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Witchcraft

  • E. E. Evans-Pritchard
Extract

There are few, if any, African societies which do not believe in witchcraft of one type or another. These types can be classified and their areas of distribution marked out. Thus we have the ‘evil eye’ type, the likundu type, and the kindoki type, and doubtless other variations could be distinguished. But though some notion which we can describe as a belief in witchcraft is found in maybe every African society it is far from playing a uniform part in each. In many communities, including the one from which the information used in this paper was gathered, witchcraft is a function of a wide range of social behaviour, while in others it has little ideological importance. In this paper my conclusions about the social relations of the witchcraft concept are drawn from twenty months experience of the Azande nation of the Nile-Uelle divide, where witchcraft is a ubiquitous notion. Whether what is true of this people is true of many other African communities I cannot say.

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Africa
  • ISSN: 0001-9720
  • EISSN: 1750-0184
  • URL: /core/journals/africa
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