Kapori: researching local responses to sorcery accusation–related violence in Papua New Guinea through Indigenous storytelling

Bomai Dick Witne
Verena Thomas
Jackie Kauli
Christina Spurgeon

This article explores kapori, an Indigenous form of storytelling to investigate and report experiences, motivations, responses, and challenges of sorcery accusation–related violence (SARV) by the Yuri people, a tribal group from the Papua New Guinea highlands. SARV is attributed to the belief that some people use supernatural powers to cause illness, deaths, or misfortunes to a community and, therefore, become targets of violent accusations. We outline the rationale for incorporating kapori into SARV research and discuss the findings from a storytelling workshop with 14 participants representing 13 clans of Yuri. The findings suggest that key strategies for curbing SARV include building community capacity to respond to the challenges of SARV, addressing the physical and emotional scars of SARV, and valuing collective interventions to prevent SARV. The use of kapori in this research helped to diversify, expand, and circulate Yuri narratives about SARV to support prevention strategies.

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Research Type(s)
Journal Article
May 30, 2024
Published in

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