[l i z n o t e s]

Childbirth Victims Shunned as Witches in Cameroon
July 4 2012

Excerpt from article at

    "They said my sister died of witchcraft because she died in labor," said Mokossa, 36, who is married with six children. Mokossa blamed her sister's death on poverty. "She did not attend antenatal clinic even for one day because she did not have money to attend clinic."

    But she said the community attributed her death to "swine witchcraft."

    Among the Oroko ethnic community here, traditional belief holds that swine mystically inhabit the bodies of some women, who are capable of witchcraft and morph into swine at night. When these women become pregnant, they give birth to baby swine in the bushes and risk losing their lives if they try to deliver their babies in the real world...

    Mokossa said an older brother was asked to cut her stomach in order to remove the dead baby, as tradition demands.

    "I did not see anything because I was pregnant myself," she said. "It was said that pregnant women do not come close to such activities, as they may be bewitched just at the sight of the corpse."

    Her mother broke in to say it was a "big, big disgrace" for the family.

    Mokossa said that the mother and baby were buried separately within a few hours of their deaths. "Tradition demands that such corpses are supposed to be buried as fast as possible to avoid the spread of ill luck to members of the community."

    Mokossa said her mother cries a great deal now and wonders who introduced her daughter to witchcraft. Some villagers have accused the mother of doing so...


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