Popular public perception of witchcraft practices, witchcraft wealth, recruitment and herbalism in Bo City Southern Sierra Leone
The study examined popular public perception and witchcraft practices in Bo City in the Southern Province of Sierra Leone. Specifically, public perception regarding the principles of witchcraft practices, witchcraft wealth, recruitment/initiation process and inheritance were examined. Exploratory and anthropological research designs were used. Through a structured questionnaire, data were collected from a sample of 150 participants involving 50 individuals each from the three main ethnic groups in Sierra Leone; Mende, Temne and Limba. The researchers first got close to community members from an emic perspective, then held discussions and interviews in the communities based on age, status, gender, and other factors that reflected the differences within the various communities. The findings revealed that the majority (76%) agreed that witchcraft can be acquired through family lineage, with 60% of such recruitment initiated by stepmothers/fathers 62%, and that 66% of respondents agreed that herbalists primarily draw from witchcraft practices to cure sick people. It was concluded that witchcraft recruitment mainly occurs within families and that herbalists primarily draw from witchcraft practices to cure sick people in Bo City.
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