© 2023 Dr Margaret Sheppard


Traditional Life - Kgotla, Household, Lands, Cattlepost

Life Cycle - Rites de Passage customs - birth,engagement, marriage, death, Ancestors etc.

Dikgafela - Harvest thanksgiving and prayers for rain

Traditional Medicine - beliefs and practitioners

Sorcery - Boloi

Zion Churches - beliefs and practices, prophets and services, uniforms


Other Zion Churches

Bibliography - to 1983

Sri Lanka

Beliefs - New Enterprises, Unlucky Days, New Year, Clairvoyants, Holy Tree,Shrines, New Statue Consecration

Life - Life Cycle Events and how they are acknowledged - birth, puberty, engagement, marriage, death etc.

Peraheras - religious carnivals

Celebrations - Thorons and Lanterns, Temple Fund Raising

Pilgrims - Temples, Pilgrimages,

Katina - Temple Fundraising

Good Works - Feeding the Monks, feeding travellers (Dana) etc. - these gain merit

Veddah - Sri Lanka’s indigenous peoples

Occupations - Tea, Fishing, Rice, Building, Coconuts, Cinnamon, Markets, Chena, Businesses

Health - Tovil (Devil Dance Ceremonies) to cure demon caused health issues, other options

Demons - The main demons and the Sannis of the Demon Kingdom

Structures - constructions used for Tovils/Devil Dances

Costumes and Masks - worn by practitioners for Tovil and Deity ceremonies

Dances  - Evening, Midnight,  and Morning Watch Dances, Fire Dance

Specialist Tovils - Baby, Fishermen’s, Bali and Family Tovils, and Sesanthi Puja

Deities - brief outline of Deities and their influence on humanity, Deity  illnesses etc.

Pattini Ceremonies - Community Pattinis, Family Pattini, Tsunami Tovil

Janashakthi Bank - A Sri Lankan approach to poverty relief


Website Contents

This website represents research conducted over several decades by Dr Margaret Sheppard.

During the 1970s -1980s the fieldwork was  located in rural Botswana and mid 1990s - 2015 in Sri Lanka.