Introduction: Caution  


 

To start with, I insist on making three preliminary remarks because of the highly sensitive nature of the subject: ritual killings, cannibalistic practices and voodoo-like ceremonies. 

  1. You will read about atrocious acts and are going to see some horrifying pictures. The reason why I chose to describe these acts and present these images - in spite of their at times repulsive contents - is for purposes of history only. It goes without saying that the objective of this essay is not a desire to cause a sensation. 
  2. Also for historical reasons the essay contains names of victims, perpetrators and accomplices. Since it is not my intention to blame, shame or to insult anybody, I apologize to their relatives and friends for any inconvenience or embarrassment caused by this public exposure. Likewise, in a few cases I decided to mention names of accused offenders or to reproduce newspaper clippings with their names. However, the principle that nobody is guilty until he or she is found guilty after a fair trial continues to be applicable. 
  3. Third and last comment, it is not my intention to stigmatize a particular tribe, political class or group of people or to suggest that the practice of ritual killings is limited to Liberia only, even though the essay focuses on this West African country. Unfortunately, ritual killings and cannibalism for ritual purposes occur in more than one country on the African continent as well as on other continents. In most, if not all, of these countries these revolting practices constitute a taboo subject. But not in Liberia, for reasons that will be elucidated. This partly explains why there exists an abundance of information and material in Liberia on this phenomenon - which probably is as old as mankind. 

 

 
 

home

fpm van der kraaij