ANTH Magic and Witchcraft

ANTH Magic and Witchcraft - Interpretations of Magic and...

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Interpretations of Magic and Witchcraft ANTH 102 Understanding Other Cultures Fall 2006
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Magic and Witchcraft Underlying need for control of social and physical environments More than heuristic labels; they are real in the sense that they are actual classes of belief and practice related to problem of human control Magic and witchcraft work toward this end
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The Magical Formula Spoken and acted ritual (usually referred to as a “spell”) and material object (“medicine”) “Fetish” - objects that have magical properties Sometimes thought to contain spirit Used magically, but not worshiped
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Magic While magic has emotional origin, the performance of it is routine While magical rituals appear dramatic, almost always non-emotional Client takes complaint to magical specialist, but specialist has no emotional attachment to problem
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Interpreting Magic Magic gives individual sense of confidence in face of fear Provides an outlet for hostility Assuages tensions that might otherwise result in physical combat and death Explains misfortune and failure and reveals cause of illness
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Interpreting Magic Assigns a human cause to terrifying
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course ANTH 101 taught by Professor Simmons during the Fall '06 term at South Carolina.

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ANTH Magic and Witchcraft - Interpretations of Magic and...

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