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On the Articulation of Witchcraft and Modes of Production among the Nupe, Northern Nigeria

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  • Kohnert, Dirk

Abstract

The political economy of occult belief in Africa can highlight hidden social and political conflict in times of transition which remain otherwise undetected. This has been demonstrated in taking the development of witchcraft accusations over time as indicator, and the Nupe of Northern Nigeria as an example. A tentative long-term study on the growth of the Nupe state since pre-colonial times points towards a close relationship between the content and form of witchcraft accusations and the mode of production under which the stakeholders used to life and work. Over time, witchcraft accusations among the Nupe apparently served different, even antagonistic ends, depending on the mode of production in which they were embedded. Much confusion in literature on the apparent contradiction between ‘emancipating’ and ‘oppressive’ functions of witchcraft beliefs could be avoided by considering this articulation between modes of production, witchcraft accusations, and the underlying vested interests of the ruling powers.

Suggested Citation

  • Kohnert, Dirk, 2007. "On the Articulation of Witchcraft and Modes of Production among the Nupe, Northern Nigeria," MPRA Paper 6962, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:6962
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/6962/1/MPRA_paper_6962.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Booth, Alison L & Chatterji, Monojit, 1998. "Unions and Efficient Training," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(447), pages 328-343, March.
    2. Cahuc, Pierre & Michel, Philippe, 1996. "Minimum wage unemployment and growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(7), pages 1463-1482, August.
    3. Derek Laing & Theodore Palivos & Ping Wang, 1995. "Learning, Matching and Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(1), pages 115-129.
    4. Burdett, Ken & Smith, Eric, 2002. "The low skill trap," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(8), pages 1439-1451, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    witchcraft; modes of production; informal politics; social conflict; occult belief; Nupe; Northern Nigeria JEL classification: Z1; Z12;

    JEL classification:

    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification
    • N4 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation

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