Ethnographic Sorcery

Author: Harry G. West

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226894126

Category: Social Science

Page: 128

View: 9818

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According to the people of the Mueda plateau in northern Mozambique, sorcerers remake the world by asserting the authority of their own imaginative visions of it. While conducting research among these Muedans, anthropologist Harry G. West made a revealing discovery—for many of them, West’s efforts to elaborate an ethnographic vision of their world was itself a form of sorcery. In Ethnographic Sorcery, West explores the fascinating issues provoked by this equation. A key theme of West’s research into sorcery is that one sorcerer’s claims can be challenged or reversed by other sorcerers. After West’s attempt to construct a metaphorical interpretation of Muedan assertions that the lions prowling their villages are fabricated by sorcerers is disputed by his Muedan research collaborators, West realized that ethnography and sorcery indeed have much in common. Rather than abandoning ethnography, West draws inspiration from this connection, arguing that anthropologists, along with the people they study, can scarcely avoid interpreting the world they inhabit, and that we are all, inescapably, ethnographic sorcerers.

Ethnographic Sorcery

Author: Harry G. West

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226893983

Category: Social Science

Page: 146

View: 6616

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According to the people of the Mueda plateau in northern Mozambique, sorcerers remake the world by asserting the authority of their own imaginative visions of it. While conducting research among these Muedans, anthropologist Harry G. West made a revealing discovery—for many of them, West’s efforts to elaborate an ethnographic vision of their world was itself a form of sorcery. In Ethnographic Sorcery, West explores the fascinating issues provoked by this equation. A key theme of West’s research into sorcery is that one sorcerer’s claims can be challenged or reversed by other sorcerers. After West’s attempt to construct a metaphorical interpretation of Muedan assertions that the lions prowling their villages are fabricated by sorcerers is disputed by his Muedan research collaborators, West realized that ethnography and sorcery indeed have much in common. Rather than abandoning ethnography, West draws inspiration from this connection, arguing that anthropologists, along with the people they study, can scarcely avoid interpreting the world they inhabit, and that we are all, inescapably, ethnographic sorcerers.

Ethnographic Sorcery

Author: Harry G. West

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226893976

Category: Social Science

Page: 128

View: 529

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According to the people of the Mueda plateau in northern Mozambique, sorcerers remake the world by asserting the authority of their own imaginative visions of it. While conducting research among these Muedans, anthropologist Harry G. West made a revealing discovery—for many of them, West’s efforts to elaborate an ethnographic vision of their world was itself a form of sorcery. In Ethnographic Sorcery, West explores the fascinating issues provoked by this equation. A key theme of West’s research into sorcery is that one sorcerer’s claims can be challenged or reversed by other sorcerers. After West’s attempt to construct a metaphorical interpretation of Muedan assertions that the lions prowling their villages are fabricated by sorcerers is disputed by his Muedan research collaborators, West realized that ethnography and sorcery indeed have much in common. Rather than abandoning ethnography, West draws inspiration from this connection, arguing that anthropologists, along with the people they study, can scarcely avoid interpreting the world they inhabit, and that we are all, inescapably, ethnographic sorcerers.

The Sorcerer's Burden

The Ethnographic Saga of a Global Family

Author: Paul Stoller

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 3319318055

Category: Social Science

Page: 209

View: 5565

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This book emerges from the author's 35 years of research and thought about the Songhay people of Niger. This ethnographic novel follows the life of Omar Dia, the oldest son of a West African sorcerer. When his father falls ill and dies, the great sorcerer vomits a small metal chain onto his chest. Following the path of his ancestors, Omar swallows the chain, becoming his father's successor, which means that he takes on the sorcerer's burden. The book also describes how custodians of traditional knowledge are creatively adapting to the forces of globalization—all in a highly accessible narrative text.

