"charms, gifts of witch-men"
Central African witch doctor (c. 1920-30)
Public DomainCentral African witch doctor (c. 1920-30) - Credit: Library of Congress

The witch doctor is a type of healer who uses traditional healing techniques rather than contemporary medicine, in a similar manner to a shaman or medicine man. The term witch doctor, a common translation from the Zulu inyanga, has been misconstrued to mean a healer who uses witchcraft, rather than its original meaning of one who diagnoses and cures maladies caused by witches. African witch doctors were emphatically not in themselves witches.

 

The Witch Doctor, from The World's Wonders (1884)
Public Domain'The Witch Doctor' (1884) - Credit: J. W. Buel