In this paper an attempt is made to develop a clearer understanding of the 'necklace' form of burning which has evolved in South Africa. Three areas of exploration are suggested. Firstly, traditional Bantu ideas of punishment, witchcraft and fire are discussed in relation to the practice of necklacing. In the second area of research, possible explanations are examined for the resurgence of the practice of burning which had virtually disappeared this century. This leads into the third area, where the necklacing act, which includes the preparations, is analysed as a ritual.
The Ritual of the Necklace
Joanna Ball is a former economics and social anthropology student at St Andrews University in the United Kingdom