Ritual specialists

This exhibition highlights a number of healing practices that are important to millions of people around the world

These healing practices are based on a different world view and knowledge system than Western medical science. In the first room of the exhibition, you are introduced to six ritual specialists working in the Netherlands. Their work is based on the principle that there is no distinction between body and mind, human beings and nature.

Marian Markelo

Marian Markelo is a nursing teacher and a Winti priestess. The literal meaning of Winti is wind, and Marian Markelo describes Winti as ‘a philosophical and religious expression from Suriname that originated during slavery.’ There are many different wintis or nature spirits. Markelo is actively involved in spreading her knowledge about Winti. She gives lectures, teaches classes, and organises festivities in honour of various wintis.

Marian Markelo winti priesteres - Helende kracht

Alfred Quenum

Alfred Quenum from Benin was still a child when his grandfather died, and he became seriously ill. His grandfather had been a kossalite, a special rank in the West African Vodun religion. Alfred's illness was therefore interpreted as a sign that he was to succeed his grandfather. When his family responded to the calling and took him to a temple, his health improved straight away. Years of Vodun training followed. Alfred Quenum has been living in Nijmegen for many years now and, in addition to his priesthood, has become a musician and theatre-maker.

Alfred Quenum Helende kracht

Marco Hardjidakis

Marco Hadjidakis is the leader of ceremonies with the Santo Daime community in The Hague. The Santo Daime religion originated in Brazil in the early twentieth century. These days, there are communities all around the world. Santo Daime contains elements of Christianity and other ancient traditions from the Amazon and West Africa. Everything revolves around the belief in 'the other world', another spiritual dimension, which you can enter by drinking daime. Daime is a drug traditionally used by South American shamans. This drink is a brew made of the vines and leaves of certain plants from the Amazon and has a mind-altering effect. Drinking this brew has great impact: Apparently, you go on a spiritual journey to deeper layers of yourself and the cosmos. This is supposed to help you better understand your own life, body, and mind.

Marco Hardjidakis

Daan van Kampenhout

Daan van Kampenhout has been studying shamanism for many years and runs classes and sessions. He has had teachers from North America and Lapland, among others, and he has developed his own shamanic method. He is also a visual artist and designer of ritual costumes. These costumes are inspired by dreams, myths, and museum collections, combined with his own artistic and spiritual interpretation. In the exhibition, you will come across work by Van Kampenhout.

Daan van Kampenhout - Helende kracht

Petra Nelstein

Because of her education and work experience in the field of palliative care and psychosocial therapy based on anthroposophy, Petra Nelstein knows Western medicine inside out. In addition, she has developed into what she herself calls a Mestizo shaman. Mestizo or Mestiza is an emotionally charged Spanish term used for people from European and indigenous South American ancestry, but for Petra Nelstein, it represents the way in which she puts together her treatments.

Petra Nelstein - Helende kracht

Coby Rijkers

Coby Rijkers grew up in her family of Brabant farmers, where she learned about plants and animals, and their medicinal properties. As an adult, Coby Rijkers visited the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic during a holiday in Boscastle in the UK and became extremely fascinated by the subject of witchcraft. Everything fell into place: elements from her youth, the medicines based on natural ingredients that her grandmother used to put together, her upbringing, and previous paranormal experiences. She also noticed a great many similarities with her field of study, biology. Back in the Netherlands, she started to study witchcraft, which has become a way of life.

Coby Rijkers - Helende kracht