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Anthropology

1973

Portland State University

Ethnology -- Liberia

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Full-Text Articles in Social and Behavioral Sciences

The Sasswood Ordeal Of The West Atlantic Tribes Of Sierra Leone And Liberia: An Ethnohistoriographic Survey, Sarah Louise Davies Aug 1973

The Sasswood Ordeal Of The West Atlantic Tribes Of Sierra Leone And Liberia: An Ethnohistoriographic Survey, Sarah Louise Davies

Dissertations and Theses

The sasswood ordeal of poison presents a divinatory ritual which has been used in criminal cases by the traditional African of Sierra Leone and Liberia. For at least six hundred years, the peoples of these present countries have imposed this strictest of ordeals on their moral transgressors; and the practice has survived, despite the protestations of nineteenth-century missionaries and the encroachment of the western world.

The investigation of the historical evidence of the sasswood ordeal among the West Atlantic tribes of Africa has three basic purposes. First, because of the paucity of interpretive data on the sasswood ordeal, the primary ...