Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic Among the Azande

Author: Kitty Wheater

Publisher: CRC Press

ISBN: 135135275X

Category: Social Science

Page: 104

View: 7932

The history of anthropology is, to a large extent, the history of differing modes of interpretation. As anthropologists have long known, examining, analyzing and recording cultures in the quest to understand humankind as a whole is a vastly complex task, in which nothing can be achieved without careful and incisive interpretative work. Edward Evans-Pritchard’s seminal 1937 Witchcraft, Oracles, and Magic Among the Azande is a model contribution to anthropology’s grand interpretative project, and one whose success is based largely on its author’s thinking skills. A major issue in anthropology at the time was the common assumption that the faiths and customs of other cultures appeared irrational or illogical when compared to the “civilized” and scientific beliefs of the western world. Evans-Pritchard sought to challenge such definitions by embedding himself within a tribal culture in Africa – that of the Azande – and attempting to understand their beliefs in their proper contexts. By doing so, Evans-Pritchard proved just how vital context is to interpretation. Seen within their context, he was able to show, the beliefs of the Azande were far from irrational – and magic actually formed a coherent system that helped mould a functional community and society for the tribe. Evans-Pritchard’s efforts to clarify meaning in this way have proved hugely influential, and have played a major part in guiding later generations of anthropologists from his day to ours.
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Witchcraft Confessions and Accusations

Author: Mary Douglas

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1135032971

Category: Reference

Page: 432

View: 4647

Historians as well as anthropologists have contributed to this volume of studies on aspects of witchcraft in a variety of cultures and periods from Tudor England to twentieth-century Africa and New Guinea. Contributors include: Mary Douglas, Norman Cohn, Peter Brown, Keith Thomas, Alan Macfarlane, Alison Redmayne, R.G. Willis, Edwin Ardener, Robert Brain, Julian Pitt-Rivers, Esther Goody, Peter Rivière, Anthony Forge, Godfrey Lienhardt, I.M. Lewis, Brian Spooner, G.I. Jones, Malcolm Ruel and T.O. Beidelman. First published in 1970.
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The Anthropology of Religion, Magic, and Witchcraft

Author: Rebecca Stein,Philip L. Stein

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1315532158

Category: Social Science

Page: 332

View: 8952

This concise and accessible textbook introduces students to the anthropological study of religion. Stein and Stein examine religious expression from a cross-cultural perspective and expose students to the varying complexity of world religions. The chapters incorporate key theoretical concepts and a rich range of ethnographic material. The fourth edition of The Anthropology of Religion, Magic, and Witchcraft offers: • increased coverage of new religious movements, fundamentalism, and religion and conflict/violence; • fresh case study material with examples drawn from around the globe; • further resources via a comprehensive companion website. This is an essential guide for students encountering anthropology of religion for the first time.
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Ancient Greek Love Magic

Author: Christopher A. FARAONE,Christopher A Faraone

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674036703

Category: History

Page: 240

View: 5702

The ancient Greeks commonly resorted to magic spells to attract and keep lovers--as numerous allusions in Greek literature and recently discovered voodoo dolls, magical papyri, gemstones, and curse tablets attest. Surveying and analyzing these various texts and artifacts, Christopher Faraone reveals that gender is the crucial factor in understanding love spells. There are, he argues, two distinct types of love magic: the curselike charms used primarily by men to torture unwilling women with fiery and maddening passion until they surrender sexually; and the binding spells and debilitating potions generally used by women to sedate angry or philandering husbands and make them more affectionate. Faraone's lucid analysis of these spells also yields a number of insights about the construction of gender in antiquity, for example, the femininity of socially inferior males and the maleness of autonomous prostitutes. Most significantly, his findings challenge the widespread modern view that all Greek men considered women to be naturally lascivious. Faraone reveals the existence of an alternate male understanding of the female as naturally moderate and chaste, who uses love magic to pacify and control the naturally angry and passionate male. This fascinating study of magical practices and their implications for perceptions of male and female sexuality offers an unusual look at ancient Greek religion and society.
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Kwaio Religion

The Living and the Dead in a Solomon Island Society

Author: Roger M. Keesing

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 9780231053419

Category: Religion

Page: 257

View: 4804

Keesing studies how the Kwaio have held on to their traditional ways despite 125 years of European colonialism and a militantly Christian national culture.
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The Empty Seashell

