Friday, May 8, 2009

PNG Witchcraft Accusations and Teachable Moments

An interesting (and, as expected, nasty) discussion is brewing over The Independent's coverage of witchcraft killings in Papua New Guinea at a story posted up today, entitled "Witch Hunts,Murder, and Evil in Papua New Guinea (interesting choice of words, non?). Too bad we are not, actually, teaching at the moment because I think it would be a good spark for student discussion. Since, I show First Contact in the cultural class every semester, students have some context for understanding the potential issues.


Anonymous said...

Might be interesting to juxtapose this story with some info on lynchings in the US. Sounds like a similar social mechanism.

Pamthropologist said...

Good suggestion Anonymous. I was, also, thinking about Keith Thomas comparisons but I couldn't quite get past the whole primitive/savage meme.