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Anthropological approaches to the understanding of witchcraft and sorcery : an historical and critical.. 1973

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r ANTHROPOLOGICAL APPROACHES TO THE UNDERSTANDING OP WITCHCRAFT AND SORCERY AN HISTORICAL AND CRITICAL STUDY WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO THE WORK OF E.E. EVANS-PRITCHARD AND CLYDE KLUCKHOHN by ALASTAIR FRASER CAMPBELL B.A., University of Otago, 1967 Research Associate i n Semiotics, International Centre f o r Semiotics and L i n g u i s t i c s , Urbino, 1972 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n the Department of Anthropology We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA June, 1973 In presenting t h i s thesis i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the Library s h a l l make i t f r e e l y available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of t h i s thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by h i s representatives. It i s understood that copying or publication of t h i s thesis for f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my written permission. ( A l a s t a i r F r a s e r Campbell) Department of Anthropology The University of B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8, Canada Date 25 - 5 - 197^ ABSTRACT Attempts to e s t a b l i s h c r o s s - c u l t u r a l l y v a l i d d e f i n i - t i o n s o f w i t c h c r a f t , s o r c e r y and d e s t r u c t i v e magic are mis- l e a d i n g , s i n c e these phenomena do not c o n s t i t u t e true c l a s s e s , but bear only a f a m i l y resemblance to each other. Moreover, the attempt to e s t a b l i s h such d e f i n i t i o n s v i o l a t e s the i n t e g r i t y of n a t i v e c a t e g o r i e s of thought, and thus ob- scures the understanding of the way i n which thought i s manifested i n a c t i o n s taken i n s p e c i f i c behavioural con- t e x t s . The understanding of n a t i v e c a t e g o r i e s of thought, and of the way i n which these are t r a n s l a t e d i n t o overt be- haviour i n s p e c i f i c contexts of a c t i o n , i s conditioned by our p r i o r experience as the members of a p a r t i c u l a r c u l t u r e and s o c i a l system. Our c u l t u r a l l y acquired notions of the nature of human s o c i e t y , and of r e a l i t y more g e n e r a l l y , enter i n t o our p e r c e p t i o n of the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of p r i m i - t i v e s o c i e t i e s . P a r t i c u l a r l y d i f f i c u l t f o r us, coming from a c u l t u r e i n which our n o t i o n s of r a t i o n a l i t y are deeply i n f l u e n c e d by the subject matter and methods of the n a t u r a l s c i e n c e s , i s the understanding of behaviour associated w i t h ideas of magic and w i t c h c r a f t . A review of the h i s t o r y of a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l theory i n - d i c a t e s a wide v a r i e t y i n approaches towards the understand- i n g of these phenomena. Thus magic and w i t c h c r a f t have been v a r i o u s l y i n t e r p r e t e d as h i s t o r i c a l s u r v i v a l s from an e a r l i e r phase of human s o c i a l e v o l u t i o n , as manifestations - i i - o f a p a r t i c u l a r m e n t a l i t y p e c u l i a r to p r i m i t i v e s , as an a f - f e c t i v e response to s i t u a t i o n s of a n x i e t y , as a mechanism p r o v i d i n g f o r the r e l e a s e of tensions consequent upon l i f e i n s o c i e t y , and as a cosmology i n terms of which n a t u r a l and s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s are ordered. The scope of such i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s has ranged from g e n e r a l i z a t i o n s made on the b a s i s of a wide range of pheno- mena, and aiming at c r o s s - c u l t u r a l v a l i d i t y , to i n t e r p r e t a - t i o n s of a r e s t r i c t e d s e t of data from only one c u l t u r e . I t i s w i t h i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of the l a t t e r type that w i t c h - c r a f t and