Welcome to Our Hillbrow


Phaswane Mpe

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Bone Throwers Character Analysis

In South Africa, bone throwers are mystics who operate mostly in rural villages. When things go wrong (someone gets ill, someone is struck by lightning), the people of Tiragalong often consult a bone thrower to tell them who is to blame. That person is then accused of being a witch and murdered (usually burned to death). Bone throwers are not always genuine, though—in particular, the one who Molori (Piet’s cousin) hires frames Piet for Molori’s mother’s illness, even though he knew Piet had nothing to do with it. Many times, people in the villages do find out that a bone thrower’s pronouncement is wrong, but only after the innocent party has been killed.

Bone Throwers Quotes in Welcome to Our Hillbrow

The Welcome to Our Hillbrow quotes below are all either spoken by Bone Throwers or refer to Bone Throwers. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Regret and Redemption Theme Icon
Chapter 3 Quotes

It did not occur to Molori and his uncle to doubt the bone thrower’s insights. His accurate knowledge of their family affairs was too impressive; where else could such knowledge have come from, they reasoned, other than from his reading of the bones? The uncle reminded Molori about the Tiragalong saying: witches have no distinct kin colour through which other people can recognize and identify them. Piet and his mother might put on the act of being good people. But who was to say that that was not the art of witches?

Related Characters: Bone Throwers, Molori, Piet
Page Number: 77
Explanation and Analysis:
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Bone Throwers Character Timeline in Welcome to Our Hillbrow

The timeline below shows where the character Bone Throwers appears in Welcome to Our Hillbrow. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3
Storytelling Theme Icon
...Molori’s mother recently fell ill. The people of Tiragalong suggest that he go to a bone thrower so that he can figure out what is wrong with her. He goes to a... (full context)
Storytelling Theme Icon
This particular bone thrower is also cunning. Instead of telling people to pay ahead of time, he gives them... (full context)
Storytelling Theme Icon
After an impressive, confusing show, the bone thrower tells Molori that his mother was poisoned by someone in the family. The bone thrower... (full context)
Storytelling Theme Icon
...of knowing who is trustworthy just by looking at them. The night after seeing the bone thrower , Molori keeps dreaming of a snake that tries to poison him. He imagines that... (full context)