Kupilikula

Governance and the Invisible Realm in Mozambique

Author: Harry G. West

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226894058

Category: History

Page: 362

View: 1361

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On the Mueda plateau in northern Mozambique, sorcerers are said to feed on their victims, sometimes "making" lions or transforming into lions to literally devour their flesh. When the ruling FRELIMO party subscribed to socialism, it condemned sorcery beliefs and counter-sorcery practices as false consciousness, but since undertaking neoliberal reform, the party—still in power after three electoral cycles—has "tolerated tradition," leaving villagers to interpret and engage with events in the idiom of sorcery. Now, when the lions prowl plateau villages ,suspected sorcerers are often lynched. In this historical ethnography of sorcery, Harry G. West draws on a decade of fieldwork and combines the perspectives of anthropology and political science to reveal how Muedans expect responsible authorities to monitor the invisible realm of sorcery and to overturn or, as Muedans call it, "kupilikula" sorcerers' destructive attacks by practicing a constructive form of counter-sorcery themselves. Kupilikula argues that, where neoliberal policies have fostered social division rather than security and prosperity, Muedans have, in fact, used sorcery discourse to assess and sometimes overturn reforms, advancing alternative visions of a world transformed.

Kuru Sorcery

Disease and Danger in the New Guinea Highlands

Author: Shirley Lindenbaum

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 131726472X

Category: Social Science

Page: 240

View: 2336

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Perhaps the best-documented epidemic in the history of medicine, kuru has been studied for more than fifty years by international investigators from medicine and the human sciences. This significantly revised edition of the landmark anthropological classic Kuru Sorcery brings up to date the anthropological contribution to understanding disease, the medical research that resulted in two medical Nobel Prizes, and the views of the Fore people who endured the epidemic and who still believe that sorcerers, rather than cannibalism, caused kuru. The kuru epidemic serves as a prism through which to see how Fore notions of disease causation bring into single focus their views about the body, the world of social and spiritual relations, and changes in economic and political conditions-aspects of thought and behaviour that Western medicine keeps separate.

Email from Ngeti

An Ethnography of Sorcery, Redemption, and Friendship in Global Africa

Author: James H. Smith,Ngeti Mwadime

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520281101

Category: SOCIAL SCIENCE

Page: 230

View: 9569

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Cover; Email from Ngeti; Title; Copyright; CONTENTS; Acknowledgments; 1 Emails from the Field: An Introduction; 2 English Makes You See Far; 3 God Helps Those That Help Themselves; 4 Good Ants, Bad Milk, and Ugly Deeds; 5 The Power of Prayer; 6 Works and Days; 7 A Confrontation; 8 Reflections; Appendix of Names; Notes; Bibliography. Email from Ngeti is a captivating story of sorcery, redemption, and transnational friendship in the globalized twenty-first century. When the anthropologist James Smith returns to Kenya to begin fieldwork for a new research project, he meets Ngeti Mwadime, a young man from the Taita Hills who is as interested in the United States as Smith is in Taita. Ngeti possesses a savvy sense of humor and an unusual command of the English language, which he teaches himself by watching American movies and memorizing the Oxford English Dictionary. Smith and Mwadime soon develop a friendship th.

Beyond Rationalism

Rethinking Magic, Witchcraft and Sorcery

Author: Bruce Kapferer

Publisher: Berghahn Books

ISBN: 9780857458551

Category: Social Science

Page: 284

View: 9033

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This book seeks a reconsideration of the phenomenon of sorcery and related categories. The contributors to the volume explore the different perspectives on human sociality and social and political constitution that practices typically understood as sorcery, magic and ritual reveal. In doing so the authors are concerned to break away from the dictates of a western externalist rationalist understanding of these phenomena without falling into the trap of mysticism. The articles address a diversity of ethnographic contexts in Africa, Asia, the Pacific and the Americas.

In Sorcery's Shadow

A Memoir of Apprenticeship among the Songhay of Niger

Author: Paul Stoller,Cheryl Olkes

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022609829X

Category: Social Science

Page: 252

View: 5983

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The tale of Paul Stoller's sojourn among sorcerors in the Republic of Niger is a story of growth and change, of mutual respect and understanding that will challenge all who read it to plunge deeply into an alien world.

The Taste of Ethnographic Things

The Senses in Anthropology

Author: Paul Stoller

Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press

ISBN: 9780812203141

Category: Medical

Page: 200

View: 6753

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Anthropologists who have lost their senses write ethnographies that are often disconnected from the worlds they seek to portray. For most anthropologists, Stoller contends, tasteless theories are more important than the savory sauces of ethnographic life. That they have lost the smells, sounds, and tastes of the places they study is unfortunate for them, for their subjects, and for the discipline itself. The Taste of Ethnographic Things describes how, through long-term participation in the lives of the Songhay of Niger, Stoller eventually came to his senses. Taken together, the separate chapters speak to two important and integrated issues. The first is methodological—all the chapters demonstrate the rewards of long-term study of a culture. The second issue is how he became truer to the Songhay through increased sensual awareness.

