Tanzanians have built a secular and socialist state, progressing in the delivery of essential services. Show simple item record. Witches, as persons empowered through medicines, were humans transformed through excessively human appetites, a transformation which, though intentional, could be reversed through shaving Green Witchcraft is examined as a socially constructed system of meaning and action which confront ruling elites with paradox and dilemma. As Mary Douglas has argued, notions of evil are less significant in practice than how people respond to the suffering it is claimed to cause and under what conditions attributions of responsibility lead to some form of restituitive action Not only does the senior wife whom she suspects publicly display qualities antithetical to those associated with witches.

From the beginning of the twentieth century to around the mid s, it was usual practice for witchcraft suppression specialists to visit villages where the logic of treating witches and accusers together justified the mass shaving of all villagers. Villagisation in the s put an end to mobile anti witchcraft specialists who were prevented by the authorities from visiting newly established villages. All are frail and elderly. Individuals take action against witchcraft by going to diviners in order to confirm the identities of witches, by seeking protective medicines and by altering their own behaviour towards the suspected witch. Her husband, meanwhile, became afflicted in the space of three months by one serious medical problem after another. Would you also like to submit a review for this item?

This phenomenon is investigated and its distinguishing characteristics delineated. Write a review Rate this item: However, formatting rules can vary widely between applications and thesks of interest or study.

The dissertation deals with these conditions of dilemma among Tanzanians generally and then among one ethnic group, the Sukuma, specifically.

mesaki witchcraft thesis

Their programs of economic development and “villagization” counter some material and social causes of witchcraft but promote yet others. An African Diviner with an International Reputation. The E-mail Address es field is required. Political liberalisation during the s had significant impacts on the management of witchcraft. I have known him for twenty years and we often visit the old healers together.


Thomas lives in a house built by his late mother who died in Such grave mendings and sweepings are an important part of annual sadaka to remember the dead Green A flourishing network of diviners and healers work to identify witches and provide medicines to address the harm caused by witchcraft attack. Techniques of Sorcery Control in Central Africa. Until the mid twentieth century deactivating the powers of witches was mostly in the hands of diviners of territorial shrines wambuibut was gradually assumed by peripatetic witchcraft suppression specialists, some of whom, such mesakj Chikanga Redmayne and Nguvumali Swantz became very famous across large parts of the country Willis Witchcraft and Sorcery in East Africa.

Some features of WorldCat witchceaft not be available. The death was a serious enough event for animosities between the households to be temporarily suspended. The Changing Context of Witchcraft These two instances, which are at the time of writing on-going, present a snapshot of how institutions and practices related to witchcraft are changing and how ideas about witchcraft become actionable in these changed times.

Witchcraft and Witch-Killings in Tanzania: Paradox and Dilemma

I ensure that I make equal contributions towards their treatment and that these are known publicly. Thus they adopted a policy of “watchful tolerance” towards witchcraft cleansing. What kinds of institutional infrastructure creates the possibilities for evil to assume capacities for agency in social practice?

He had been to the mission dispensary but was evidently in need of hospital care. These rituals involve shaving off the head hair and, less frequently, the meesaki hair, of suspected witches. Would you also like to submit a review for this item?

mesaki witchcraft thesis

Please verify that you are not a robot. The introduction of a modern mortuary with refrigeration at the district hospital since enables families to defer burials until they are ready.

Witchcraft and Witch-Killings in Tanzania: Paradox and Dilemma

Stakes in witchcraft related conflicts were significant in that relationships could be affected but they did not determine access to assets. In the absence of supporting institutional sanction for the public identification and capture of alleged witches, those acting for victims can no longer rely on the intervention of public authorities but must strive to capture those they suspect within particular relations witchcrart increase the possibility that they will consent to meaaki.


The nephew has widespread support from kin and neighbours and a reputation for helping other villagers. Whether these suspicions can be acted upon is now more complicated than previously as police and state officials protect the rights of alleged witches not to be taken for shaving.

Operating under their deceased relatives name each provides a fast and efficient two day treatment for witches and their accusers at their respective homesteads in each district some eighty miles apart.

Witchcraft and witch-killings in Tanzania : paradox and dilemma (Book, ) []

Log In Sign Up. On the day of the burial, Thomas and his wife acted as full participants in the events, performing the proper roles of related mourners in support of the lead mourners who were the son and wife of the deceased.

Tanzania provides an especially poignant case of such dilemmas.

The older brother of the dead man was not widely respected in the village where he had not lived since he was very young. His habits and wealth, his disengagement from the obligations of kinship and his apparent reluctance to contribute to sending his brother to hospital were all cited.

Where anti witchcraft specialists operate from their homesteads, those accused of witchcraft frequently travel with their accusers, and all participate in the shaving ritual which culminates in eating a meal together.