14 Records out of 22207 Records

A study of some aspects of mystical powers : magic, witchcraft and sorcery among the Chuka people

Author: Kiremu, Henry Gitari

Awarding University: University of Nairobi, Kenya

Level : MA

Year: 2009

Holding Libraries: University of Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta Memorial Library ;

Subject Terms: Chuka (African people)/Witchcraft/Traditions/Indigenous religions/Ethnology/Christianity ;

Abstract:

This is a study on mystical powers, magic, witchcraft and sorcery in Chuka Community which is one group of the Meru people. The writer of this work decided to study this area out of curiosity; because as he was growing he had heard very many stories and that he wanted to discover whether they were superstitious or just falsehood. To add more knowledge to the study, the writer consulted other works that were within his reach. He also interviewed some church leaders to gain more knowledge. He interviewed the most feared magicians, witches and sorcerers among the Chuka. The objectives of this study are to analyze the knowledge that is derived and put it in writing to be read by the future generations. The second objective is to identify the religious role of their use by the community. The third objective is to investigate the social political and economic implications of magic, witchcraft and sorcery to the Chuka people. The study utilizes two main methods in the collection of data. These are questionnaire interview method and observation as the primary sources. For the secondary sources of data which forms the bibliography, various libraries were visited, which include Jomo Kenyatta Memorial (J.M.K.L) in the main campus University of Nairobi, St. Paul's University, Limuru, the Institute of African Studies in the Kenya Museum and Parklands Campus faculty of Law among many others. The above methods of data gathering were expected to complement and supplement each other. The study is guided by three hypotheses. The first one is that the practice of magic, witchcraft and sorcery has adversely influenced Christianity in Chuka Community of the Meru People. It has also affected other communities of the larger Meru. The second hypothesis is that the Christians have stated publicly that they were practicing magic, witchcraft and sorcery before being converted. They did this so as to attract members to their congregations. The third hypothesis is that the practice of magic witchcraft and sorcery is a traditional religious heritage of the Chuka people and other communities of the Meru Society. A theoretical framework that was put forward by 1. S. Mbiti is the basis for this study. It states that magical objects symbolize power which comes from God. According to Mbiti the power may directly be supplied by God or it may be through the spirits, the living dead or as part of the invisible force of nature in the Universe (1.S. Mbiti, African Religions and Philosophy, P. 199). This writer concurs with Mbiti because God owns everything in the earth (PS 24: 1). Some missionaries have asserted that magic, witchcraft and sorcery belongs to the devil e.g Gerham RJ. Doing Mrican Christian Theology; an Evangelistic Perspective, Kisumu, Kenya, 1983 P. 16. From this study it has become apparent that mystical powers have a reality and not superstitious as it has been alleged by some Christians. The writer has discovered that some Christians are using magical powers in the healing ministry. They tap the powers in the healing ministry. They tap the powers by chanting magical formula Abracadabra. They do this through the help of magicians who enlighten them. But they go to look for those powers at night.

Conflicting codes and contested justice : witchcraft and the state in Kenya

Author: Luongo, Katherine Angela

Awarding University: University of Michigan, USA

Level : PhD

Year: 2006

Holding Libraries: French Institute for Research in Africa Library ;

Subject Terms: History ; Witchcraft ;

Abstract:

ABSTRACT NOT AVAILABLE

Beliefs and practices of witchcraft intervention among the Akamba Christians of Machakos District

Author: Mbondo, Benedict Jones

Awarding University: Kenyatta University, Kenya

Level : MA

Year: 2006

Holding Libraries: Kenyatta University Moi Library ;

Subject Terms: Witchcraft ; Kamba (African people) ; Christianity ; Machakos District ;

Abstract:

