A Svikiro is primarily known to get possessed by ancestral spirits and will give advice based on that communication, an agent of the ancestors.
The word comes from the verb kusvika meaning 'to arrive at or reach a place'.It also stems from "kusvikirwa" meaning 'to arrive upon' , as it is believed that the ancestral spirits arrive in the bodies of the mediums. 
Other types of mediums (svikiro) include "mhondoro" which are possessed by the ancestor spirits of the same name. Mhondoro means lion in the Shona Language. It is believed that mhondoro spirits reside in the bodies on maneless lion until they have a host to possessed. Mhondoro spirits are royal ancestral spirits of deceased chief and kings or any other royals.The believed to be concerned with matter of the clan and territories including the nation.
- Chloe Frommer, "Bodies, Capsules and Fetishes: The Transfer of Control Over Traditional Medicinal Knowledge in Zimbabwe," Discussion Paper No. 97, Centre for Developing-Area Studies (CDAS), McGill University, 2002
- Spirit Mediums of among the Shona
- Diana Aureta, "The Mhondoro spirits of supratribal significance in the culture of the Shona," African Studies, Vol 41, Issue 2, 1982, pp. 173-187
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