Gossip, Innuendo, and Sorcery: Power Without Responsibility

Karen J. Brison

in Just Talk

Published by University of California Press

Published in print September 1992 | ISBN: 9780520077003
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520912182 | DOI:
Gossip, Innuendo, and Sorcery: Power Without Responsibility

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This chapter argues that it is by spreading rumors and dropping hints about sorcery that initiated men maintain their authority over their fellow villagers. Furthermore, talking about sorcery allows people to influence events in ways for which they cannot be held accountable. The chapter argues that Inakor and Asanakor deaths are almost invariably attributed to assault sorcery, and that it is theoretically possible to die a natural death. However, it is felt that only very old people or very young babies could die from illness, and accidents are almost always considered to be disguised sorcery.

Keywords: identity; murderer; rumors; sorcery; Inakor; Asanakor; deaths; illness; accidents

Chapter.  12982 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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