sorcery become subjects of study i n t h e i r own r i g h t , i n s t e a d of being subsumed under some theory p u r p o r t - i n g t o h o l d t r u e f o r the e n t i r e domain of magic and r e l i g i o n , or even p r i m i t i v e m e n t a l i t y as such. T y l o r , Frazer and Levy-Bruhl may a l l be regarded as having o f f e r e d t h e o r i e s o f general a p p l i c a b i l i t y , i n con- t r a s t to KLuckhohn and Evans-Pritchard. (Malinowski stands as an intermediate f i g u r e i n t h i s r e s p e c t ) . But w h i l e , from t h i s p o i n t o f view, KLuckhohn and Evans-Pritchard may be grouped together, t h e i r work may nevertheless be contrasted i n other r e s p e c t s . Thus, Evans-Pritchard emphasizes the l o g i c a l coherence and r a t i o n a l i t y of Zande w i t c h c r a f t , of which he t r i e s to present the sense, and which he analyses w i t h i n the framework of a s o c i o l o g i s t i c and s t r u c t u r a l i s t approach. KLuckhohn, on the other hand, presents Navaho w i t c h c r a f t as e s s e n t i a l l y i r r a t i o n a l , and as standing i n need of an explanation which he provides i n terms of a p s y c h o l o g i s t i c and f u n c t i o n a l i s t theory. I m p l i c i t i n these a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l approaches are de- - i i i - f i n i t e assumptions about the nature of Western science, on the b a s i s of which a number of oppositions have been posed between s c i e n t i f i c thought and b e l i e f s of a m a g i c o - r e l i g i o u s order. An examination o f the nature of s c i e n t i f i c a c t i v i t y suggests that most of these assumptions are mistaken. By f o c u s i n g upon the content o f s c i e n t i f i c thought, and the imagined psychology of the i n d i v i d u a l s c i e n t i s t , anthropo- l o g i s t s have overlooked the s t r u c t u r a l s i m i l a r i t i e s between s c i e n t i f i c b e l i e f s and a c t i v i t i e s , and the b e l i e f s and ac- t i v i t i e s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of magic and w i t c h c r a f t . As a r e - s u l t , they have f a i l e d t o understand the most important de- t e r m i n i n g c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of each - the s o c i a l context i n which such thought operates. CONTENTS Abstract . . . . . . . . i I. PROBLEMS OP TERMINOLOGY AND DEFINITION 1 A. Introduction 1 B. How Terminologies Develop 3 C. Magicf Witchcraft and Sorcery. . . 6 D. Terminological Usages 11 E. Resolution of Terminological D i f - f i c u l t i e s 34 Notes and References. . . . . . . . . . . 44 I I . FURTHER METHODOLOGICAL CONSIDERATIONS 50 A. Introduction 50 B. C u l t u r a l Knowledge as a C u l t u r a l Phenomenon 52 C. Levels of C u l t u r a l Understanding . 53 D. Th e i r Ways of Thinking and Ours. . 59 E. The Importance of History 64 F. The Development of Anthropological Theory 67 G. Evans-Pritchard and Kluckhohn. . . 73 Notes and References 77 I I I . THE PROGRESSIONISTS 82 A. Introduction 82 -V- B. Magic and the Association of Ideas 86 C. Magic, Science and Religion. . . . 91 D. The S t a b i l i t y of Magical B e l i e f . . 95 E. A Critique of Tylor and Prazer . . 96 Notes and References. . 102 IV. LUCIEN LEVY-BRUHL . . . 107 A. Introduction 107 B. The Nature of Primitive Mentality. 113 C. A Critique of Levy-Bruhl 117 Notes and References 123 V. W.H.R. RIVERS 129 A. Introduction 129 B. Medicine, Magic and Religion . . . 129 C. A Critique of Rivers 133 Notes and References 137 VI. AN AFFECTIVE THEORY OF MAGIC 138 A. Introduction • 138 B. Malinowski • s Psychologism 140 C. The Uniformity of Primitive Magic. 142 D. Anxiety and Magic 145 E. Black Magic. . . 152 F. The P o l i t i c o - L e g a l Functions of Sorcery . 154 G. A Critique of Malinowski 156 - v i - Notes and References 166 VII. EVANS-PRITCHARD'S ANALYSIS OP ZANDE WITCHCRAFT. 170 A. Introduction 170 B. Evans-Pritchard•s Viewpoint. . . . 172 C. Witchcraft Explains Misfortune . . 173 D. Action Against Witchcraft 178 E. The D i r e c t i o n of Witchcraft Accusa- tions 188 F. Scepticism and the V a r i a b i l i t y of Zande B e l i e f s 192 G. The Persistence and S t a b i l i t y of Zande B e l i e f 196 H. A Critique of Evans-Pritchard. . . 