Witchcraft, Sorcery, Violence: Matrilineal and Decolonial Reflections

Salmah Lawrence

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    In this chapter, a version of which was presented at the June 2013 conference Sorcery- and Witchcraft-Related Killings in Melanesia: Culture, Law, and Human Rights Perspectives, I discuss witchcraft and sorcery in the Milne Bay context, specific to communities in and around Alotau and the surrounding bay area, and some of the islands in the China Strait. I am also concerned with the law and human rights perspectives surrounding much of the discussion of the recent sorcery- and witchcraft-related violence in Papua New Guinea (PNG). I make an argument for decolonising both the discourse and the formulation and implementation of policy. I conclude with what is so obvious to us Papua New Guineans that it is taken for granted. And this fact is, that for most Papua New Guineans, the choice is not, and never will be, either culture or modernisation. It is both culture and modernisation. Policy formulation, therefore, has to be undertaken within this context.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationTalking it Through: Responses to Sorcery and Witchcraft Beliefs and Practices in Melanesia
    Editors Miranda Forsyth and Richard Eves
    Place of PublicationCanberra, Australia
    PublisherANU Press
    ISBN (Print)9781925021561
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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