Of Marriage, Violence and Sorcery

The Quest for Power in Northern Queensland

Author: David McKnight

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1351914081

Category: Social Science

Page: 296

View: 810

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This is a fascinating exploration of the relationship between marriage, violence and sorcery in an Australian Aboriginal Community, drawing on David McKnight’s extensive research on Mornington Island. The case studies, which occurred both before and after a Presbyterian Mission was established on the island, allow McKnight to show how the complexities of kin ties and increased sexual competition help to explain incidences of violence and sorcery, without resorting to psychiatric justifications. He demonstrates that kin ties both stimulated conflict and helped to mitigate it. Following on from McKnight’s previous book, Going the Whiteman’s Way (Ashgate 2004), Of Marriage, Violence and Sorcery offers an archive of valuable primary materials, drawing on the author’s forty-year knowledge of the community on Mornington Island.

Medical Revolutionaries

The Enslaved Healers of Eighteenth-century Saint Domingue

Author: Karol Kimberlee Weaver

Publisher: University of Illinois Press

ISBN: 0252073215

Category: History

Page: 163

View: 4474

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Herbalists, diviners, nurses, midwives, and veterinary practitioners flourished in the medical world of eighteenth-century Saint Domingue. Using Western, African, and Caribbean remedies, they treated the maladies of slaves, white residents, and animals. While these enslaved medical practitioners were an important part of the plantation economy and colonial prosperity, they ultimately roused their fellow slaves to rebel against and overthrow French rule.

Sisters and Lovers

Women and Desire in Bali

Author: Megan Jennaway

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

ISBN: 1461617324

Category: Social Science

Page: 336

View: 5924

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This rich ethnography in a rural village in North Bali illuminates the construction of desire by exploring cultural practices regarding courtship and marriage, motherhood, and connubial fidelity. The way these cornerstones of daily life are played out in the alternative arenas of tourism and illness highlight pervasive gender disparities in the expression of sexuality. By allowing key informants to tell their stories in their own voices and by skillfully interweaving fictionalized interludes, the author gives us not only a rigorously researched ethnography but an intimate and fully realized portrait of Balinese women's innermost desires.

Pentecostalism and Witchcraft

Spiritual Warfare in Africa and Melanesia

Author: Knut Rio,Michelle MacCarthy,Ruy Blanes

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 3319560689

Category: Social Science

Page: 311

View: 8088

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This open access book presents fresh ethnographic work from the regions of Africa and Melanesia—where the popularity of charismatic Christianity can be linked to a revival and transformation of witchcraft. The volume demonstrates how the Holy Spirit has become an adversary to the reconfirmed presence of witches, demons, and sorcerers as manifestations of evil. We learn how this is articulated in spiritual warfare, in crusades, and in healing or witch-killing raids. The contributors highlight what happens to phenomena that people address as locally specific witchcraft or sorcery when re-molded within the universalist Pentecostal demonology, vocabulary, and confrontational methodology.

Political Ethnography

What Immersion Contributes to the Study of Power

Author: Edward Schatz

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226736785

Category: Social Science

Page: 352

View: 7487

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Scholars of politics have sought in recent years to make the discipline more hospitable to qualitative methods of research. Lauding the results of this effort and highlighting its potential for the future, Political Ethnography makes a compelling case for one such method in particular. Ethnography, the contributors amply demonstrate in a wide range of original essays, is uniquely suited for illuminating the study of politics. Situating these pieces within the context of developments in political science, Edward Schatz provides an overarching introduction and substantive prefaces to each of the volume’s four sections. The first of these parts addresses the central ontological and epistemological issues raised by ethnographic work, while the second grapples with the reality that all research is conducted from a first-person perspective. The third section goes on to explore how ethnographic research can provide fresh perspectives on such perennial topics as opinion, causality, and power. Concluding that political ethnography can and should play a central role in the field as a whole, the final chapters illuminate the many ways in which ethnographic approaches can enhance, improve, and, in some areas, transform the study of politics.

