Despite the colonial and post-colonial attempts to eradicate the use of oracles from local practices of conflict resolution, in south-western Togo oracles’ verdicts still are widely used by chieftaincies as an instrument to deal with witchcraft accusations. Via the analysis of the role that oracles have in the trials held by local chieftaincies, this article explores how oracles’ verdicts, despite being relevant for witchcraft accusations, are not uncritically taken as proofs, but are renegotiated and “domesticated” by the people involved in the trials. Taking into account witchcraft accusations, chieftaincies were able to preserve and reinforce their social and political role, skilfully moving between different legal orders and emerging as the main institution that solves conflicts in a context permeated by legal pluralism

Oracles, Chieftaincies and Witchcraft Accusations in Southwestern Togo

Gardini, M
2013

Abstract

Despite the colonial and post-colonial attempts to eradicate the use of oracles from local practices of conflict resolution, in south-western Togo oracles’ verdicts still are widely used by chieftaincies as an instrument to deal with witchcraft accusations. Via the analysis of the role that oracles have in the trials held by local chieftaincies, this article explores how oracles’ verdicts, despite being relevant for witchcraft accusations, are not uncritically taken as proofs, but are renegotiated and “domesticated” by the people involved in the trials. Taking into account witchcraft accusations, chieftaincies were able to preserve and reinforce their social and political role, skilfully moving between different legal orders and emerging as the main institution that solves conflicts in a context permeated by legal pluralism
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11571/1346862
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