Possessed By The Water Spirit


Cobalt Stone (Serpentine)

  • 28cm (h)
  • 18cm (w)
  • 14.5cm (d)


“A man who is possessed by the spirit of the water.”

This is the njuzu, the mudzimu (spirit) wemamvura (that is in the water). They are usually thought of as being female. This piece is Edward’s interpretation of the njuzu myth, one of the most frequently explored myths in Shona sculpture.

Here’s Edward’s retelling of the story…

“A person is chosen by the spirit, they just stop what they are doing and run to the water and jump in. The people who see this happen must not mourn, they must call the traditional drummers to the waterside. They must drum there every day, with dancing, for a few hours, for maybe a week or more until the person is returned. They have been under the water, being taught the power of herbal medicine by the njuzus. The person comes back as a n’anga, a medicine man and diviner, who can cure people or tell them if they about to become ill. He is also a great fisherman as the fish are attracted to him, he is watery.”