Mobile Secrets

Youth, Intimacy, and the Politics of Pretense in Mozambique

Author: Julie Soleil Archambault

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022644760X

Category: Social Science

Page: 224

View: 8454

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Now part and parcel of everyday life almost everywhere, mobile phones have radically transformed how we acquire and exchange information. Many anticipated that in Africa, where most have gone from no phone to mobile phone, improved access to telecommunication would enhance everything from entrepreneurialism to democratization to service delivery, ushering in socio-economic development. With Mobile Secrets, Julie Soleil Archambault offers a complete rethinking of how we understand uncertainty, truth, and ignorance by revealing how better access to information may in fact be anything but desirable. By engaging with young adults in a Mozambique suburb, Archambault shows how, in their efforts to create fulfilling lives, young men and women rely on mobile communication not only to mitigate everyday uncertainty but also to juggle the demands of intimacy by courting, producing, and sustaining uncertainty. In their hands, the phone has become a necessary tool in a wider arsenal of pretense—a means of creating the open-endedness on which harmonious social relations depend in postwar postsocialist Mozambique. As Mobile Secrets shows, Mozambicans have harnessed the technology not only to acquire information but also to subvert regimes of truth and preserve public secrets, allowing everyone to feign ignorance about the workings of the postwar intimate economy.

The Power of Perspective

Social Ontology and Agency on Ambrym Island, Vanuatu

Author: Knut Mikjel Rio

Publisher: Berghahn Books

ISBN: 9781845452933

Category: Social Science

Page: 270

View: 1447

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Focusing on different forms of agency in North Ambrym social life, the author demonstrates the potency of outsiders at different times and in different situations in Ambrym society. This model challenges the premises of much Western thinking about reciprocity, and suggests new directions in the analysis of Melanesian societies

Violent Becomings

State Formation, Sociality, and Power in Mozambique

Author: Bjørn Enge Bertelsen

Publisher: Berghahn Books

ISBN: 1785332368

Category: Political Science

Page: 360

View: 4643

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Violent Becomings conceptualizes the Mozambican state not as the bureaucratically ordered polity of the nation-state, but as a continuously emergent and violently challenged mode of ordering. In doing so, this book addresses the question of why colonial and postcolonial state formation has involved violent articulations with so-called 'traditional' forms of sociality. The scope and dynamic nature of such violent becomings is explored through an array of contexts that include colonial regimes of forced labor and pacification, liberation war struggles and civil war, the social engineering of the post-independence state, and the popular appropriation of sovereign violence in riots and lynchings.

In Darkness and Secrecy

The Anthropology of Assault Sorcery and Witchcraft in Amazonia

Author: Neil L. Whitehead,Robin Wright

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 082238583X

Category: Body, Mind & Spirit

Page: 336

View: 456

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In Darkness and Secrecy brings together ethnographic examinations of Amazonian assault sorcery, witchcraft, and injurious magic, or “dark shamanism.” Anthropological reflections on South American shamanism have tended to emphasize shamans’ healing powers and positive influence. This collection challenges that assumption by showing that dark shamans are, in many Amazonian cultures, quite different from shamanic healers and prophets. Assault sorcery, in particular, involves violence resulting in physical harm or even death. While highlighting the distinctiveness of such practices, In Darkness and Secrecy reveals them as no less relevant to the continuation of culture and society than curing and prophecy. The contributors suggest that the persistence of dark shamanism can be understood as a form of engagement with modernity. These essays, by leading anthropologists of South American shamanism, consider assault sorcery as it is practiced in parts of Brazil, Guyana, Venezuela, and Peru. They analyze the social and political dynamics of witchcraft and sorcery and their relation to cosmology, mythology, ritual, and other forms of symbolic violence and aggression in each society studied. They also discuss the relations of witchcraft and sorcery to interethnic contact and the ways that shamanic power may be co-opted by the state. In Darkness and Secrecy includes reflections on the ethical and practical implications of ethnographic investigation of violent cultural practices. Contributors. Dominique Buchillet, Carlos Fausto, Michael Heckenberger, Elsje Lagrou, E. Jean Langdon, George Mentore, Donald Pollock, Fernando Santos-Granero, Pamela J. Stewart, Andrew Strathern, Márnio Teixeira-Pinto, Silvia Vidal, Neil L. Whitehead, Johannes Wilbert, Robin Wright