Witchcraft and Doubt on an Indonesian Island

Author: Nils Bubandt

Publisher: Cornell University Press

ISBN: 0801471966

Category: Social Science

Page: 320

View: 7403

The Empty Seashell explores what it is like to live in a world where cannibal witches are undeniably real, yet too ephemeral and contradictory to be an object of belief. In a book based on more than three years of fieldwork between 1991 and 2011, Nils Bubandt argues that cannibal witches for people in the coastal, and predominantly Christian, community of Buli in the Indonesian province of North Maluku are both corporeally real and fundamentally unknowable. Witches (known as gua in the Buli language or as suanggi in regional Malay) appear to be ordinary humans but sometimes, especially at night, they take other forms and attack people in order to kill them and eat their livers. They are seemingly everywhere and nowhere at the same time. The reality of gua, therefore, can never be pinned down. The title of the book comes from the empty nautilus shells that regularly drift ashore around Buli village. Convention has it that if you find a live nautilus, you are a gua. Like the empty shells, witchcraft always seems to recede from experience. Bubandt begins the book by recounting his own confusion and frustration in coming to terms with the contradictory and inaccessible nature of witchcraft realities in Buli. A detailed ethnography of the encompassing inaccessibility of Buli witchcraft leads him to the conclusion that much of the anthropological literature, which views witchcraft as a system of beliefs with genuine explanatory power, is off the mark. Witchcraft for the Buli people doesn't explain anything. In fact, it does the opposite: it confuses, obfuscates, and frustrates. Drawing upon Jacques Derrida’s concept of aporia—an interminable experience that remains continuously in doubt—Bubandt suggests the need to take seriously people’s experiential and epistemological doubts about witchcraft, and outlines, by extension, a novel way of thinking about witchcraft and its relation to modernity.
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Creole Religions of the Caribbean

An Introduction from Vodou and Santeria to Obeah and Espiritismo

Author: Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert

Publisher: NYU Press

ISBN: 0814762573

Category: Religion

Page: 324

View: 7090

Creolization—the coming together of diverse beliefs and practices to form new beliefs and practices-is one of the most significant phenomena in Caribbean religious history. Brought together in the crucible of the sugar plantation, Caribbean peoples drew on the variants of Christianity brought by European colonizers, as well as on African religious and healing traditions and the remnants of Amerindian practices, to fashion new systems of belief. Creole Religions of the Caribbean offers a comprehensive introduction to the syncretic religions that have developed in the region. From Vodou, Santería, Regla de Palo, the Abakuá Secret Society, and Obeah to Quimbois and Espiritismo, the volume traces the historical-cultural origins of the major Creole religions, as well as the newer traditions such as Pocomania and Rastafarianism. Chapters devoted to specific traditions trace their history, their pantheons and major rituals, and their current-day expressions in the Caribbean and in the diaspora. The volume also provides a general historical background of the Caribbean region. Creole Religions of the Caribbean is the first text to provide a study of the Creole religions of the Caribbean and will be an indispensable guide to the development of these rich religious traditions and practices. With 23 black and white illustrations
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Purity and Danger

An Analysis of Concepts of Pollution and Taboo

Author: Professor Mary Douglas,Mary Douglas

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1136489274

Category: Social Science

Page: 202

View: 5353

Purity and Danger is acknowledged as a modern masterpiece of anthropology. It is widely cited in non-anthropological works and gave rise to a body of application, rebuttal and development within anthropology. In 1995 the book was included among the Times Literary Supplement's hundred most influential non-fiction works since WWII. Incorporating the philosophy of religion and science and a generally holistic approach to classification, Douglas demonstrates the relevance of anthropological enquiries to an audience outside her immediate academic circle. She offers an approach to understanding rules of purity by examining what is considered unclean in various cultures. She sheds light on the symbolism of what is considered clean and dirty in relation to order in secular and religious, modern and primitive life.
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Deadly Words

Witchcraft in the Bocage

Author: Jeanne Favret-Saada

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521297875

Category: Social Science

Page: 284

View: 9689

This 1980 book examines witchcraft beliefs and experiences in the Bocage, a rural area of western France. It also introduced a powerful theoretical attitude towards the progress of the ethnographer's enquiries, suggesting that a full knowledge of witchcraft involves being 'caught up' in it oneself. In the Bocage, being bewitched is to be 'caught' in a sequence of misfortunes. According to those who are bewitched, the culprit is someone in the neighbourhood: the witch, who can cast a spell with a word, a touch or a look, and whose 'power' comes from a book of spells inherited from an ancestor. Only a professional magician, an 'unwitcher', has any chance of breaking the succession of misfortunes which befall those who have been bewitched. He undertakes a battle of magic with the suspected witch, a battle which is eventually fatal.
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The Social Basis of Health and Healing in Africa

