In the movie

In the movie - ritualistic spells to ensure a good harvest...

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In the movie “Off the Verandah”, Bronislaw Malinowski went to the Trobriand Islands and observed the culture of the native peoples through an emic or insider perspective. Malinowski worked with translators until he fully learned the language of the natives into order to assimilate himself and better understand their culture. He soon realized that social life in the Trobriand Islands served to fulfill their basic needs and was heavily influenced by the idea of magic. Also, he developed his own type of fieldwork called participant-observation, in which the anthropologist immerses himself into the culture and has direct observation of all the aspects of their culture. On of the members of the culture reiterated the importance and emphasis of magic on their culture by saying that it served as a fertilizer for them and was the basis for all their daily activities. The natives use magic to enhance many daily activities such as gardening. They place
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Unformatted text preview: ritualistic spells to ensure a good harvest and weather. To the natives and from an emic point of view, magic is necessary to ward of evil sprits. Although, from an outsider or etic point of view it seems as if they do not believe that the basic elements of gardening such as sunlight, rain, and fertilizer are enough to ensure a good harvest and thus depend on magic to help with the rest. Also, an outsider may view these gardening rituals as barbaric and ludicrous, but we must apply cultural relativism and not compare or judge another cultures practices based on our own. In addition, eating from a harvest that was not given a proper ceremony will result in sickness. The natives have always viewed magic with great care and believe it is a necessity for a good harvest and to avoid future karma....
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This note was uploaded on 08/26/2011 for the course DANCE 45 taught by Professor Press during the Spring '08 term at UCSB.

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