207 Notes and References 209 VIII. KLUCKHOHN*S ANALYSIS OF NAVAHO WITCHCRAFT . . . 214 A. Introduction 214 B. The S o c i a l i z a t i o n of Witch B e l i e f s 216 C. „uckhohn*s Functionalism. . . . . 219 D. The Individual Functions of Navaho Witchcraft 220 E. The Soc i a l Functions of Navaho Witchcraft 236 F. The Cost of Navaho Witchcraft. . . 239 G. H i s t o r i c a l Fluctuations i n Witch- c r a f t A c t i v i t y 240 H. A Critique of KLuckhohn 244 Notes and References 248 - v i i - IX. THE IMAGE OF SCIENCE AND THE UNDERSTANDING OF WITCHCRAFT 253 A. Introduction 253 B. The Progressionists 253 C. Malinowski 257 D. E.E. Evans-Pritchard 263 E. Witchcraft and Science as Para- digmatic A c t i v i e s 269 Notes and References 274 Bibliography . . 278 DIAGRAMS 1. Witchcraft and Sorcery as Polar Ideal Types. . . P. 36 2. Family Resemblance and Universal Class P. 40 3* Oppositions Between Science and Magic. . . . . . P. 60 4. Homeopathic and Contagious Magic P. 88 5. Magic, Sorcery and Taboo . . . . . . . . . . . . P. 90 6. Tylor's View of Magic, Science and Religion. . . P. 93 7. Frazer's View of Magic, Science and Religion . . P. 93 CHAPTER ONE PROBLEMS OF TERMINOLOGY AND DEFINITION A. Introduction In t h i s thesis, I propose to examine the gradual de- velopment of some of the approaches which anthropologists have adopted towards the phenomena of witchcraft and sor- cery i n primitive s o c i e t i e s . 1 In doing so, I w i l l place a s p e c i a l emphasis on the work of Clyde Kluckhohn and of E.E. 2 Evans-Pritchard. It i s with these two writers that witch- c r a f t and sorcery become subjects of study i n t h e i r own r i g h t , instead of being regarded as merely p a r t i c u l a r i n - stances of "sympathetic magic", the " p r i n c i p l e of p a r t i - c i p ation" or primitive man's need fo r a r a t i o n a l i t y - s u b - s t i t u t e . Kluckhohn*s study of the Navaho develops a psycho- f u n c t i o n a l i s t theory of witchcraft and sorcery, p a r t l y deriving from Malinowski*s theory of the a f f e c t i v e nature of magic, but also incorporating c e r t a i n elements of psycho-analytic theory. Evans-Pritchard*s study of the Azande, on the other hand, i s representative of a s t r i c t - l y s o c i o l o g i s t i c approach which we might c a l l s t r u c t u r a l - i s t . ^ i t i s the l a t t e r work which has had the deepest impact on the anthropological profession and especially on B r i t i s h anthropologists, most of whose work on witch- c r a f t and sorcery since the publication of Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic among the Azande must be regarded as -2- an elaboration - and even simple repetition - of themes already present i n Evans-Pritchard*s analysis. In this respect, the Zande study has come to play a role in (British) social anthropology analogous to that ascribed by Thomas S. Kuhn to paradigms i n the natural sciences. Evans-Pritchard*s study, in other words, has provided a community of researchers with a universally recognized achievement providing model problems and solutions; for what has been perceived as constituting a particular con- 4 s t e l l a t i o n of phenomena. It i s significant that neither Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic among the Azande nor Navaho Witchcraft attempts a systematic treatment of witchcraft or sorcery i n gener- a l . Both exhibit a s t r i c t l y ethnographic concern, and in this respect are typical of post-Malinowskian and pre- Levi-Straussian anthropology. Indeed, despite the return in recent years of anthropological interest i n problems of an e x p l i c i t l y comparative nature, the analysis of sor- cery and witchcraft has largely continued to remain on the ethnographic l e v e l . There have been a few recent attempts at conscious cross-cultural comparison, but these have been more i n the nature of probes than anything else, and 5 in any case have been atypical. Indeed, the only serious attempt to assemble a l l the available material on witchcraft and sorcery in t r i b a l societies has been that of Lucy Mair.