Author: Steven Feierman,John M. Janzen,Joint Committee on African Studies

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 9780520066816

Category: History

Page: 487

View: 8850

Until now our knowledge of African health and healing has been extensive but fragmented. The 18 essays included in this book are an account of disease, health and healing practices on the African continent. The contributors all emphasize the social conditions linked to ill health and the development of local healing traditions, from Morocco to South Africa and from the precolonial era to the present. The editors provide in troductory overviews explaining why and how health and disease are related to historical, economic and political phenomena.
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Stone Age Economics

Author: Marshall Sahlins

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

ISBN: 1351732692

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 376

View: 1884

Since its first publication over forty years ago Marshall Sahlins's Stone Age Economics has established itself as a classic of modern anthropology and arguably one of the founding works of anthropological economics. Ambitiously tackling the nature of economic life and how to study it comparatively, Sahlins radically revises traditional views of the hunter-gatherer and so-called primitive societies, revealing them to be the original "affluent society." Sahlins examines notions of production, distribution and exchange in early communities and examines the link between economics and cultural and social factors. A radical study of tribal economies, domestic production for livelihood, and of the submission of domestic production to the material and political demands of society at large, Stone Age Economics regards the economy as a category of culture rather than behaviour, in a class with politics and religion rather than rationality or prudence. Sahlins concludes, controversially, that the experiences of those living in subsistence economies may actually have been better, healthier and more fulfilled than the millions enjoying the affluence and luxury afforded by the economics of modern industrialisation and agriculture. This Routledge Classics edition includes a new foreword by David Graeber, London School of Economics.
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The Seer in Ancient Greece

Author: Michael Flower

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520259939

Category: History

Page: 305

View: 2348

"The seer (mantis), an expert in the art of divination, operated in ancient Greek society through a combination of charismatic inspiration and diverse skills ranging from examining the livers of sacrificed animals to spirit possession. Unlike the palm readers and mediums who exist on the fringe of modern society, many seers were highly paid, well respected, educated members of the elite who played an essential role in the conduct of daily life, political decisions, and military campaigns. Armies, for example, never went anywhere without one. This engaging book, the only comprehensive study of this fascinating figure, enters into the socioreligious world of ancient Greece to explore what seers did, why they were so widely employed, and how their craft served as a viable and useful social practice." -- Publisher's description.
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The Balinese

Author: John Stephen Lansing

Publisher: Wadsworth Publishing Company

ISBN: N.A

Category: Social Science

Page: 148

View: 2632

This study of the complex Balinese culture examines Balinese concepts of personhood and society; the integration of art into every aspect of Balinese life; the effects of the Guen Revolution on Balinese agriculture; the ecological role of their water temples in an age-old system of inigrate rice terraces; and the ethnohistory of Bali, including both colonial and Balinese views. The book is organized around four different periods of fieldwork and includes an appendix of available films and videos on the Balinese.
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Memories of Revolt

The 1936–1939 Rebellion and the Palestinian National Past

Author: Ted Swedenburg

Publisher: University of Arkansas Press

ISBN: 9781610752633

Category: History

Page: 301

View: 5245

“This wonderful monograph treats a subject that resonates with anyone who studies the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and particularly Palestinian nationalism: that how Palestinian history is remembered and constructed is as meaningful to our understanding of the current struggle as arriving as some sort of ‘complete empirical understanding’ of its history. Swedenburg . . . studies how a major anti-colonial insurrection, the 1936–38 strike and revolt in Palestine [against the British], is remembered in Palestinian nationalist historiography, western and Israeli ‘official’ historical discourse, and Palestinian popular memory. Using primarily oral history interviews, supplemented by archival material and national monuments, he presents multiple, complex, contradictory, and alternative interpretations of historical events. . . . The book is thematically divided into explorations of Palestinian nationalist symbols, stereotypes, and myths; Israeli national monuments that simultaneously act as historical ‘injunctions against forgetting’ Jewish history and efforts to ‘marginalize, vilify, and obliterate’ the Arab history of Palestine; Palestine subaltern memories as resistance to official narratives, including unpopular and controversial recollections of collaboration and assassination; and finally, how the recodification and revival of memories of the revolt informed the Palestinian intifada that erupted in 1987.” —MESA Bulletin
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