Newer    Older
  • Newer

    Accused Witches

    Many small villages of Burkina Faso still believe in witchcraft. If the village’s citizens think you are a witch, there's an easy way to find out: They chop a head of a chicken and let it run around. If it falls down with the feet up in the air, you're definitely a witch. And then you're not allowed to live in the city you come from. Fortunately the accused witches have an opportunity to seek refuge in a center like this in the capital Ouagadougou, where 200 "witches" are living. One of the women was sent away from her children, because they thought that she was a witch and have killed another of the village's children with her witchcraft. "They chased me away," she says. "I couldn't even say goodbye to my family. My children cried, and I cried too." The women at the center come from many different villages in Burkina Faso, but often their stories are similar. They are widows who have no function in town without their men, and are accused of being behind unexplained events like children dying of disease.

    Older