Witchcraft remains an issue the Church in Kenya. Many second and third generation Christians are Confused about what to think of witchcraft and how to handle those who are caught in its power. The Akarnba community has been evangelized and indeed has lived with Christianity for more than a Century. Most Christians adhere to Christian beliefs and rituals. Missionaries preached Christianity to the Akarnba and urged them to denounce some of their cultural practices. In particular, they branded witchcraft demonic and strongly condemned those who were practising it. They pointed out the Biblical position on witchcraft which portrays God as condemning the practice. In particular this study sought to investigate the beliefs and practices of witchcraft intervention among the Akamba Christians of Machakos District. It is to be noted that the Akamnba seem to have embraced the ideals of Christianity in total. This is true so long as there are no problems challenging their lives. However, whenever misfortunes come or strike, the same Akamba Christians result to their traditional beliefs and in particular specialists who use mystical powers to give directives on how to address the situations. Generally, the Akarnba believe that everything that God created was good for His people. Therefore, any bad thing is not associated with God but evil. For this reason, the Akamba take action to protect themselves by consulting mystical powers. Respondents from each of the three divisions of Machakos District namely: Mumbuni, Katangi and Mitaboni were selected. There were two hundred and seventy respondents in total. Out of these, one hundred and fifty six were Christians, thirty officials of the Church, twelve specialists, twelve local leaders, thirty people from the local population and thirty youth. Results were analyzed by use of frequencies, percentages, tables and graphs. Data was collected using interview schedules, Focused Group Discussions and passive participant observation. Both primary and secondary data was utilized. The study revealed that beliefs and practices of witchcraft are real among the Akamba Christians of Machakos District. At least (80%) of Christians admitted frequent and constant consultation to traditional specialists commonly known as 'Awe'. It is found that most Christians irrespective of gender, marital status and age seek and consult these powers when confronted by problems. In this connection, the Akarnba Christians are seen in behaviors that subscribe to witchcrall such as wearing protective charms, keeping broken pieces of pot on top of their houses and complaining of' being bewitched by their fellow Christians. The voluntary and repeated confessions and lynching of witches, some of' whom are Christians proves that the belief in witchcraft exists among Akarnba Christians. This being the case those who do not openly admit witchcrat's existence do so on the surface. It is against this background that this research attempted to discuss believes and practices of witchcraft intervention among the Akamba Christians of Machakos District.

Language use in a medical setting : reconciling explanatory models of illness in the diagnostic interview among the Giriama of Kenya.

Author: Furaha Chai, Jonathan

Awarding University: University of Essex, England

Level : PhD

Year: 2003

Holding Libraries: University Microfilms International ; Institute of Commonwealth Studies Library ;

Subject Terms: Giriama (African people) ; Linguistics ; Ethnology ; Witchcraft ; Physicians ;

Abstract:

This thesis is based on an analysis of Giriama divination as a speech event comparable to the biomedical diagnostic interview. Its main objective is the reconciliation of the discourse strategies used in divination with those used in the biomedical clinic during the diagnostic interview. Interactional sociolinguistics, which incorporates anthropological approaches with sociolinguistics, guided this research and data analysis. In terms of data collection, ethnographic approaches involving participant observation and unstructured interviews were used. A total of 30 diviners and three medical doctors were observed attending their clients/patients in a period of six months between October 2000 and March 2001. Unstructured interviews were used to gather more ethnographic information from the diviners/doctors and their clients. Personal Communication (PC) with some of the Giriama diviners helped to fill in information on the belief system about witchcraft and divination among the Giriama-information that is presented in chapter two. The data collected consisted of digital recordings of the interactions. A total of 25 x 74 min. Minidisks were used to record the data. Data analysis involved first transcribing the recorded interactions. From the transcripts, a representative sample of fifteen diviners and two doctors was chosen and then questions and cases of repetition were identified, coded and quantified. It follows the principles of ethnographic discourse analysis, which makes use of participants' organisational strategies while using surrounding discourse as data in understanding some fragment of talk-in this case, questions and repetition. The research found that structurally divination and the biomedical diagnostic interview share some characteristic features. However in terms of the functions of questions and repetition as discourse strategies are used, there were some differences. These differences are the ones that need to be reconciled if doctor/patient interaction among the Giriama is to be improved. The results are significant, in that they contribute to an understanding of both divination and the doctor/patient relationship. These could also have a bearing on medical training and healthcare provision among the Giriama in particular, and other communities that make use of similar 'alternative therapies' that involve the 'revelatory'divination.

The power of witchcraft among the Kenyan Akamba.

Author: Mwalwa, Mathews Kalola

Awarding University: Africa International University, Kenya

Level : MTM

Year: 2001

Holding Libraries: Africa International University Library ;

Subject Terms: Witchcraft ; Kamba (African people) ;

Abstract:

This thesis looks at the power of witchcraft among the Kenyan Akamba. I have taken time to explain the Akamba worldview as the basis upon which the thinking of the Akamba is drawn. Much space is given to this aspect in the paper due to the nature of the subject itself. The literature review undertook to bring together those who have gone before into the Akamba worldview. Such names as Lindblom, Jacobs, and Gehman have prominently featured. In order to establish a background to the subject, interviews were conducted. These included practicing witchdoctors and those who have observed witchcraft in their environment. Because the concern in this thesis is to look at the Kenyan setting, and how the Church is affected by witchcraft, the Africa Inland Church served as a case study. Three Churches were key in the research: The Africa Inland Church, Plainsview in Nairobi city, the Africa Inland Church, Kibera near the Kibera slums, and the Africa Inland Church, Misewani in Mwala division of Wamunyu in Machakos District. Areas mined include consultation with witchcraft, medicine man, herbalist, palm reading, star reading, and other related areas. I discovered that there were still a small, but significant minority of churched people who are sympathetic, and some who consult in these areas, therefore sharing their energy and resources with the world, and not fully committed to the Church. This raises the need for the leadership of the church to strengthen teaching and discipleship.

