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By James Siegel

Naming the Witch explores the new sequence of witchcraft accusations and killings in East Java, which unfold because the Suharto regime slipped into obstacle after which fell. After a long time of ethnographic paintings targeting the origins and nature of violence in Indonesia, Siegel got here to the realization that prior anthropological causes of witchcraft and magic, usually in response to sociological conceptions but additionally together with the paintings of E.E. Evans-Pritchard and Claude L?vi-Strauss, have been easily insufficient to the duty of offering an entire knowing of the phenomena linked to sorcery, and especially with the guidelines of energy hooked up with it. earlier reasons have tended to determine witchcraft in basic competition to modernism and modernity (enchantment vs. disenchantment). the writer sees witchcraft as an impact of tradition, while the latter is incapable of facing twist of fate, loss of life, and the terror of the disintegration of social and political relatives. He exhibits how and why modernization and witchcraft can frequently be partners, as humans attempt to call what has hitherto been unnameable.

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An institution that attempts to bring death back into society would thus contradict what would seem to be a fundamental, universal principle: life and death must be kept apart. Is this the case, and if so, how is it possible? The study of W Lloyd Warner called A Black Civilization contains extended description and analysis of magically inflicted death. Warner did field work in Arnhem Land in northern Australia in the late 1920S. Warner was a Durkheimian, and he explained voodoo death as Durkheimian suicide: killing of the self as an expression of the social.

This death, however, is not death, only "half death," by Murngin thinking. It is only when there are not only funeral rituals but when these are believed to be effective, that one can say that death has been accomplished. But the sorcerer aims not at this cultural death but at the death that occurs before it, the half death. That is the source of his power. The more souls cling to the end of his killing stick, souls not in the totemic well, the more powerful he is. These souls are said to be stolen, pulled away from their totemic definitions and not returned there.

By that reasoning, magic is social power. The power of magic comes not from its "agent," as Warner terms the magician, but from the social group as a whole: "It is not the leader who has this power but the ritual of his group. The power and efficacy of the ritual comes from the mana of the entire group" (222). Voodoo death (this is not a term that Warner himself uses) comes about through a direct expression of the power of society. Those around Voodoo Death 55 a man affected by sorcety withdraw.

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