Echos of Ekpe Owo

David Pratten

in The Man-Leopard Murders

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print June 2007 | ISBN: 9780748625536
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748670659 | DOI:
Echos of Ekpe Owo

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In many senses the Annang past is a ‘scarce resource’. Annang history is hedged in by the practice of past and present religious injunctions, by concepts of knowledge and by the interplay of ‘hierarchies of credibility’. The past's scarcity is derived very simply from the fact that very few people living in the villages of the ‘leopard area’ today talk freely and directly about ékpê ówó. There is good reason for many older people to be uncomfortable with the past of the leopard murders. They swore oaths that they would have nothing to do with leopard men, oaths ingested and consumed into their bodies for a lifetime in unknown substances of fearful power. Memories of the leopard men are also ‘scarce’ because there is an imperative to retain authority and consistency between narratives. These stories are not infinitely susceptible to contemporary invention. This chapter addresses the most common and widely accepted formula of the past that has circulated since the investigations.

Keywords: Annang; man-leopard murders; past; history

Chapter.  1969 words. 

Subjects: African Studies

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