Tag Archives: sorcery


Toil and trouble for suspected sorcerers in Papua New Guinea

Cinnamone Winchester

Society and culture | Pacific


When Raphael Kogun’s uncle became gravely ill in 2006, his family’s immediate response was to recruit a witch doctor in the hope of finding out who was responsible for having brought such a curse upon him. The blame was eventually directed towards a middle-aged couple from Kogun’s village in Papua New Guinea, and the family “ran after them and . . . chopped their heads off,” according to Kogun. “I felt sorry for them but they were witches, they deserved to die. If they were still alive they could hurt people with their magic.”

Two of his brothers were subsequently arrested, but witnesses, having felt too terrified to testify, caused the eventual collapse of the case.

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