Chapter

Medicine Murder: Belief and Incidence

Murray Colin and Sanders Peter

in Medicine Murder in Colonial Lesotho

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print May 2005 | ISBN: 9780748622849
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652952 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748622849.003.0002
Medicine Murder: Belief and Incidence

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The belief that medicine derived from human parts could be used to increase someone's social power is fundamental to an understanding of the conspiracies investigated here. The first part of this chapter explores the roots of this belief in so far as they can be recovered from historical record. The second part seeks to interpret the statistical evidence on the incidence of medicine murder, as it is derived from various sources, and asks to what extent the observation made in the late 1940s of ‘a very startling increase’ in the phenomenon in that decade was justified.

Keywords: medicine murder; social power; human parts; statistical evidence

Chapter.  16319 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: African Studies

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