Witch hunts in Papua New Guinea's Eastern Highlands Province: A Fieldwork Report

SSGM In Brief

Author/s (editor/s):

Richard Eves, Angela Kelly-Hanku

Publication year:


Publication type:

In Brief




The issue of sorcery and witchcraft-related accusations and violence in Papua New Guinea is receiving increasing attention domestically and internationally. A growing body of literature is also focusing on the issue, providing non-government organisations, donor agencies, and the Papua New Guinea government with an evidence base for addressing the problem in locally appropriate ways. Little of the literature, however, deliberates upon the perpetrators of these violent attacks. This In Brief reports on interviews undertaken in November and December 2013 in Goroka with eight perpetrators who had been involved in 13 attacks on people accused of witchcraft.


About the authors

Richard Eves is a senior researcher with the State, Society and Governance in Melanesia Program at the Australian National University.

Angela Kelly-Hanku is a principal researcher with the Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research, and a senior researcher in the School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of New South Wales.

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