Monday, August 29, 2011

Another Thwarted Necromancer

More from the Magick Using Dead Things file! German customs officials in Potsdam have confiscated a collection of ape body parts from an African-born man returning from the Congo. Officals believe that the body parts were destined for use in magical rituals, since in traditional African folk magick body parts from apes are believed to strengthen the effects of many ritual methods. And despite the man's claims, none of the parts seized sound particularly appetizing.

The haul - which included chimp heads, hands, internal organs and several penises - were discovered in the suitcase of African-born David Bueno, 41, who claimed he planned to eat them.

But contraband expert believe the parts were to be used in witchcraft and voodoo rituals where animal body parts are said to bring strength and power to believers.

A customs spokesman said: "This is increasingly common, sadly. These body parts are used in religious rites or medicine."

Bueno - who was on his way back from the Congo - is facing charges of trafficking endangered species.

It's interesting to see how deep the urge to deny involvement in magical practices goes with cases like this. The trafficking of endangered species is just as illegal whether you plan to eat them or cast spells with them, but Bueno nonetheless insists that his motive was the former. Of course, the fact that in Africa magical practitioners often wind up being killed by angry mobs is a pretty strong incentive not to identify yourself as a sorcerer or necromancer if you ever plan on returning to the continent.

Some African witch doctors go so far as to use body parts from human albinos in their rituals, so it's at least somewhat reassuring that Bueno appears to limit himself to apes. Still, with how close to extinction some of these ape species are African magicians should probably be busy researching alternatives if they want their school of magick to survive in the long term.

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