A study of some aspects of mystical powers: magic, witchcraft and sorcery among the Chuka people
Kiremu, Henry G
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This is a study on mystical powers, magic, witchcraft and sorcery in Chuka Community which is one group of the Meru people. The writer of this work decided to study this area out of curiosity; because as he was growing he had heard very many stories and that he wanted to discover whether they were superstitious or just falsehood. To add more knowledge to the study, the writer consulted other works that were within his reach. He also interviewed some church leaders to gain more knowledge. He interviewed the most feared magicians, witches and sorcerers among the Chuka. The objectives of this study are to analyze the knowledge that is derived and put it in writing to be read by the future generations. The second objective is to identify the religious role of their use by the community. The third objective is to investigate the social political and economic implications of magic, witchcraft and sorcery to the Chuka people. The study utilizes two main methods in the collection of data. These are questionnaire interview method and observation as the primary sources. For the secondary sources of data which forms the bibliography, various libraries were visited, which include Jomo Kenyatta Memorial (J.M.K.L) in the main campus University of Nairobi, St. Paul's University, Limuru, the Institute of African Studies in the Kenya Museum and Parklands Campus faculty of Law among many others. The above methods of data gathering were expected to complement and supplement each other. The study is guided by three hypotheses. The first one is that the practice of magic, witchcraft and sorcery has adversely influenced Christianity in Chuka Community of the Meru People. It has also affected other communities of the larger Meru. The second hypothesis is that the Christians have stated publicly that they were practicing magic, witchcraft and sorcery before being converted. They did this so as to attract members to their congregations. The third hypothesis is that the practice of magic witchcraft and sorcery is a traditional religious heritage of the Chuka people and other communities of the Meru Society. A theoretical framework that was put forward by 1. S. Mbiti is the basis for this study. It states that magical objects symbolize power which comes from God. According to Mbiti the power may directly be supplied by God or it may be through the spirits, the living dead or as part of the invisible force of nature in the Universe (1.S. Mbiti, African Religions and Philosophy, P. 199). This writer concurs with Mbiti because God owns everything in the earth (PS 24: 1). Some missionaries have asserted that magic, witchcraft and sorcery belongs to the devil e.g Gerham RJ. Doing Mrican Christian Theology; an Evangelistic Perspective, Kisumu, Kenya, 1983 P. 16. From this study it has become apparent that mystical powers have a reality and not superstitious as it has been alleged by some Christians. The writer has discovered that some Christians are using magical powers in the healing ministry. They tap the powers in the healing ministry. They tap the powers by chanting magical formula Abracadabra. They do this through the help of magicians who enlighten them. But they go to look for those powers at night.