Anthropol Med 2011 Dec;18(3):303-13
In treating illness and suffering, the Akan anti-witchcraft shrine is often presented as a model of unchanging, tightly bounded and antiquated ideals. This fails to acknowledge the extensive repertoire of Ghanaian witchcraft discourses and contemporary divinatory practices uncovered at Akan anti-witchcraft shrines. This paper analyses how one of the most popular Akan anti-witchcraft shrine in Europe, in an eastern banlieue of Paris, diagnoses the seemingly common and innocuous coughs and colds suffered by recently arrived, unskilled female Ghanaian migrants as something more socially and economically malignant, witchcraft. Successful treatment combines divinatory techniques, paracetamol medicines and positive thinking in order to empower clients and present them with the possibility of new social and gainful employment prospects.