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AIDS is caused by invisible insects sent by sorcerers: A cognitive perspective to the AIDS-witchcraft question in sub-Saharan Africa

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dc.contributor.author Magonya Achieng, Peter Maina Matu
dc.date.accessioned 2020-12-14T11:20:04Z
dc.date.available 2020-12-14T11:20:04Z
dc.date.issued 2010
dc.identifier.uri https://repository.maseno.ac.ke/handle/123456789/3447
dc.description.abstract In most anthropological literature premised on witchcraft in sub-Saharan Africa cases in point being the Azande speakers of Sudan (Pritchard, 1937), beliefs in witchcraft among the ”Fang of Cameroon” (Boyer, 2001) and even in Bowie's (2006) chapter on witchcraft and the evil eye in African societies, undeniably confirm the existence of an African obsession with witchcraft in accounting for virtually any societal calamity starting from road accidents, illnesses, collapsed business ventures, societal tensions to massive death. One recurring fact constantly mentioned in the cited texts is the perplexed reactions of most Westerners whenever they encounter the witchcraft-misfortune counter-intuitive line of argument in the African discourse. Epidemiologists have now been compelled to join anthropologists in trying to comprehend the witchcraft fascination which erroneously serves as a reason for the propagation of even scientifically proven ailments such as AIDS, and verbalized in statements such as ”AIDS is caused by invisible insects sent by sorcerers” (Sabatier, 1988). To demystify this cultural obsession, this paper is premised on two objectives: first and foremost is to employ Dan Sperber's culture and modularity thesis in explaining the widespread reflective belief of ”AIDS is witchcraft” within African cultures; secondly, using a metaphorical background, the authors' argument is that people should not be quick in dismissing the irrationality of ”AIDS is witchcraft” metaphor. The reason being that under meta-representation notion or interpretive use of language, witchcraft, particularly black magic, possesses a negative charge that figuratively captures the harsh realities of HIV and AIDS from an African perspective. en_US
dc.publisher David Press en_US
dc.subject witchcraft ; interpretive use of language ; reflective beliefs en_US
dc.title AIDS is caused by invisible insects sent by sorcerers: A cognitive perspective to the AIDS-witchcraft question in sub-Saharan Africa en_US
dc.type Article en_US


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