Leopard Society

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The Leopard Society, also called Anyoto Aniota, was a West African secret society active in the early- to mid-20th century that practiced cannibalism.[1] They were centred in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Côte d'Ivoire, and Nigeria.

Members would dress in leopard skins, waylaying travelers with sharp claw-like weapons in the form of leopards' claws and teeth. The victims' flesh would be cut from their bodies and distributed to members of the secret society. According to their beliefs, the ritual cannibalism would strengthen both members of the secret society as well as their entire tribe.

Encounters with what is believed to be a survival of The Leopard Society into the post-colonial era are described by Donald MacIntosh.[2]

Fictionalized versions of the Leopard Society feature in the Tarzan novel Tarzan and the Leopard Men, in Willard Price's African Adventure, in Tintin au Congo and in Hugo Pratt's Le etiopiche.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Leopard Society - Africa in the mid 1900s". Retrieved 3 April 2008. 
  2. ^ Travels in the White Man's Grave: Memoirs from West and Central Africa, by Donald MacIntosh, 1998
  • The International Encyclopedia of Secret Societies & Fraternal Orders, Alan Axelrod, 1997, Checkmark Books
  • Pratten, David (2007). The Man-Leopard Murders: History and Society in Colonial Nigeria. Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-253-34956-7. 
  • Poore Sheehan, Perley (2007). The Leopard Man and Other Stories. Pulpville Press. ISBN 1-936-72002-7. 

External links[edit]