Spellbound: Inside West Africa's Witch Camps

Spellbound Inside West Africa s Witch Camps As I attempted to digest stories of spiritual cannibalism of curses that could cost a student her eyesight or ignite the pages of the books she read I knew I was not alone in my skepticism And yet

  • Title: Spellbound: Inside West Africa's Witch Camps
  • Author: KarenPalmer
  • ISBN: 9781439120507
  • Page: 489
  • Format: Hardcover
  • As I attempted to digest stories of spiritual cannibalism, of curses that could cost a student her eyesight or ignite the pages of the books she read, I knew I was not alone in my skepticism And yet, when I caught sight of the waving arms of an industrious scarecrow, the hair on the back of my neck would stand on end It was most palpable at night, this creepy feeling, whAs I attempted to digest stories of spiritual cannibalism, of curses that could cost a student her eyesight or ignite the pages of the books she read, I knew I was not alone in my skepticism And yet, when I caught sight of the waving arms of an industrious scarecrow, the hair on the back of my neck would stand on end It was most palpable at night, this creepy feeling, when the moon stayed low to the horizon and the dust kicked up in the breeze, reaching out and pulling back with ghostly fingers There was something to this place that could be felt but not seen With these words, Karen Palmer takes us inside one of West Africa s witch camps, where hundreds of banished women struggle to survive under the watchful eye of a powerful wizard Palmer arrived at the Gambaga witch camp with an outsider s sense of outrage, believing it was little than a dumping ground for difficult women Soon, however, she encountered stories she could not explain a woman who confessed she d attacked a girl given to her as a sacrifice another one desperately trying to rid herself of the witchcraft she believed helped her kill dozens of people.In Spellbound, Palmer brilliantly recounts the kaleidoscope of experiences that greeted her in the remote witch camps of northern Ghana, where than 3,000 exiled women and men live in extreme poverty, many sentenced in a ceremony hinging on the death throes of a sacrificed chicken.As she ventured deeper into Ghana s grasslands, Palmer found herself swinging between belief and disbelief She was shown books that caught on fire for no reason and met diviners who accurately predicted the future From the schoolteacher who believed Africa should use the power of its witches to gain wealth and prestige to the social worker who championed the rights of accused witches but also took his wife to a witch doctor, Palmer takes readers deep inside a shadowy layer of rural African society.As the sheen of the exotic wore off, Palmer saw the camp for what it was a hidden colony of women forced to rely on food scraps from the weekly market She witnessed the way witchcraft preyed on people s fears and resentments Witchcraft could be a comfort in times of distress, a way of explaining a crippling drought or the inexplicable loss of a child It was a means of predicting the unpredictable and controlling the uncontrollable But witchcraft was also a tool for social control In this vivid, startling work of first person reportage, Palmer sheds light on the plight of women in a rarely seen corner of the world.

    • Spellbound: Inside West Africa's Witch Camps by KarenPalmer
      489 KarenPalmer
    • thumbnail Title: Spellbound: Inside West Africa's Witch Camps by KarenPalmer
      Posted by:KarenPalmer
      Published :2019-04-23T12:00:19+00:00

    2 thoughts on “Spellbound: Inside West Africa's Witch Camps

    1. KarenPalmer Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Spellbound: Inside West Africa's Witch Camps book, this is one of the most wanted KarenPalmer author readers around the world.

    2. This journalist's account of witchcraft accusations and refugee camps for the accused in northern Ghana started out very strongly, but flagged a bit in the middle. It needed more focus on a few individuals, I think, to make a more engaging story. The more you learn, the more depressing the subject is, too - it's all tied into poverty, traditional religion, and women's social roles.I would be interested in knowing how this problem is handled elsewhere in Africa as compared to Ghana. Palmer did do [...]

    3. Heart-wrenching, thought provoking and well laid out, this glimpse into the world of Ghanian Witch camps, where men and women are exiled or escape to after accusations of sorcery. For most it is an place of shame: blamed for actions not their own, guided by ancient mysticism and betrayed by their own culture they find themselves at the mercy of organizations, chiefs and those given power over them. Karen Palmer lays out the many issues which have accumulated to create these places where women ca [...]

    4. Interesting material although Karen Palmer goes from documenting the sorrow of these women condemned to living a life of poverty in a remote environment while scrabbling or begging or depending on aid shipments.Their only crime is being a member of a society that does not respect or value women and this is a convenient way of discarding them.The deep superstition embedded in this patriarchal culture to focus anger when bad events happen is also one that allows the tribal male heads to profit fro [...]

    5. Spellbound is a somewhat ironic title for a book which is, ultimately, not that interesting. The author has spent some time in the area and I suppose felt she needed to get a book out of that experience. However, the topic seems to have eluded her; and in its place we have a mish-mash of history, sociology and personal anecdotes. Not until page 200 do we actually meet a self-professed practitioner of witchcraft -- who is of course male. Basically, men can do whatever they want and women are vuln [...]

    6. I found this book okay. She tried to write a balanced perspective, but as someone who lived for two years in Northern Ghana, I think she missed a lot. (I was within one day biking distance of Gambaga but lived with a different tribe). It felt to me as if she was looking for a story and then wrote about it. There was much that she wrote that did not ring true. I'd be interested in what other people who have knowledge of Northern Ghana thought.

    7. I seldom read non-fiction but I found this book very interesting. It talks about the cultural reasons why the belief in witchcraft is very difficult to overcome as well as the plight of the women in the witchcamps

    8. This book examines the lives of African women cast out of their villages after they were accused of witchcraft. I had no idea this was happening in the world. However, it felt unfocused and a little exploitative.

    9. Karen Palmer does a very decent job of investigating these Ghanaian witch camps, in trying to understanding the cultural underpinnings and give a balanced view of them. Very interesting albeit depressing book.

    10. This was an interesting subject but one of the few books that I had to work to get throughe writing was repetetive and needed fleshed out a bit more.

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