The influence of Christianity on Gikuyu beliefs in and practices of witchcraft, sorcery and divination

Author: Muchiri, John Maina

Awarding University: Moi University, Kenya

Level : MPhil

Year: 2000

Holding Libraries: Moi University Margaret Thatcher Library ;

Subject Terms: Christianity ; Kikuyu (African people) ; Values ; Divination ; Witchcraft ;

Abstract:

This study on the influence of Christianity on Gikuyu beliefs in and practices of witchcraft, sorcery and divination is based on the relationship between three variables. These are (a) the attitude of the early Missionaries towards Gikuyu culture with particular reference to witchcraft, sorcery and divination, (b) the social significance of witchcraft, sorcery and divination, and (c) the ignorance of Christians on both Biblical teaching and the teachings of the Church on the subject of evil resulting in sustained beliefs in and practices of witchcraft, sorcery and divination among Christians. It is hypothesized that the long presence of the Church in Gikuyuland, the mass population it has amassed over the years and its strong stand against witchcraft, sorcery and divination have not eradicated beliefs in and practices of the same, since Christians from different denominations have continued to accuse one another of the practices. Those Christians who do not accuse others of the practices, however, maintain that witches, sorcerers and diviners are still present in Gikuyu society. This study is descriptive as well as analytical. We have described the social institutions and the religious beliefs of the pre-Christian Gikuyu society. The analytical approach has been adopted in analysing the data collected from the field. Simple random sampling technique was used in selecting a sample population of 400 Christians from eight churches in the study region. In addition to questionnaires, oral interviews were conducted on the available diviners, members of the clergy and scholars. The major findings of this research indicate that witchcraft, sorcery and divination are still present in Gikuyu society. 33% of the respondents indicated awareness that witches are still present in the post-Christian society while 73% indicated that the practice of sorcery is still going on among Christians in Tetu Division.We had no problem in finding out whether divination is still present in Gikuyu society since we found diviners that we interviewed. This study also found that the Church is aware of the presence of witchcraft, sorcery and divination since some of the people who had been accused of the practices and those who had confessed of the practice are Christians. Christians are aware that the Church has not eliminated the problem of witchcraft and sorcery in the society. 62.% of the Christians interviewed confirmed this reality. This study recommends that the Church should undertake a serious study of the subject of witchcraft, sorcery and divination. It should attempt to find out why the practices have persisted. This should be aimed at finding out whether these cultural aspects have any social value. The Church should, for example, attempt to learn from the diviners and if possible inculturate those aspects of divination which are useful to the Christian community.

The rise and decline of communal violence : an analysis of the 1992-1994 witch-hunts in Gusii, Southwestern Kenya.

Author: Ogembo, Justus Mozart H'achachi

Awarding University: Harvard University, USA

Level : PhD

Year: 1997

Holding Libraries: University Microfilms International ;

Subject Terms: Ethnology ; Witchcraft ; Violence ; Social change ; Gusii (African people) ; Kisii, Kenya ;

Abstract:

Addressing issues of concern to psychological anthropology and to historical anthropology, this dissertation is an ethnographic and interpretive study of communal violence in Gusii, southwestern Kenya, in the period between November 1992 and July 1994. Groups of people burned to death 57 suspected witches in a witch-hunt during which over 100 people died. Communal witch-hunting is a symbolic expression of personal and collective anxiety in the face of inexorable social change. The dissertation locates the violent responses within the anxiety-arousing situations of strange illnesses and deaths, abductions, and books. The event took place against a backdrop of economic and political changes in the Kenyan national and in the international scenes and a heightened religious activity in the community. Combining the psychological and sociological approaches to witchcraft and violence in a historical perspective, this study integrates the testimony of participants of, and witnesses to the incidents with other ethnographic information to understand the factors that led to this violence. After outlining Gusii socio-cultural arrangement in part i, the work reconstructs the events as they actually occurred in part ii. Part iii contextualizes the violence within Kenya's politico-economic status during the build- up to political pluralism and soon after. By relating the social changes to the patterns the violence took, the dissertation attempts to answer the question how culture mediates social change to emotional experience. The dissertation finds that the negative effect the economic changes had on healthcare reactivated Gusii traditional cosmological beliefs about evil and misfortune. The breakdown of government administrative control following forced introduction of political pluralism in the country in 1991-92 let long-held but controlled suspicions and hatreds against supposed witches give way to open violence.

