Home | Books | The Tin Can Crucible: A first-hand account of modern-day sorcery violence

The Tin Can Crucible: A first-hand account of modern-day sorcery violence

By Christopher Davenport

In 1994, a Peace Corps Volunteer named Christopher Davenport travels to Papua New Guinea’s Eastern Highlands region to live with a group of subsistence farmers.

He settles into village life, begins learning the language and develops a strong sense of connection with his inherited family. 

One day, following the death of a venerated elder, the people of the village kidnap, torture, and ultimately kill a local woman accused of practising sorcery.

Devastated, Christopher tries desperately to reconcile this unspeakable act with the welcoming and nurturing community he has come to love. But in trying to comprehend what he has witnessed through the lens of Western sensibilities, Christopher is unable to find the answers he seeks. 

Instead, he is left with one universal question: How do we continue to love someone who has done the unthinkable?

In this moving true story, Christopher Davenport gives a considerate but courageously honest depiction of his transformative experience. He asks difficult questions about the role of philanthropy in the intersection of cultures and the mutability of human virtue. He also looks internally to question the integrity of his own well-intended pilgrimage. The result is a sweeping account of grief, empathy, and the complex mechanisms of humanity.

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