Witchcraft, Oracles And Magic Among The Azande

1006 words - 4 pages

Reflection Paper # 2Topic: Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic among the Azande.Witchcraft, for the Azande is 'ubiquitous' (Evans-Pritchard, 18), it is ever present in all aspects of their life, from 'fishing' to their 'technology and language' (Evans-Pritchard, 18). Evans-Pritchard explores the affect witchcraft holds over the sub Saharan tribe of Zande. In the reading he comes up with two purposes that witchcraft hold in society. The first one being the "relation between men and unfortunate events" (Evans-Pritchard, 18) and the second one is the belief that it "regulates human conduct" (Evans-Pritchard, 18). These beliefs may seem irrational at first, but upon further reading we realize that such beliefs prevail among other cultures as well, as this paper will discuss later.The Zande concept of witchcraft is not simple to understand. If a granary crumbles down because termites ate it up, it not the fault of witchcraft. If a boy 'knocks his foot on a stump of wood' (Evans-Pritchard, 20) and hurts it, it is not the fault of witchcraft. If a potter's pot splits from the middle it cannot be blamed on witchcraft. However, the fact that the granary collapsed while there were innocent people sitting beneath it, points to witchcraft. The fact that the boy's foot did not heal on this occasion, while at other instances 'the nature of cuts is such that they close instantly'(Evans-Pritchard, 21), points to the 'play of supernatural forces' (Evans-Pritchard, 19). And the fact that the experts potter's pots rarely ever split and yet this particular pot did split points to witchcraft. So in other words, to the people of Zandeland, witchcraft is what may be called 'coincidence' in the West. Witchcraft is their explanation of why particular events happen to particular people at a particular time. They use the concept of witchcraft to 'supply y the missing link' (Evans-Pritchard, 19).In the Pakistani society the concept of 'witchcraft' as the Azande believe it to be, is not that prevalent. But the notions behind the Azande concept and the Pakistani explanation of evil doings are quite similar. What the Azande will declare to be the evil wish of a witch, the Pakistani will declare as the will of God. Thus both cultures have beliefs in interference by supernatural forces. Parallel to the belief of 'coincidence' in the west and 'witchcraft' in Zandeland, Pakistanis have the belief of 'Kismet' or destiny. Many a time elders are heard to say 'what had to happen, had to happen, and you cannot question fate.' If shop burns down because of a short circuit, even though the shop keeper had been careful, the final conclusion will be: fate or "kismet". And after that no further explanation will be required.Evans-Pritchard makes a clear distinction between 'sorcery' (Evans-Pritchard, 25) and 'witchcraft'. If a man suddenly falls violently sick and dies the Zande will believe that 'a sorcerer has made magic against him' (Evans-Pritchard, 25). Witchcraft is not something that...

Find Another Essay On Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic among the Azande

Witchcraft and the Inquisition of the Catholic Church

1886 words - 8 pages Witchcraft and the Inquisition of the Catholic Church Witchcraft. The word in itself evokes a certain kind of eeriness. In past centuries, people who were accused of being witches were thought of to be the worst kinds of people there are. There were several kinds of witches and several ways in which they operated. Whatever the reason, the Catholic Church saw witches, or those accused of being witches, as sinful. Partly to stop this kind of

Witchcraft, Zombies, and Music: The Case of Khulekani "Mgqumeni" Khumalo

1181 words - 5 pages resides in the urban area of Johannesburg, so it is more likely that she, unlike Khumalo’s family, does not believe in witchcraft, zombies, and reincarnation (BBC News February 7). Interestingly, when asked to sing, Gcabashe instead recited his clan names (BBC News February 6), reiterating the traditional emphasis on family and descent, thus placing himself within an African culture that accepts the notion of magic. Although it is unclear what

Compare and contrast the views of Oedipus and Queen Iocaste as to the validity of uncontrollable fate, and oracles being able to see the future.

1446 words - 6 pages In this paper I will present an interpretation of the Play Oedipus Rex by Sophocles. 'Compare and contrast the views of Oedipus and Queen Iocaste as to the validity of uncontrollable fate, and oracles being able to see the future. 'King Laios the ruler of Thebes, has a son with his wife Queen Iocoste. His name is Oedipus. The soothsayer Teiresias, a loyal servant to the King and Queen tells them some disturbing news. Teiresias tells King Laios

Magic in The Descent of Innana and Sappho

1363 words - 5 pages Magic in The Descent of Innana and Sappho In the ancient text The Descent of Innana and the lyric poetry of Sappho, language is viewed as magic. Not only are the words themselves acting as magic, as in an invocation, but other things manifest themselves as magic throughout the works. The most common throughout the works of Sappho is that of love. Sappho also shows us the magic of everyday life in many of her poems. Finally, the writing

