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Description - Medicine Murder in Colonial Lesotho by Colin Murray

Medicine murder involved the cutting of body parts from victims, usually while they were still alive, to be used for the preparation of medicines intended to enhance the power of the perpetrators. A 'very startling' increase in cases of medicine murder apparently took place in Basutoland (now Lesotho), in southern Africa, in the late 1940s and the early 1950s. It gave rise to a dramatic crisis of late colonial rule. Was this increase a real one? If so, why did it happen? How far does it explain the crisis? What other factors contributed? This book offers some comprehensive answers to these difficult, complex and controversial questions and a highly readable analysis of how the crisis arose and of how it fell away. The authors draw sensitively and critically on many different and often conflicting sources of evidence.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780748622849
ISBN-10: 0748622845
Format: Hardback
(234mm x 156mm x 25mm)
Pages: 494
Imprint: Edinburgh University Press
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Publish Date: 11-May-2005
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Colin Murray

Colin Murray has a background in anthropology and intensive experience of field research over many years in Lesotho and the Free State (South Africa). He recently retired as Professor of African Sociology at the University of Manchester. Peter Sanders served as an administrative officer in Basutoland (now Lesotho) from 1961 to 1966. He wrote a biography of Moshoeshoe (1975) and, with Mosebi Damane, an edited translation of the praise poems of the Basotho chiefs (1974).

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