Similarities between the Witches of Salem and of South Africa

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Similarities between the Witches of Salem and of South Africa

The witches and zombies of South Africa are very different from the accused witches of Salem come from very different belief systems, economic and political structures. However, both societies share similarities in regards to the social conflicts that were besieging both communities. The Salem witch scare of 1692 was an indirect response to struggle over land, political power, and money as plagued South Africa and led to the multiple accusations of witchcraft and the keeping of zombies. [1] [2] [3]The targeted accused in both Salem and South Africa also were similar as social class weighed heavily on who was accused and who were the accusers. Religious leaders played a dominate roles in both societies as well. Therefore, though Salem and South Africa were two very different cultures, the similarities of what led to and occurred during their respective witch hunts are astounding. Salem

The residences of Salem Town and Salem Village were in the midst of a social struggle not that uncommon to colonial New England. The farmers of Salem Village wanted to break away from Salem Town by becoming independent politically, religiously and economically. The tensions rose and the division between the two groups created anxiety amongst the people. Uncertainty breeds fear which leads to unrest. The witch hunt and ultimately execution of many innocent people were direct outcomes of fear and the struggle over power in the two communities. Early on the perception in Salem was that witches were led by the devils hand and usually of a lower class. People who were often independent, disagreeable or elderly were often considered witches. After Tituba’s confession who took her experiences with West Indian and African folklore and mixed it with Puritan beliefs, which were used to feed off of the fears of the community to spawn the actual witch hunt.[4] From this point on accusations were not...
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