Mystical Weapons: Some Evidence From the Liberian War1

in Journal of Religion in Africa
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Abstract

During the Liberian civil war (1989-97), many participants, as well as local journalists, used terms such as 'sorcery', 'witchcraft', 'voodoo', 'juju' and 'African science' to describe certain techniques used by fighters. Essentially, these words were applied to techniques of offence or defence which were rooted in local religious traditions rather than in either Islam or Christianity. This article traces the history of such terms, as well as of the activities which they designate, to show how they changed during the twentieth century.

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