sex of the participants does not matter in these ceremonies. It is not uncommon for people to start dancing or jumping around. When the sun sets, the participants drink a special alcohol called "Seven Days," made with fermented ground millet. The alcohol is used in many types of ceremonies in Zimbabwe.

The mbira players play continuously until night falls and eventually a spirit will enter the body of the medium. The voice of a bird or a strange cry, like that of an American Indian, is often heard. The medium may convulse or shake as the other participants serve the medium water. Around the time the sound of the mbira is replaced by the sound of a preacher. The sound of the mbira picks up again and the function continues until dawn.


While the mbira players rotate, the music goes on continuously for three days.

The Second Day

The performers take a break in the morning and a goat is taken out in the garden and sacrificed. Three adults and three children take the goat to the back of the house. The goat is often aware of what is about to happen and starts to act violently. The goat is hit on the back and its hind legs are grabbed by the children while one adult grabs in front legs. The man assigned to role takes a knife and cuts down on the neck of the crying goat as blood begins to flow profusely. The goat cries until the blade reaches the vocal chords and the head comes off. The goat continues to thrash and move until it loses enough blood to make the heart stop. Children who had been playing with the goat since its birth typically cry, their cheeks wet with tears.

Next, someone puts a blade to the goat's anus and begins to skin it untilt the animal becomes nothing but a piece of meat.

Finally, the meat is shared among the participants for lunch.
The mbira and the dancing resume again and continue until night.


The goat which was considered to be a sacrifice

The Third Day

The mbira performance goes on until the morning, with participants sitting around the center of a tree in a circle. Mr. Garikai's wife wears the clothes of an Arabian, as it is said that she was an Arabian three live's before her current incarnation. She then comes out to the garden where a man with holy water in a wooden bowl appears. Somone cracks a number of raw eggs that are put in a big glass for her to drink. During this she continually puffs on a cigarette which relaxes the body and mind. She then points at someone in the crowd who is being troubled by a negative spirit. The man with the holy water looks into his or her eyes and tells the bad spirit to leave the body. Sometimes the negative spirit is extremely stubborn and refuses to leave the body and resists until the person is dragged in the middle of a ring as holy water is splashed over the head, pouring down to the feet. When the spirit finally leaves the body, the woman or woman lets out a large cry and appears as if he or she is fainting. Mr. Garikai's wife continues with the process and points out the next negative spirit as Mr. Garikai continues playing mbira.

The function continues until a short lunch break. The man with the holy water declares that the negative spirits have left.

The participants who have been freed of their negative spirits resume things as normal. At last, a long function is over. The last sound of the mbira echo into the distance and light shines down on the earth as participants show their thanks and grattitude to Mr. Garikai and his wife.


Please click lower "sound button" to Listen a sound of Function !



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