Kalia’s wife’s suicide
The Hewans are not only terrified of all the different spirits that are out in the jungle, but they are also scared to death of someone that they think may be a sorcerer. If someone is about to die, people will ask that person if they have seen a dream, if they have seen a person’s face, or an animal’s face, etc. If the dying person says someone else’s name, that person will be pegged as a sorcerer or witch, whether they had anything to do with it or not. Once a person is thought to be a sorcerer, he will be blamed for other deaths until he or she is put to death. There is no way out. The supposed sorcerer can make a payment of many pigs and a lot of money to pay for the death that he supposedly caused, but as people die from different kinds of sicknesses and he gets blamed, he eventually will not have the pigs or cash to pay for the deaths.
There is an old man named Kalia that lives in our village who is a widower, and his children were all killed also. He was married as a young man but after several years his wife was thought to be guilty of sorcery. If we understand the story right, he had two daughters and a son. In this culture the way someone becomes a sorcerer is as a baby drinking its mother’s milk. If the mother is considered a witch, the children will also be witches because of their mother.
So in the course of time, as people became sick and died, Kalia’s wife got blamed for their deaths. She could not escape the fact that she was blamed over and over and that in time she would be murdered for her supposed sorcery. She also was said to be an adulteress. One day, on a hike from one village to another, she was walking on a log, crossing a big river. She got out to the middle of the log and in despair she jumped off into the water to kill herself. Her husband Kalia tried to save her. He jumped into the river to try to get her but it was too late. She died.
On top of that sorrow, Kalia’s kids were also said to be sorcerers and they were blamed for sickness and deaths. All three of them were killed by relatives of people that had died. How hopeless is that? There is no way out for these people unless someone goes and tells them the good news.