Woman burned alive in PNG



Thac0man

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Hey, we should respect other cultures and embrace them, not criticise. Witch burning is a pretty common practice around the world. Cultural diversity an all that jazz. ;)
 

Mazzy Maz

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But what is wrong with witches? Why do so many people hate them? Witches seem cool to me.
What you have to understand is that these people aren't witches at all, not even in the pagan religion meaning of the term.

They are just people that are scape-goated as the cause of tragic events. They are labeled witches in the process, often by people who hold a longstanding grudge against the individual involved.
 

Thac0man

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What you have to understand is that these people aren't witches at all, not even in the pagan religion meaning of the term.

They are just people that are scape-goated as the cause of tragic events. They are labeled witches in the process, often by people who hold a longstanding grudge against the individual involved.
Or applied to children who have the misfortune to be born Albino in Africa.
 

Green eyed monster

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Or applied to children who have the misfortune to be born Albino in Africa.
They wouldn't burn the albinos, they would capture and dismember them and sell the body parts to wealthy people. In parts of Africa albinism is regarded as an especially potent marker of magical power.

It's all really just a curiosity for Western Readers, the numbers killed or harmed in the name of witch-hunting or sorcery is miniscule. On a social-science level the thing that fascinates me about it is that it parallels examples of gross human deviousness elsewhere, for example you will have a few individuals who profit from the service of outing witches and prescribing remedies etc, in some areas these rise to become the most powerful people in their villages. Trading a 'spiritual' placebo effect for material gains, much as exists with commercial evangelism in your own country Taylor (though no Americans die or are apparently harmed it must be said).

If it exists it prolly serves some purpose, as a way of binding tribes together sacrifice or punishment sets out the rules and the limits and each tribe member is thankful it is not they who is punished or sacrificed after a sacrifice, they each feel 'more included', the social acceptance that exists for it is probably derived from that. Of course for those who see past the mumbo jumbo, they see it as an example of inflicting terror on a population and purely as a means of control through fear.
 
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Seanie Lemass

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Burying people alive is not confined to places like Papua New Guinea.

Apparently (from reports from informers) a number of Dublin gangland victims were buried alive after torture. As was the totally innocent Roma girl abducted by scum bags a few years ago.
 

JHB78

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Waiting for the usual suspects to blame the US, EU and NATO for this.
 

Ramon Mercadar

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Thac0man

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This is a very old thread, so I will post in a different vein than I did five years ago.

There is no modern standard we can apply to the situation in many parts of PNG, even if we can judge certain acts as inhumane by the standards we want to see. Though PNG is a special case, that does not excuse execution by fire, but does put the act in the context of a spiritual purging. PNG is almost unique in the world in having such a diversity of early tribal cultures cohabiting in the same broad territory. What we have seen (or did in 2009) is a stage two event perhaps, in terms of people living in closer urban proximity after 'stage one' which was isolated tribalism. I would say it is no accident that we see a reflection of our own past history in the modern world of PNG today.

If there is a political dimension to this, it is education. But with guilt I would have to confess that I would like to see as many of PNG's unique cultures preserved as possible, before any further attempt to seriously tinker about is introduced.
 

zakalwe1

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should take a leaf our of Charles Napier's book (on the practice of sati or buring of widows on their husband's funeral pyre):

"Be it so. This burning of widows is your custom; prepare the funeral pile. But my nation has also a custom. When men burn women alive we hang them, and confiscate all their property. My carpenters shall therefore erect gibbets on which to hang all concerned when the widow is consumed. Let us all act according to national customs".

but of course he was an imperialist so trying to save women's lives is less important than his nationality and preventing natives to practice their culture.
 

Griffin

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There's the old saying: Those who don't study history are doomed to repeat it. Those of us who do study history are doomed to watch other people repeat it. (or words to that effect)
 


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