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"The Demon Superstition": Abominable Twins and Mission Culture in Onitsha History

Misty L. Bastian
Ethnology
Vol. 40, No. 1, Special Issue: Reviewing Twinship in Africa (Winter, 2001), pp. 13-27
DOI: 10.2307/3773886
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3773886
Page Count: 15
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
"The Demon Superstition": Abominable Twins and Mission Culture in Onitsha History
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Abstract

The representation of Igbo peoples as practitioners of twin abomination is very much part of a historical process in which missionary and colonial interest in twin killing as a sign of African atavism played a significant role. This article explores the historical record for information about twin abomination and twin murder, taking into account the paradoxical nature of twinship not only for Igbo-speakers but for the missionaries who wished to convert the Igbo and stamp out what they called "the demon superstition."

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