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Memories of Violence, Cultural Transformations of Cannibals, and Indigenous State-Building in Post-Conflict Mozambique

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 July 2014

Victor Igreja*
Affiliation:
University of Queensland

Abstract

This article explores how accusations of cannibalism in post-conflict Mozambique, which were leveled in the context of individually driven and protracted struggles, albeit with cultural spinoffs, have contributed to ongoing and contested forms of social transformation in the country. The accusations were accentuated by the mobilizing effects of memories of violence and interventions of the mass media, which in turn highlighted the enduring struggle over the politics of local recognition and authority and its dynamic and broader links to state-building and legitimacy in Mozambique. This analysis traces the origins of cannibal accusations in culture and politics and, through a discussion of the biographies of concrete social actors and their open and discreet struggles, has wider repercussions for the study of the role of indigenous beliefs about, and fears of, cannibals and witches on state-building in post-conflict countries.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Society for the Comparative Study of Society and History 2014 

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