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It is bad luck to move an old broom into a new home. Always purchase a new broom for your new residence. If you want to get extra lucky make sure the new broom is in place before you move in. Also be sure to sweep something into the home with your new broom before you sweep dust out of the home.

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Remember the golden rule: never sweep dust from your home out the front door. During the Middle Ages sweeping without permission could prove to upset many people. It was common superstition that if someone else swept the dust from your front door they would sweep away your good luck. In Ireland the first woman to be accused of witchcraft was named Alice Kyteler. In she was accused of some very serious crimes as murdering her husbands with poison and sorcery.

She had four husbands.

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Another accusation against Alice Kyteler was that she was trying to rob her neighbors of their money and good fortune by sweeping the dust from in front of their doors. Alice Kyteler managed to escape and fled the country never to be heard from again. Her maid was not so lucky and was burned at the stake on November 3, Broomstick wedding was a common term during the 18 th and 19 th centuries in England.

Jumping the broomstick referred to weddings that were not commonly regarded as legal weddings. In America slaves who lived on plantations had horrific lives.

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They were often refused the right to get married. Naturally they fell in love and yearned to commit themselves to the love of their life. When the wedding couple jumped over the broom together they were considered a married couple. The broom was a symbol of sweeping away the old and making way for new fresh beginnings.

Others claim the stick on the ground represented their new home. They jump into their new home together as a couple. Lately many African-Americans have started taking up this old ritual as a way of acknowledging and honoring their ancestors. Jumping the Broom — Video. Old tradition has it that the wood the broom was made of mattered. Oak wood represented power, strength, and protection.

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Oak was the sacred tree of the Norse god Thor and the Greek god Zeus. These misconceptions, coupled with the lack of education, are some of the key reasons that albinism is so heavily persecuted. This lack of knowledge about people with albinism means that folktales and superstition in the name of witchcraft take the place of medical and scientific facts in the minds of many native Africans, with and without albinism, which in turn has major effects on the social integration of albinistic people into African society. Ninety-eight percent of albinos die by the age of forty for reasons which could easily be prevented.


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Titled Reported Attacks of Persons with Albinism , the document reviews countries and lists recent killings and other attacks, all within 23 African countries. These attacks include mutilation, violence, violation of graves, and cases of asylum-seeking. In Tanzania, albinos represent one in every births, a much higher rate than in any other nation. According to Al-Shymaa Kway-Geer , an albino member of parliament, there are officially registered albinos in Tanzania.

Tanzania is thought to have the largest population of albinos in Africa. There are further issues which arise when there is lack of education about albinism. Fathers often suspect the mother of the albino child of infidelity with a white man or that the child is the ghost of a European colonist.

An albino child is often seen as a bad omen and treated as unwanted. Many albino babies become victims of infanticide due to these superstitious views.

After when Tanzania enacted tougher steps against violence against albinos, Malawi has seen a "steep upsurge in killings" with 18 reported killings since November , and the likely toll being higher because of missing persons and unreported murders. In , police found at least 39 cases of illegal removals of the bodies of Albino people from their graves or having body parts removed from their corpses.

As of , there has been speculation President Mutharika making moves toward implementing the death penalty to convicted murderers of Albino people as a way to significantly decrease the attacks being perpetrated, putting fear into those who do it for business or religious purposes and making it substantially less acceptable by witch doctors and other people who follow superstitions. There is a death penalty in place, but it has not been put in to use since the government changed to democracy in , and convicts who are given the death penalty have sat in prison for life instead.

African rituals and spiritual ideas about albinism have led to the brutal murder of and attacks on innocent men, women and especially children.

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These ideas have been around for many generations, but in recent years witch doctors have been teaching misconceived ideas about the promise of wealth, success and power when albino hair or limbs are used in a potion as part of witchcraft practices. This has gained public attention nationally and internationally as these crimes have been reported as crimes against human rights. US congressman Gerry Connolly in introduced legislation to protect albinos and urge local governments to protect albinos, stating that "With their help and the passage of this resolution today, maybe we can bring an end to these horrific and heinous crimes.

It is clear that "the main driving forces underlying these profiling crimes are ignorance, myth, and superstition, such as the belief that individuals with albinism possess superpowers or that their body parts bestow fortune and health. This creates a serious risk to the lives of persons with albinism as the people believe it will bring them wealth, power, success or health depending on the variances of interpretation.

