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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The 'Leopard' Killings of Southern Annang, Nigeria, 1943-48
Author:Nwaka, Geoffrey I.
Periodical:Africa: Journal of the International African Institute
Geographic term:Nigeria
secret societies
leopard men
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
External links:https://www.jstor.org/stable/1159998
Abstract:This article examines the extraordinary outbreak of violent deaths which occurred among the Annang and Ibibio of eastern Nigeria in the mid-1940s. Rumours were current, especially in missionary circles, that a 'leopard cult' of professional assassins might be engaged in murderous activities in the area, covering the tracks of their crime by simulating the clawmarks and ravages of wild beasts. The course of events over the whole drama is outlined, paying particular attention to the nature of the killings, the role of the colonial regime, with its police, medical and judicial departments, as well as the local people in the war against genuine and fake leopards. The author contends that three types of killing were going on at the same time: customary executions carried out clandestinely by the Ekpe secret society using the leopard method; private murders disguised as Ekpe Owo, i.e. leopard men; and genuine leopard killings. P. 441-445 contain a comment by J.A.G. McCall who, as District Officer Opobo in 1947, was a prominent actor in the events described. Notes, ref., sum. in French.