Burning Witches: The moral dilemmas of ashaninka leaders

Guillermo Enrique Delgado, Susana Frisancho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Contribution to Journal)peer-review


This paper focuses on the moral reasoning of Ashaninka leaders about the burning of witches, a cultural practice that has received scant attention from intercultural scholars. We first contextualize burning witches as a cultural practice of the Ashaninka people. Then, based on qualitative interviews, we present the experience of six Ashaninka leaders with witchcraft and witchcraft accusations, as well as their moral reasoning about the social mechanisms that the Ashaninka people have traditionally used to control evil sorcery. The participants are three men and three women from the Ucayali and Junín regions in Peru’s Amazon basin. Finally, we discuss intercultural moral education and the need to analyze the reasons behind cultural practices in order to understand the rationality and reasonableness of others.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Ethnic and Cultural Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - 9 Feb 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Ashaninka people
  • Moral dilemmas
  • Sorcery accusations


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