Angolan Village Woman (with her albino daughter)

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Photo by Eric Lafforgue

Mwila woman of Angola with her daughter. Albinos in Angola are subjected to the persecution and discrimination common in most parts of Africa. However, a mother’s love is the strongest power that saves the lives of these innocent children!

ALBINISM BURUNDI

Since 2008, about 30 murders of albinos have been reported in Burundi alone. The motive: MONEY! It’s believed that their body parts can be used to make magical potions that can bring success

Alice Walker, The Color Purple and Albinism?

In the immensely acclaimed novel by Alice Walker, The Color Purple, almost an entire chapter is dedicated to explaining albinism in Africa. The African Olinka villagers are said to believe that “white people is black people’s children” and that Adam and Eve were naked in the Garden of Eden not because they had no clothes on, but because they were born with white skin, since the word ‘naked’ and ‘white’ are synomous in the Olinka language. The book goes on to say the Olinka people legend believed Adam was not the first man on earth but the first white man (albino) born to black parents that was allowed to live and not killed at birth. But as more ‘naked’ children were born, the Olinka chased then from the village rather than killing them and never gave it another thought until white missionaries came to their village.

Albinism in the 13th Century Mali Empire

Photo: Siphiwe Sibeko

Did you wonder how albinos were treated during the time of Sundiata Keita, founder of the Mali empire? In the 13th century, it is believed that albinos were very much apart of society and the males were often made guards of the kingdom, believing they would instantly ward of ennemies by their ‘ghost-like’ appearances.

Albinos in Kuna “MOON CHILDREN”

Kuna people have the highest incidence of albinism in the world. According to Kuna legend, the albino people are called “moon children” and are given the responsibility of shooting arrows at the full moon. Since the moon controls the tide, and Kuna people live on small atolls, they’ve interpreted the presence of albinos as a gift from the gods to protect them from rising tides.

Thoughts on Albinism

“The more experience I have with albinism, the more I realize that underneath it all we all look similar. Just like a blank canvas that you can fill in with all the colors you want, you always have to start with the same naked surface. I guess, albinos are God’s reminder that perhaps, in the beginning of creation, we were all more similar than different, and the bigger differences only came later to complete his masterpiece of diversity.” Coumba Makalou ‘Thoughts on albinism’ 2009

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