The Healing Power: The Case of Malome and Motjhana in Sesotho
Basotho consider themselves “Tjhabana sa kgomo" meaning people united by the cow. This means, it is a highly related nation. The family connections, most of which emanate from marriage are maintained and carried down to the subsequent generations. These bonds are highly valued and all parties have an obligation towards one another. Although everyone has a role in the maintenance of the bonds/networks, others are central in the kinship network. Using the functionalist theory, the paper explores the role of the maternal uncle ‘malome’ in the social well-being of his sister’s children ‘batjhana’ and the rationale behind the role culture allotted him. The finding points at malome as a healer and a performer of some social rituals meant to save the lives of his batjhana. It is hypothesized that this follows the patriarchal nature of the Basotho nation. As a successor and constant member of the family malome is entrusted to be a primary linker in most kinship relationships.