The Interrelationship among Self, Others, and Environment

1171 words - 5 pages individuals influence one another within the social world involve persuasion, obedience, conformity, and group dynamics. Social psychologists keep at the forefront of their study the interrelationships that exist among self, others, and the environments with regard to the development of one’s behavior, emotions, perceptions, and relationships with others. My paper will provide a definition of social psychology and brief overview of the systematic

The Salem Witchcraft Trials of 1692: The History, Proceedings, and Legal Consequences of the Mass Hysteria

2045 words - 9 pages white magic became warped, and the idea of witchcraft in general was twisted into being associated with darkness, demons, and evil. Accusations against others for performing this newly-regarded witchcraft grew to become almost commonplace as more and more superstitions that had once been harmless grew to become associated with Satan (Godbeer). Within the town, it grew to become a common belief that most, if not all, of the misfortunes that befell

Witchcraft in the Middle Ages of Europe and Central America: Women, Men and Beasts

2915 words - 12 pages servers of the church believed themselves to be defenders of god, and thus were righteous in their elite positions. Not solely was the phenomenon of witchcraft to be kept among the believers and condemners of theological heresy, but those who dare refute the increase in witchcraft and the accused witches supposed guilt, should also be treated as equals to the heretics and punished. Evidence of which can be seen in The Malleus Maleficaum (The

The Salem Witchcraft Trials of 1692: The History, Proceedings, and Legal Consequences of the Mass Hysteria

2217 words - 9 pages village’s meeting house, he was interrupted and forced to stop numerous times due to outbursts from those who were afflicted by the fits (Goss). A close neighbor of the Parris’ named Mary Sibley told Tituba’s husband, John Indian, of a way that involved English folk “white magic” to find out who was using witchcraft against the afflicted girls. A “witch cake” made of rye meal and the girls’ own urine was to be fed to a dog. History does not reveal

Comparing the Salem Witch Trials, European Witchcraft Craze and the McCarthy Hearings

1712 words - 7 pages Comparing the Salem Witch Trials, European Witchcraft Craze and the McCarthy Hearings The evidence of witchcraft and related works has been around for many centuries. Gradually, though, a mixture a religious, economical, and political reasons instigated different periods of fear and uncertainty among society. Witchcraft was thought of as a connection to the devil that made the victim do evil and strange deeds. (Sutter par. 1) In the sixteenth

The Given Circumstances and the Magic If in the Stanislavski System

2921 words - 12 pages The Given Circumstances and the Magic If in the Stanislavski System One of the most fundamental principles of the Stanislavski system is that an actor must always strive to achieve a sense of psychological and inner truth. They must have a clear understanding of the internal thoughts and emotions of their character, so that they are able to think and act as the character would to any given situation. He also believed

The three major themes in the movie Excalibur are Magic,Power, and Fate

627 words - 3 pages The entire story of Excalibur is based on three things which intertwine with each other. Those three things are magic, power and fate. Excalibur would not exist with out the magic of the all-powerful Merlin; the town of Camelot would never been created with out the power and strength of Arthur and his men ; and furthermore with out fate Arthur would have never have pulled the sword from the stone. With out these three things to be the center

Similar Essays

Witchcraft, Magic And Rationality Essay

2353 words - 9 pages apparent self-evident ones. Evans-Pritchard in his ethnographic text ‘Witchcraft Oracles and Magic Among the Azande’ wrote about the Azande people of Sudan. The belief in witches and witchcraft was an integral part of Azande life at this time. Evans-Pritchard gives the example of when an old granary collapses, killing or injuring somebody resting beneath it. He stresses that Zande people know that termites eat away at the wood, and that in

The Truth Behind Witchcraft And Wicca.

1942 words - 8 pages . "Witchcraft is a way of life, a practice, a belief system and a religion (Spring)." Witchcraft is considered an earth religion, which means being in harmony with the Earth and with all life (Covenant). People of witchcraft can be referred to as a pagan (someone who practices Earth Religions). A Witch is someone who worships the Gods and Goddesses. Witches also practice magic and follow the spiritual path of Witchcraft (Covenant). Witchcraft is

Magic And Superstition In The Middle Ages

3500 words - 14 pages part of philosophy, but stands with a false claim outside it” ("Chronology of Modern Christianity: Timeline of Witches and Witchcraft"). Magic, evidently, had its own metaphysical classification with its own set of customs and laws surrounding it. Ever since the separation of Christians from Jewish faith, there have been conflicts, in practices, beliefs, and rituals. Notably, this conflict in interests saw the birth of many enduring

The Magic Smoke, Sparks, Programming, And Wire

756 words - 3 pages , but I was only running like the many others, try to escape the monster. This was the season of magic smoke, sparks, programming, and wire. As we analyzed the robot, trying to find, and fix, the disastrous mistake, we discovered that the ever-so-useful red and black wires were attached the inverse of how they should be. Because of this, the motor controller, known as Jaguars or simply Jags’, overloaded and began to smoking, a delicious smell of