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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Witchcraft, morality and doubt
Author:Ruel, M.
Periodical:Odý: Journal of Yoruba and Related Studies
Geographic term:Cameroon
Abstract:Banyang witchcraft is concerned with the attributes or potential abilities of individual persons in their relationships with other individuals. Banyang witchcraft beliefs pose a central problem concerning individual behaviour. What role should a Banyang play as an individual, in what ways should he direct the attributes of abilities that he finds himself individually endowed with? Moreover, in the sphere of community or political activities there is a strong emphasis upon the values of individual ability and personal achievement. This tension in the structure of the society underlines the nature of Banyang witchcraft belief. A central feature of the beliefs is the element of uncertainty, of ambivalence. The beliefs do not establish a line of conduct whose moral consequences are clear in advance of its being made. A moral problem is posed then trough the beliefs but the morality which they offer is negative and retrospective in its judgements. After a description of the general background of the Banyang and of the tension between kinship and community values follows detailed consideration of the beliefs. Reference-notes.