Exclusive stories from the mission field
Yacouba Sanou had helped his father, a Muslim traditional healer, in black magic as far back as he could remember. Knowledge of spell-casting and other occultic practices formed part of his armor and arsenal as a young man active in politics, but it left him defenseless against a poison attack by a political opponent.
Mamadou was a shaman in West Africa who made amulets and charms inscribed with verses of the Koran for people trying to ward off illness and evil forces. In the peculiar blend of Islam and tribal animism practiced in some parts of Burkina Faso, a shaman can make a decent living as a traditional “healer” providing trinkets and incantations attributed with power to keep malicious spirits and other beings at bay.