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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Witchcraft and the Exchange of Sex, Blood, and Money among Africans in Cape Town, South Africa
Author:Bähre, ErikISNI
Periodical:Journal of Religion in Africa
Geographic term:South Africa
Urbanization and Migration
Religion and Witchcraft
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Abstract:In postapartheid South Africa, witchcraft is an ever-growing concern, as political liberation has not led to liberation from occult sources. Among Xhosa migrants in Cape Town the discourse on witchcraft examined by the author revealed very specific problems that people encountered within close relationships. The lived conflicts, anxieties, and desires were revealed in the exchange of sex, blood and money. This same pattern of exchange appeared in witchcraft, and particularly the role of witch familiars. Witch familiars - creatures that assist a witch in its malicious deeds, for example, 'thikoloshe' or half-children - embodied the anxieties and desires that people experienced on a daily basis concerning sex, blood, and the flows of money in intimate relations. The structural problems that were part of the migrants' social configurations were thus revealed in a structural pattern of exchange within witchcraft. Bibliogr., notes, ref. sum.