Wednesday, 1 September 2004


secret murder committed by orders from sorcerers. The victim is waylaid, short posined thorns are inserted in to the base of his tongue, causing swelling and loss of speech. Then other thorns (usually from the wild sago plant) are pushed into vital organs, where they cause infection and eventual death.
More: Sanguma means different things in different areas, as shown below. It can be glossed in English as ‘witchcraft’ or ‘assault sorcery’.
I ran across an email correspondance which includes a deeper description of the linguistic roots.

and a tourist page for Papau New Guinea has this to say:
These sangumas are said to be humans during the day. But at night they posses another spirit that leaves the body behind in sleep. This evil spirit goes out into the night to hunt in the form of animals like dogs, pigs, cats, flying foxes or even in human form for human flesh.

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