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American Ethnologist

Ritual Killing, 419, and Fast Wealth: Inequality and the Popular Imagination in Southeastern Nigeria

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Abstract

In this article, I situate a seemingly fantastic series of events in Nigeria in a context that renders them meaningful and acknowledges their intimate connection to everyday issues of wealth, power, and inequality. Focusing on popular stories of the occult circulating in the wake of a widely publicized case of ritual killing, I argue that these stories depict popular discontent over inequality, but also Nigerians' ambivalence about and critical awareness of their own role in maintaining patron-clientism. [Nigeria, patronage, inequality, witchcraft]

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