Epistermological basis of the Abanyala peoples' ontology and cosmology in the light of Sumba occult.

Author: Namwamba, Thomas Nanyingi

Awarding University: Kenyatta University, Kenya

Level : MA

Year: 1994

Holding Libraries: Kenyatta University Moi Library ;

Subject Terms: Nyala (African people) ; Ethnology ; Ontology ; Cosmology ; Witchcraft ; Busia District ;

Abstract:

This study examines Abanyala ontology and cosmology in the light of Sumba occult. Abanyala are Bantu-speaking people found in Busia District of the Western Province of Kenya. The aim of the study is to establish the basis and the grounds justifiable of the belief that these peoples' ontology and cosmology are divinely derived and that Sumba occult is the dispenser of the good and the prime cause of existence. The investigation is conducted from the conceptual framework of Marsilio Ficino's Platonism with an epistemological approach. We have tried as much as possible to apply the philosophical tools of criticism, analysis, justification and reconstruction in this study. Basically, it is our attempt to argue that Abanyala cosmology and ontology are divine in nature and main concern of life here on earth is the attainment of perfection for a better life in the divine world. Consequently, the fountain of knowledge that directs human action is Sumba occult who is also believed to be the custodian and source of divine creative power. Throughout the thesis, effort has been made to correlate the issues pertaining to ontological and cosmological beliefs among the Abanyala with both aspects of their physical existence on the world of the earth and the nature of being and existence in the divine world herein referred to as Magombe. Social and political aspects of Abanyala institutions have also been discussed and their relationship to these peoples' ontology and cosmology closely examined. We have also examined and re-evaluated some elements which have necessitated both practical change and change in attitude towards the place of Sumba occult in the Abanyala belief systems and their effects. Various observations have been made and discussed in the summary section at the end of this thesis.

A philosophical analysis of deterrent punishment with special reference to curses among the indigenous Abagusii community of western Kenya.

Author: Miencha, Kennedy Isaac

Awarding University: University of Nairobi, Kenya

Level : MA

Year: 1993

Holding Libraries: University of Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta Memorial Library ;

Subject Terms: Gusii (African people) ; Behavior ; Ethnology ; Social life and customs ; Witchcraft ;

Abstract:

ABSTRACT NOT AVAILABLE

Witchcraft eradication as political process in Kilifi District, Kenya, 1955-1988 (Mijikenda, Tsuma Washe Kajiwe).

Author: Ciekawy, Diane Marie

Awarding University: Columbia University, USA

Level : PhD

Year: 1992

Holding Libraries: University Microfilms International ;

Subject Terms: Mijikenda (African people) ; Ethnology ; Witchcraft ; Political power ; Kajiwe, Tsuma Washe ; Kilifi District ;

Abstract:

This dissertation is an inquiry into the political dimensions of a witchcraft eradication movement led by Tsuma Washe Kajiwe from 1965 to 1988 throughout the district of Kilifi, Coast Province, Kenya. It focuses on three administrative units, called locations, populated primarily by the Mijikenda ethnic group. This work analyzes how witchcraft eradication concepts and practices were incorporated into a variety of personal and group political struggles and why they were such important political resources for common people, politicians, and government authorities. Three major themes are addressed in this work. The first concern the role of Kajiwe's charismatic leadership in the movement, and the nature of political authority in the locations, district, province, and the country as a whole. The work shows how members of the new elite incorporated Kajiwe's witchcraft eradication movement into its political program, greatly enhancing its power in the rural areas and providing new frameworks for political organization. The second major theme addresses the differential ability of individuals and groups to use witchcraft-related ideas and activities. The work explains and analyzes the variety of ways that individuals and groups manipulate witchcraft ideas and practices according to age, gender, social status, and economic position. It shows why witchcraft ideas and practices are important political resources for those in favored structural positions and those who have the personal ingenuity to manipulate them, and concludes that it is the new elite and the economically advantaged that most benefit from their use. The third theme concerns the nature of support the movement received from common people in the locations. It examines the tensions within the community that contributed to the rise of the movement. Analyses of economic, gender, and age inequality provide information necessary to understand the movement's social composition. Because women and young men experienced the greatest amount of discrimination within the power structures of the homestead and lineage, and were marginalized with respect to political and legal affairs, they took greatest advantage of opportunities the movement presented. It is further concluded that the Kenyan state selectivity promotes witchcraft ideas and activities as part of its attempt to maintain hegemony.