Now the number of killings is well over one hundred, with low conviction rates, and albinos continue to have limbs severed, leaving many crippled or severely maimed, traumatized and tortured in the process. This threat to albinos has the potential to cause extreme trauma and stress in their daily lives, which are already impacted by the stress of their condition, affecting skin and eyesight, placing albinos in a constant state of insecurity and distrust. According to Navi Pillay, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, because of the social and educational exclusion which can often occur there are often very low education levels in albinos, so that they lack social and economic tools to live productive lives.

This causes extensive bullying, exclusion from peer groups, low self-esteem and confidence, along with emotional and mental illness stemming from rejection by society and often family members who harbor superstitious myths about albinos.

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It is clearly revealed that no matter what mythical or spiritual mantra a person may be following or believing about albinos there is a general view in "nearly all cultures in the region of east Africa held and some still hold the view that albinos are less desirable beings who are less than human. Many children fear to ever return to their families, believing that they may be killed by even their closest relatives. Ukerewe Island is a key example of this, displayed in the film home to a large community of people with albinism where 62 albinos reside, most likely to remain in solitude and away from albino hunters.


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In some communities it is "believed that contact with them will bring bad luck, sickness or death. However, the issues which have created a spotlight for the Human Rights Council of the United Nations are the murder of albinos for medicine and dismemberment, and attacks and murder of persons with albinism. It has also been reported that "miners use the bones of persons with albinism as amulets or bury them where they are drilling for gold.

With escalating killings, President Kikwete publicly and repeatedly condemned witch doctors , their helpers and middlemen, and the clients, which include members of the police force, for these murders. Victims include children snatched or abducted from their parents. The killers and their accomplices use hair, arms, legs, skin, eyes, genitals, and blood in rituals or for witch potions.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has published a preliminary report regarding discrimination which has been directed toward people with albinism. It reinforced that "states would adopt specific measures to protect and preserve the rights to life and security of persons with albinism, as well as their right not to be subject to torture and ill treatment, and ensure their access to adequate health care, employment, education and justice.

As the representative, on 11 March she submitted a message which overviewed the current status of discrimination against persons with albinism and possible pathways for change and development in protection of albinos. Also a key issue is the influence of educating the public to encourage the removal of the social stigma associated with albinos in a society which does not completely understand that albinism is not a curse or a spiritual ghost, but simply a skin condition.

In Zimbabwe albinos have been given the name sope which indicated that they are possessed by evil spirits, and in Tanzania they are known as nguruwe meaning 'pig', or zeru which means 'ghost'. International federation Secretary General Bekele Geleta states that "Albinism is one of the most unfortunate vulnerabilities… and needs to be addressed immediately at international level. It is "imperative to inform the medical community and the general national and international public about the tragedies faced by albinos to protect them from skin cancer and ritualistic murders by individuals seeking wealth through clandestine markets perpetuating witchcraft.

A number of steps were taken by the government to protect the albino population. The president ordered a crackdown on witchdoctors in the spring of Police have also been advised to generate lists of albinos and provide special protection for them.


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  4. To foil graverobbers , graves of the albinistic were to be sealed with concrete. In January , "Prime Minister Pinda had declared war on the albino hunters, and in an effort to stop the trade in albino body parts he had revoked the licenses of all the country's witch doctors who use the body parts in their black magic fetishes. The first ever conviction for the killing of an albino in Tanzania occurred on 23 September at the High Court in Kahama. One of them was later found with Dunia's leg in his possession. There are 52 other families still awaiting justice".

    This issue with witchcraft and its power and influence is that a witch doctor has, as he is almost always "revered by society as ultimate truth. In some of the first publicly reported killings were spoken about in the media, such as year-old albino woman, Arithi, who was murdered with her arms and legs hacked off and sold.

    Although according to BBC News one hundred and seventy witch doctors have been arrested for involvement in inhumane interactions and intentions with albinos. Another example which occurred where two mothers who were attacked by gangs with machetes in order to get to their albino children.

    The men broke into a refugee house known as the Lugufu Camp in Kigoma in search of the children; although the children remained untouched the women received severe injuries. Many organisations have been set up to help protect and provide for communities with albinism. Films have also been produced to encourage, educate and create an international understanding of the trials which persons with albinism are facing in a modern world still dealing with ancient rituals and practices which encourage murder for medicine.