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These were exclusive groups of people who were believed to be liable to possession by the spirits of carnivorous animals such as leopards and crocodiles, and who carried out ritual killings while in a state of possession. During the course of the twentieth century, the Liberian government outlawed these societies, but some of them nevertheless continued to function clandestinely...
— Stephen Ellis

The Leopard Society also called the Anyoto Aniota, was a West African secret society active in the early- to mid-20th century that practiced cannibalism. They centered in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Côte d'Ivoire. They terrorized Africa as bandits, cannibals, and as a cult. For many centuries a leopard cult has existed in West Africa, particularly in Nigeria and Sierra Leone, wherein its members kill as does the leopard, by slashing, gashing, and mauling their human prey with steel claws and knives. Later, during gory ceremonies, they drink the blood and eat the flesh of human victims. Those initiates who aspire to become members of the cult must return from a night's foray with a bottle of their victim's blood and drink it in the presence of the assembled members. The cultists believe that a magical elixir known as borfima, which they brew from their victim's intestines, grants them superhuman powers and enables them to transform themselves into leopards.

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. A likely victim would be chosen, the date and time of the killing agreed upon, and the executioner, known as the Bati Yeli, would be selected. The Bati Yeli wore the ritual leopard mask and a leopard skin robe. It was preferable that the sacrifice is performed at one of the leopard cult's jungle shrines, but if circumstances demanded a more immediate shedding of blood, the rite could be conducted with the ceremonial two-pronged steel claw anywhere at all.

Pratten suggests that British authorities later used cannibalism as a false accusation against the Anaang people. Encounters with what is believed to be a survival of the Leopard Society into the post-colonial era are described by MacIntosh.

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Battles here were deemed to be unfair or otherwise not in accordance with wiki standards, and have been removed from the statuses of the warriors and displayed below.

Battle vs. Cowboy (by 123chaseyoung)[]

Five cowboys ride in the wilderness, happy and conversing because they have just received their pay, and are now heading to the town. Unknown to them are five other leopard man hidden in the foliage, who were sent to gather people for their ritual sacrifice.

As the cowboys got closer, the leopard men opened fire. A rifle bullet from a spencer rifle hit a cowboy in the head, and he fell down with his guns undrawn.Blue The cowboys were startled, and their horses jolted and panicked as hell broke loose. One leopard man charged at the confused posse, and he grabs one cowboy off his horse and ripped his ribcage open with his metal claws, before devouring on his organs.Blue Horrified, his fellow cowboys opened fire with their rifles and pistols, killing the leopard man on the spot.Darkred

The cowboys then managed to regroup and retaliated. A cowboy lassos one leopard man from a tree and drags him to the ground, before killing him with his pistol.Darkred One leopard man manages to get under the cowboy's horse and again attempted to drag him down, but the cowboy quickly grabs his bowie knife and stabs the leopard man in the neck.Darkred

A leopard man manages to shoot a cowboy in the head with his howdah pistol,Blue but another cowboy kills him with two shots to the chest with his shotgun. The cowboy then grabs his winchester rifle and fired, killing a leopard man hidden in the trees.Darkred Another leopard man however, manages to unload his webley at the cowboy's head.Blue

The remaining cowboy charged his horse at the leopard man, but the latter just jumped and hid in the trees. The cowboy tried to draw him out with his revolver, but the leopard man manages to crept under him and lunged. Both fell on the ground hard, with the leopard man landed on top of the cowboy. As the leopard man chants his battle cry and prepares for a finishing blow, the cowboy managed to draw his other revolver and fired, hitting the leopard man in the gut. The leopard man fell over and cried with pain, before the cowboys empties his pistol at his head.Darkred

The exhausted cowboy manages to get back to his horse, tilts his hat on his fallen comrade, and rides off into the sunset shouting "Yee-haaaaaaaw!"

Expert's Opinion[]

The cowboy won because he had the better mid range and long range weapons. He was also more experienced, prepared, and hardened in the wilderness than the leopard man.

To see the original battle, weapons, and votes, click here.


There is no hard evidence for the Leopard Society using any kind of firearm, let alone the specific firearms mentioned in this battle.

Battle vs. Fijian Warrior (by Pygmy Hippo 2)[]

Five Bokola Eaters surrounded a beat-up man with a leopard hood. While they laughed and chatted, one of them noticed a big rock and dared one of his fellows to run the man's head into it. Smiling, he took hold of the hood and took off running while the man yelled in pain.

Suddenly a wooden club flew through the air and hit the bokola eater in the head. The iwisa caused a lethal blow that cracked the man's skull open. The rest of the group was shocked before another one was stabbed in the back with metal tip claws and his throat ripped out with fangs.

The chief reacted quickly and smashed the Leopard Society member with his gata repeatedly breaking bones as the rest joined in. Their friend was dead but at least so was his killer. One went to get his tonga and the other got his bow and quiver.

The other Leopard Society member had fled into the jungle where the others tried to keep him in the middle and gave him an ishlangu. It wasn't long before they heard the Bokola Eaters' shouts and one pulled out another iwisa.

The weapon was thrown at the archer but it missed the entire group and he fired an arrow into the man's eye. He fell down with a horrifying scream as the two groups charged each other. The tonga spearman impaled a member's stomach only for him to fight past the pain and spash his throat.

He soon got an arrow in his neck as well before a gata smashed his skull. Now with only two left, the groups circled each other before the Leopard Society member threw his ishlangu at the archer. The man was hit in the chest but didn't die.

The wounded member swung his spear at the man's throat, slitting it. As the body crashed to the ground, the chief considered his options. He lunged at the healthy Leopard Society member and swung his gata like a madman.

The Leopard Society member found an opening and slashed at the Bokola Eater but he blocked with the gata and kicked the man back. Before he could kill him however, the wounded member thrust his ishlangu repeatedly into his back. Blood flowed out of the man's mouth before he collapsed.

The Leopard Society member got up and thanked his fellow member. They heard other members yelling out to them and the healthy member dragged the chief's body with them as they went to greet the others. They had lost many members but at least they would be more powerful now.

Winner:Leopard Society

Expert's Opinion[]

The Bokola Eaters had the better short and long range weapon but a hilariously ineffective mid range weapon. The Leopard Society's ishlangu was a worthy weapon and their greater experience with taking on villages and colonies gave them the win.

To see the original battle, weapons, and votes, click here.


The ishlangu and iwisa are traditional weapons of the Zulu people from Southern Africa. They have no connection to the Leopard Society, which operated in West Africa.