GOLD COAST: Ritual Blood

Africa was enjoying a rash of ritual murder. Three years ago jet-complexioned Sir Ofori Atta, Paramount Chief of Akim Abuakwa, died (of natural causes) in the Gold Coast Colony. Soon his friend and secretary, Mensah, Chief of Apedwa, disappeared from view. After long investigation by the British authorities, eight natives were convicted of murdering Mensah, and sentenced to hang (TIME, Dec.11,1944). Mensah, the Crown contended, had been sacrificed to provide blood to daub a ceremonial stool which represented the late Sir Ofori; or to provide Sir Ofori with a companion in the spirit world; or both.

Two of the condemned were...

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