Witches and witch-hunters: Witchcraft, generational relations and the life cycle in a Lowveld village

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18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article 1 describes witchcraft accusations and witch-hunting in a lowveld village in the former ‘homeland’ district of Mhala, Gazankulu. Two dominant trends are revealed. Firstly, middle-aged men and the elderly are the prime targets of witchcraft accusations. Secondly, the younger generation have assumed a leading role in anti-witchcraft campaigns. The article seeks to explain these phenomena from the perspective of generational relations and concepts of the life cycle. The phenomenon of witchcraft is examined on two levels. At the level of private accusations, individuals at certain stages of the life cycle are thought to be predisposed to practising witchcraft and are thus more vulnerable to accusations of witchcraft With regard to public witchhunts, the role of young men as witch-hunters can be seen as an attempt by the younger generation to displace elders’ authority.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-110
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal of Phytoremediation
Volume55
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Plant Science

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