Ames, David W.. Belief in ‘witches’ among the rural Wolof of the Gambia

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Publication Information


Title: Belief in ‘witches’ among the rural Wolof of the Gambia

Published in: Africa -- Vol. 24, no. 3

Published By: Africa -- Vol. 24, no. 3 London: Oxford University Press, 1959. 263-273 p.

By line: David Ames

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: HRAF, 1999. Computer File

Culture: Wolof (MS30)

Subjects: Sorcery (754); Offenses against the person (683); Magical and mental therapy (755); Preventive medicine (751);

Abstract: The Wolof believe in the existence of DOMA, a person who attacks and “eats” his fellows. This article describes the behavior ascribed to the DOMA and the means of warding off their attacks. The author concludes that although the belief in DOMA suggests that the culprits may function as “scapegoats” in the native society, it tends to increase rather than reduce social tensions and personal anxieties; therefore, the DOMA complex can be regarded as mainly dysfunctional, both in the social and psychological sense.

Document Number: 9

Document ID: ms30-009

Document Type: journal article

Language: English


Includes bibliographical references

Field Date: 1950-1951

Evaluation: Ethnologist-5

Analyst: Robert Lee; 1959

Coverage Date: 1950-1951

Coverage Place: Saloum districts, The Gambia and Senegal

LCSH: Wolof (African people)


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