Witchcraft & Human Rights Galleries

The Witchcraft and Human Rights photo collection is in two basic parts. The first gallery is made up of photos that reflect witchcraft in practice. The second gallery is made up of photos of witchcraft art by Africans. 

Witchcraft in Practice Gallery

The photographs in this gallery are of accused witches, witch hunters, healers who provide protective medicines, and rituals associated with witchcraft. More information on these photographs can be found in chapter 7 of Miller’s book Encounters with Witchcraft.

Photo Guide:

(1): Accused witch Mohammad Lupanda, banished from Usagari village 1964.
(2-3): Roadside traditional healer, and anti-witchcraft practitioner.
(4): Famous witch hunter “Kajiwe” (Little Stone), Kenya Coast, 1970s-1980s.
(5): Lion skull protection against witchcraft, Usagari Village, Tanzania, 1965.
(6): Missionary destroying suspected witchcraft materials.
(7-8): Public ceremonies in Kenya to destroy witchcraft paraphenalia.
(9-13): Exorcism and witchcraft cleansing ceremony, and traditional witchcraft medicines, Tanzania.
(14): Witchcraft intimidation, used to control herbalists’ helpers.
(15): Witchcraft images used for political protests. (London, 1960s)

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Witchcraft Art Gallery

How have African rural peoples traditionally viewed witchcraft? What are their images in the mind as compared to western notions of witches on broomsticks with black pointed hats? Miller spent time in Tanzania researching the art and imagery of witchcraft and also collected material at the British Museum. Below, images by African artists reported by Chief Gordon Mwansasu from Rungwe District, Tanzania (1965), to be African ideas of what witches look like. The latter half are Mkonde spirit carvings and other art forms used for protection against witches. More information on these works can be found in chapter 3 of Miller’s book Encounters with Witchcraft.

Photo Guide:

(1): An example of “spirit art” entitled “Owl Drums Death,” suggesting the supernatural power of animals as part of witchcraft.
(2-4): Wall paintings from the house of a Nyantakara chief.
(5-8): Depictions of witches collected in Western Tanzania
(9-12): Images of witchcraft in modern East African art.
(13-28): Carved images including Mkonde depicting the supernatural.
(29-30): Collage of omens and tools of witchcraft.

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See credits for photos not owned by Miller here.