What are some stories about black magic

Escape to Black Magic

"In our village the evangelical preacher died suddenly. A few weeks ago he was fine and suddenly he fell inexplicably ill. A woman who knew herbalism lived on the outskirts of the village, she treated the man. Perhaps she is a witch. Has she put a curse on the family? "

Witchcraft is widespread in Papua New Guinea. Again and again people are suspected of being to blame for the misfortunes of others. Uwe Hummel is a German instructor at a Christian seminary. He lives in the highlands of Papua New Guinea and has known the country for over 20 years:

"So magic and belief in spirits always play a role here. Here they say: Saguma Napossim. Just when a young person dies, they immediately say: That was Saguma. That was witchcraft. An enemy - a competitor - bewitched this person that they died an early death. "

The alleged witches who are supposed to conjure up death or illness with black magic or the evil eye are also held responsible for bad harvests, accidents, adultery and theft. If any such misfortune occurs, the clans and families get together to find out who was responsible for the witchcraft. Most of the time it affects single women or widows.

96 percent of the residents of Papua New Guinea are Christians, but belief in spirits also plays a role in Christian communities.

"There are also outbreaks of violence, mass brawls and acts of revenge if one side claims that the other side used witchcraft. Of course there are also hunts for sagumas, the witches. You read it in the newspapers too. Women are killed in the process . It is a very big task of the church to do educational work there and to protect these people. "

Melanesian myths - according to Uwe Hummel - mostly lived in peaceful coexistence with the Christian faith. The old spirits of a millennia-old tradition are an integral part of the lives of these people to this day.

"There is also another side of magic: love magic, marila. People lure their partner to them with love magic. From our western point of view, this is not the worst magic. Thinking dominates very strongly, and precisely this belief, saguma and psin is to be taken very seriously. "

Experts see the strong increase in traditional myths as an overpressure valve for the feeling of powerlessness in the face of the onset of change into the modern age; The global raw material boom is turning resource-rich Papua New Guinea upside down at a dramatic pace and people are turning to traditional spiritual worlds, according to a representative of a village council.

"Only a few benefit from the money from the mine projects. This creates resentment and envy among others, which is compensated for with alcohol and drugs. The village structures are falling apart and the old rules of respect and respect for us older people no longer apply. Without these Melanesian ones Values ​​quickly lead to unrest. People take refuge in strange cults and so they can then justify the violence. "

In Kundiawa, a small village in the highlands of Papua New Guinea, the community gathered today peacefully for the funeral of the deceased Protestant pastor: a large crowd has already gathered at the roadside. Men wear traditional clothing over faded T-shirts, and their hair has leaves and flowers in their hair. Their faces are painted with bright paint, others wear large masks. While some men stick their heads together and discuss the death, the women have gathered in the house. The laments of the mourners from the small hut can be heard from afar.

The traditional house kri takes place here. That means: three days the women gather around the laid body and lament and mourn. A woman who comes out of the little hut expresses what many people here think:

"The preacher was cursed, why else did he die? We don't know whether the spell is still working. Only when the witch is found will the curse end. She lived on the edge of the village and was an outsider. Now she has disappeared."

The outsider probably suspected that she would be selected as a suspicious witch. She fled to avoid torture and killing. Most of the persecuted people flee to the next town or to the mountains in the highlands.

The aid organization Doctors Without Borders runs a clinic in the city of Tari. Many of the patients there suffer from the injuries of witch hunts. Large warning signs at the entrance read: "Machetes and machine guns are prohibited in the clinic". Even the local police don't feel safe. When the angry crowd pursues an alleged saguma, they will stop at nothing. Jo, an employee of the clinic, points to a burned-out car wreck:

"See that police car there, it was set on fire by the angry crowd."

The police do not protect the women persecuted as witches. They would also be powerless against the angry mob armed with machetes and rifles. In addition, they too are afraid of being bewitched.

Against the custom of the Sanguma and against the persecution of witches, the Magic Law was enacted as early as 1971. In the 1980s, the persecution of witches also declined. However, since the number of victims of these persecutions has increased significantly in recent years, the government has now tightened the law again. For Mary, a young preacher who was trained in the seminary in Ogelbang, this can only be explained by the fact that many people were torn from their familiar surroundings in the course of the extraction of raw materials. You feel uprooted. Therefore, the preacher said, they are now again clinging to all kinds of superstitious things.

"Actually we didn't really have the problem of saguma or witchcraft in our village. But now it comes from the villages in the mountains to us into the valley too. The people here now believe that if someone dies, that they have been poisoned by the Sagumas or when something wrong happens, they say: It was the witches. "

Mary knows that there are many stories of witchcraft circulating among the believers in her ward.

"People believe that even after the witches die, they will come back to life. Yes, just like Dracula, who never dies and lives on and goes on mischief. So suddenly they accuse the women in our village of sangumas." It's like a contagious disease. "

Marguerite is also a victim of such persecutions:

"A woman in my village was walking around accusing me of hexing her. The mood got so heated that I had to leave my village. I've been a widow since my husband died a few years ago, my children work on the natural gas project. In mine In the village I was defenseless against the angry mob. I was afraid for my life. "

The sagumas are feared even in the cemeteries. Here the graves are guarded day and night. James is a professional grave guardian who is paid for his services. He too is afraid of the magic power of the sagumas.

"The witches mostly look like us - that is, like normal people. But they can also take the form of animals. They can then look like dogs, pigs or cows. You must never come too close to them Creatures approaching the grave, then we shoot immediately. "