WITCHCRAFT AND HEALING IN AN AFRICAN CHRISTIAN CHURCH BY SHEILA S. WALKER (University of California, Berkeley) Bregbo is a small village near the ultra-modern city ot Abidjan, capital of Ivory Coast. Bregbo distinguishes itself from other neigh- bouring villages because it is a village of devils. The residents of Bregbo have "attached" or "sold" women's wombs to make them sterile; they have changed themselves into animals that eat crops in order to spoil people's plantations; they have flown diabolical airplanes and visited America diabolically; and they have killed numerous indi- viduals, mostly close family members, "as devils". The most serious and diabolical act of most of the inhabitants of the village has been to eat human flesh and drink human blood in the company of other members of the secret society of soul-eaters, the most cardinal of sins ineluctably punished by God. Having become ill because of the gravity of their conduct, they have come to Bregbo to be cured by Albert Atcho. Atcho, the best known healer in the southern Ivory Coast, is a member of the Harrist Church, 1 an important indigenous religious institution concentrated around the coastal area. To understand the phenomenon of Bregbo it
Journal of Religion in Africa – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1979
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