Cannibals vs sorcerers?

Growing up with Hansel and Gretel or the three bears is so passe’; At least that’s how people feel in New Guinea, where vampirism and cannibalism, and a hatred for local ‘sorcerers’ and ‘witches’ form the flesh and blood of stories fes to people, both adults and children.
Enter New Guinea and you find yourself in a sort of tropical paradise: a huge tropical island between the Pacific and Indian oceans with mild vegetation and few dangerous animals. Well, excluding the cannibals of course.
In recent times a man caught hold of his three year daughter, took her into some bushes and tore off flesh from her neck and drank her blood. When people tried to stop him, he laughed and tried to run off leaving the child, before he was caught by the police.
In another incident a group of cannibals stopped people from leaving their houses for voting citing ‘Sorcerers roaming nearby’ whose flesh could give them resistance to magic.


Witches are caught using ‘voluntary confessions’: Stripping them naked and searing their skin with red hot irons. Any confessors are thrown into burning piles of wood or tires where they burn to death. A village teacher, Helen Rambali was accused of witchcraft. The woman was tortured with knives, decapitated and her house was burnt down. If logic isn’t enough to convince people of the heinousness of these acts, nature has a mechanism to prevent cannibalism: Prion, a virus that infects those who eat human flesh which can prove maddening if not fatal.
Considering the fact that the major religion of the island is christianity, one would have to wonder what sort of a balance exists between these populations.

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