Full Length Research Paper

Malefic Magic in the Greek Curse Tablets of the Classical Period and in the “Curse Effigies” of Ala deity of African Traditional Religion (ATR)

Rowland Onyenali and Cletus O. Obasi

Article Number - 663E97CB9B89F  | Vol. 4(2), pp. 12-21, May 2024  | 
 Received: 10 March 2024 |  Accepted: 29 April 2024  |   Published: 13 May 2024

Copyright © 2024 Author(s) retain the copyright of this article.
This article is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0.


The human effort to manipulate the spiritual world and achieve supernatural effects through the use of magic or mystical forces is as old as the human race. This practice also cuts across many religions and cultures of the world. Sometimes it is done through the use of charms, incantations, casting of spells, the burning of different kinds of spiritual objects, the wearing of amulets or the use of curse tablets. Although the primary aim of this sort of spiritual manipulation may be to protect the person engaged in them from harmful spiritual forces, such practices have given rise to various kinds of occult exercises some of which aim at bringing harm to perceived enemies or detractors of the supplicant. This is mostly done through the use of curse tablets in some traditions. The paper seeks the lines of agreement and difference between the use of Greek curse tablets and incantations to manipulate the spiritual forces and the use of such spells in the shrine of Ala deity in Igboland, South-East Nigeria.


Keywords: Ala deity, ATR, Curse tablets, Effigies, Greek Religion, Igboland, Shrine.



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Rowland Onyenali1* and Cletus O. Obasi2

1Department of Religion and Cultural Studies, Spiritan International School of Theology, Attakwu, Enugu, Nigeria.

2Department of Religion and Cultural Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria.


How to Cite this Article

Onyenali, R. & Obasi, C. O. (2024). Malefic Magic in the Greek Curse Tablets of the Classical Period and in the “Curse Effigies” of Ala deity of African Traditional Religion (ATR) Journal of Culture, History and Archaeology, 4(2), 12-21.


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Abbreviation: J. Cult. Hist. Archaeol.
ISSN: 2971-7752 (Online)
Start Year: 2021
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Cletus O. Obasi