Magical Interpretations, Material Realities: Modernity, Witchcraft and the Occult in Postcolonial Africa

By Todd Sanders

This quantity units out contemporary considering on witchcraft in Africa, paying specific consciousness to adaptations in meanings and practices. It examines the best way diverse humans in numerous contexts are making experience of what 'witchcraft' is and what it could actually mean. Using contemporary ethnographic fabrics from around the continent, the quantity explores how witchcraft articulates with specific glossy settings for instance: the country in Cameroon; Pentecostalism in Malawi; the collage process in Nigeria and the IMF in Ghana, Sierra Leone and Tanzania. The editors supply a well timed evaluation and reconsideration of long-standing anthropological debates approximately 'African witchcraft', whereas concurrently elevating broader matters in regards to the theories of the western social sciences.

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By Todd Sanders

This quantity units out contemporary considering on witchcraft in Africa, paying specific consciousness to adaptations in meanings and practices. It examines the best way diverse humans in numerous contexts are making experience of what 'witchcraft' is and what it could actually mean. Using contemporary ethnographic fabrics from around the continent, the quantity explores how witchcraft articulates with specific glossy settings for instance: the country in Cameroon; Pentecostalism in Malawi; the collage process in Nigeria and the IMF in Ghana, Sierra Leone and Tanzania. The editors supply a well timed evaluation and reconsideration of long-standing anthropological debates approximately 'African witchcraft', whereas concurrently elevating broader matters in regards to the theories of the western social sciences.

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The abosom-brafo live an excessive amount of on obayi (witchcraft), advised the son of 1 well known leader within the district. The ‘young aristocracy’ decry the neighborhood abosom-brafo shrines, regardless of their obtrusive power and sporadic advertisement good fortune, for casting disgrace upon their actual African background ‘by encouraging the worshipping of stones, rocks and different fetishes’. The shrines, in Joe’s view, perpetuate eu myths approximately African evil reminiscent of witchcraft and fetish. Ben, the nephew of a royal stool-holder, defined those shrines as encouraging ideals approximately witchcraft that have no position in twentieth-century Ghana.

Nyamnjoh protecting relatives team spirit and redistributing the end result in their luck, it truly is obvious that the broader kin is necessary in their slim definition of family members and good fortune. so long as the bigger relations isn't really built-in in actual fact and unambiguously, so long as they don't seem to be made to believe a part of that good fortune, there's a challenge. back we see improvement or modernity within the Grassfields as an primarily inegalitarian strategy in which few have fun, even if there's restricted luck. Mysterious deaths and dying threats are meant to instil cause in all that capricious modernity has to be encountered together to make sure that participants and their family triumph jointly, or convenience each other in the event that they fail.

Many Protectorate chiefs came upon those assets of their skill, via their new place as brokers of presidency, to ‘eat their chiefdom’ (Dorjahn 1960: 111). whereas with regards to the govt itself their powers have been curtailed, the exams and balances that had previously curbed abuses of chiefly energy over their matters have been long past. For southern Temne chiefs – sacred figures who shouldn't be allowed to die a usual dying – an important constraint had lain within the powers in their counsellors and subchiefs (e-kaper), who have been empowered to kill the manager whilst he fell in poor health.

We fail to remember their phrases. ’ George, Kwesi’s nephew, agreed that greed is a attribute this present day of these who search to shop for talismans at a ‘rural’ shrine. He notion that the position of the ‘rural’ shrine has replaced. while as soon as it performed a huge functionality in neighborhood affairs comparable to aiding ill humans and selling honesty and humility, this day there are shrine-priests and shrine-clients who're blinded by way of their very own thirst for funds. He believed that if the shrine back to its unique functionality, to serve Onyame and coaching kindness and humility, then many Christians may see that the shrine deals otherwise of praying, albeit an African approach.

Wilson (ed. ) Rationality, Oxford: Blackwell. Hunter, M. (1936) response to Conquest, Cape city: David Philip. Keesing, R. (1985) ‘Conventional metaphor and anthropological metaphysics: the frustrating of cultural translation’, magazine of Anthropological study forty-one: 201–217. Kopytoff, I. (1964) ‘Family and lineage one of the Suku of the Congo’, in R. F. grey and P. H. Gulliver (eds) The family members property in Africa, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. Krige, E. J. and Krige, J. D. (1943) the world of a Rain-Queen: A examine of the trend of Lovedu Society, London: Oxford collage Press.

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