Credo Mutwa's Treasures
By R. D. Flavin
Credo Mutwa. Photographer unknown.
Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa, acclaimed author and Zulu witch doctor, is a confidence man whose efforts parallel those involved in the Burrows Cave Hoax. From 1979 to 1985 Mutwa touted his possession of certain inscribed artifacts, said to have been entrusted to him upon his gaining sanusi or sangoma (diviner or “witch doctor”) status in 1963. Mutwa claims “terrorists” destroyed the inscribed artifacts in 1985, when his village was burned by Zulu radicals. Photographs of the inscribed artifacts were published in “Three Lost Collections – a Photographer’s View” by Warren W. Dexter (Epigraphic Society Occasional Papers Vol. 20, 1991 ; pp. 212-223). That a non-Zulu married couple from South Africa first drew attention to these inscribed artifacts by involving members of The Epigraphic Society, that Fell translated the various inscriptions on the artifacts to his satisfaction, and that the artifacts are said to have been destroyed and have not been available for examination since 1985, are givens. That photographs of the inscribed artifacts, Mutwa’s “treasures,” show an impossible confluence of ancient scripts, much like the Burrows Cave artifacts, unequivocally demonstrate a modern origin for Mutwa’s inscribed artifacts. Whether Mutwa’s inscribed artifacts are/were believed to be genuine antiquities or modern products of spiritual exercise and ritual and not meant to be represented as ancient, is a private matter for Mutwa and his followers. The impossible confluence of ancient scripts should be enough to discourage further investigation, but adding Mutwa’s recent claims that extraterrestrial reptiles are living among us, firmly affixes this in the realm of drunks, dreamers, and con-men.
Inscribed phallus and "Tanit" effigy, © W. Dexter 1986. Used without permission.
"Ten Commandments" tablet, © W. Dexter 1986. Used without permission.
Vowelless ogham, Egyptian hieroglyphs, Aramaic “square” Hebrew, Kufic Arabic, and tifinag inscribed on artifacts from South Africa which were destroyed in 1985 and can no longer be examined? Please. When one visits a prostitute for service, sometimes there’s just sex, but at other times emotion and imagination engage and there’s a belief that it’s more than just sex. When one approaches a character like Mutwa or Burrows, sometimes it’s just research about anomalies, but at other times emotion and imagination engage and there’s a belief that it’s more than just research about anomalies. I support the legalization of prostitution, however I do not support con-men and never will. It may be every fool’s right to be taken, but it remains our duty to help the desperate to support and understand science by decrying pseudoscience at every opportunity. Unless you’re paying for an illusion, of course, in which case I hope things work out. But, please keep your pseudoscientific fetish away from others.