Just when I thought I could no longer be floored by superstitious hooey:
Authorities in Mozambique say bald men are being killed, allegedly because of the belief that their heads contain gold. So far five bald men have been killed, all in central Mozambique: two in May in Milange district close to the border with Malawi and three this month in the district of Morrumbala.
Bald men across the country are afraid of exposing their scalps. Some stay indoors. Others hide their baldness with caps.
According to NPR, a police spokesman, Inacio Dina, said that
“Our preliminary conclusion indicates that the phenomenon is due to cultural beliefs. We are currently investigating the case to find out more and to understand the dimension of the problem. The phenomenon can lead bald people to be pursued and killed. This is a serious homicide crime. Our current interest is to catch and hold all those involved responsible.”
Dina accused traditional healers of conniving with the murderers of bald people because of the cultural belief that their heads contain gold. It is also possible that the goal is to obtain body parts to use in rituals aimed at bringing wealth — the reason that albinos have been targeted for their body parts in some countries.
What the killers have in their skulls is most assuredly not gold. Straw seems like a possibility, though.
(Image via Shutterstock)