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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Witchcraft as an Issue in the 'Politics of Belonging': Democratization and Urban Migrants' Involvement with the Home Village
Authors:Geschiere, PeterISNI
Nyamnjoh, FrancisISNI
Periodical:African Studies Review
Geographic term:Cameroon
Subjects:rural-urban migration
labour migration
Religion and Witchcraft
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Urbanization and Migration
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/525354
Abstract:The authors focus on the relations between urban migrants and the home village, which in many parts of Africa seem to have become a hotbed for witchcraft accusations. They compare two different cases, from different parts of Cameroon, of witchcraft threats and efforts to contain them in the context of rural-urban relations. In both cases, the accusations are the same - they refer to a novel form of zombie witchcraft attributed to the nouveaux riches - but they are dealt with in a strikingly different manner. A Grassfields chief from the Northwest challenges the authority of the State by arresting three witchcraft suspects among his subjects in the faraway Southwest. In the segmentary societies of the southern forest area, urban elites appeal to the State for protection against vicious witchcraft accusations. In both examples, the upsurge of witchcraft accusations seems closely linked to the new emphasis on belonging and autochthony as an effect of democratization. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French.