BBC.com has posted a feature about the use of body parts from albinos in various magical potions, talismans and such. When this means hair, nail clippings, etc. this is harmless enough, but reputedly this extends to actual body parts, viscera and whole corpses. It is suspected that a significant number of albinos are killed and mutilated to provide materials used in various magical concoctions. In this article the reporter follows journalist Stephane Ebongue to a remote village where the latter hopes to confront a witchdoctor about this practice; Ebongue’s brother, also an albino, disappeared some 30 years ago, and it’s suspected that he was a victim of this grusome trade.In part the article reads:
“Across Africa, in countries such as Tanzania, Malawi and Ebongue’s own country, Cameroon, there is a belief that people with albinism bring luck or have magical powers. This has devastating consequences for those with the condition.
“‘It is believed that parts of an albino, such as their heart, hair or fingernails, are important to make magical potions – for instance to fertilise the soil, to become invincible, to win political elections or a football match,’ says Ebongue.
“‘This is why albinos are killed and mutilated for the parts of their body.'”
thanks to Soror Hypatia for the tip!