Beyond belief: Mining, magic and murder in Sukumaland.

Abstract

Beginning in 2008, a series of murders of albinos centred in Sukumaland hit the Tanzanian national and international press. They were linked to miners' use of lucky charms to help find mineral-rich sites and protect themselves against danger. Shrouded in a discourse of primitivism the press reports sidestepped the significance of the contextual circumstances of an artisanal mining boom firmly embedded in a global commodity chain and local profit maximization. This chapter probes the agency of those involved in the murders: the miners who purchase the albino charms, the waganga healers renowned for their healing, divination and sorcery skills who prescribe and sell the charms, and the albino murder victims. The agrarian background, miners' ambitions and a clash of values comprise our starting point for understanding the victimization of albinos.

Citation

Bryceson, D.F.; Jønsson, J.B.; Sherrington, R. Beyond belief: Mining, magic and murder in Sukumaland. In: Mining and social transformation in Africa: Mineralizing and democratizing trends in artisanal production. Routledge, Abingdon, UK (2014) 95-109. ISBN 9780415833707

Beyond belief: Mining, magic and murder in Sukumaland.

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