^ Moreover, even Mair*s survey i s mainly i n - tended to serve as a popular introduction to the subject. Consequently, she makes no attempt to impose a general i n - terpretation on her work, and mainly limits herself to a -3- c r i t i c i s m of e x i s t i n g t h e o r i e s . Yet i f we thus have no general theory of w i t c h c r a f t and s o r c e r y i n our possession, what sense can i t make to speak of w i t c h c r a f t and sorcery i n general terms? And i f we say t h a t E v a n s - P r i t c h a r d ' s study of the Azande has come to serve as something l i k e a paradigm i n d i r e c t i n g l a t e r s t u d i e s of w i t c h c r a f t and s o r - c e r y , what i s there about the phenomena of w i t c h c r a f t and s o r c e r y which have been i n v e s t i g a t e d i n these l a t e r s t u d - i e s which makes them amenable to a n a l y s i s i n terms of a model o r i g i n a l l y devised to f i t the f a c t s of a d i f f e r e n t ethnographic context? B. How Terminologies Develop The p r i n c i p a l aim of the a n t h r o p o l o g i s t l i e s i n t r y - i n g to render i n t e l l i g i b l e to the audience f o r whom he w r i t e s - p r i m a r i l y h i s p r o f e s s i o n a l c o l l e a g u e s - the mode of l i f e of the members of another c u l t u r a l group. This t a s k of " r e n d e r i n g i n t e l l i g i b l e " i n v o l v e s two e s s e n t i a l components: i . an e x p l i c a t i o n of the conceptual c a t e g o r i e s i n terms of which the people whom he i s s t u d y i n g render e x p l i c i t t h e i r views on the n a t u r a l and s o c i a l o rder, and i i * the determination of the r e l a t i o n s h i p of t h i s concep- 7 t u a l system to manifest b e h a v i o r . Thus the a n t h r o p o l o g i s t i s n e c e s s a r i l y r e q u i r e d to attempt the t r a n s l a t i o n of concepts from one i d e a system ( t h a t of the c u l t u r e he s t u d i e s ) i n t o another ( t h a t of h i s c o l l e a g u e s ) . The d i f f i c u l t y posed by t h i s n e c e s s i t y of t r a n s l a t i n g a r i s e s , of course, from the f a c t t h a t the con- cepts which must be t r a n s l a t e d are o f t e n not r e f e r e n t i a l 0 -4- ( f o r example, i n r e f e r r i n g to n o t i o n s l i k e goodness, i n - f i n i t y o r t i m e ) , w h i l e those t h a t are r e f e r e n t i a l o f t e n , d i v i d e the worl d o f experience i n d i f f e r e n t ways. Thus i t i s t h a t we f i n d M a i r , i n t r y i n g to render a West A f - r i c a n concept i n E n g l i s h , r e f e r r i n g to the s h r i n e o f a g " t a l i s m a n - o r f e t i s h , o r god...". Yet, d e s p i t e d i f f i c u l t i e s o f t h i s s o r t , anthropolof- g i s t s have i n f a c t succeeded i n developing a common s e t of terms f o r communicating i n f o r m a t i o n among themselves concerning the i n s t i t u t i o n s and b e l i e f s o f other peoples. T h i s terminology has been developed roughly as f o l l o w s . I n h i s s t u d i e s o f other c u l t u r e s , the a n t h r o p o l o g i s t has been confro n t e d w i t h i n s t i t u t i o n s and conceptual s t r u c - t u r e s which seem to bear some resemblance - perhaps, f o l - 9 l o w i n g W i t t g e n s t e i n , we might say f a m i l y resemblance - to i n s t i t u t i o n s and conceptual s t r u c t u r e s w i t h which he i s f a m i l i a r from h i s own c u l t u r e or from other c u l t u r e s h i s c o l l e a g u e s have s t u d i e d . I n t h i s way, he i s l e d i n t o d e s c r i b i n g these phenomena i n terms t h a t are d e r i v e d from other c u l t u r a l c o n t e x t s , l a b e l l i n g one aspect o f s o c i a l l i f e "marriage", another "taboo", "animism 1*, " g i f t ex- change", " i n i t i a t i o n ceremony" or C h i e f t a i n s h i p " • How- ever, we must keep our guard i n r e l a t i o n to t h i s p r a c - t i c e . For w h i l e i t seems i n e v i t a b l e i f c r o s s - c u l t u r a l comparison i s to proceed - the l o g i c a l a l t e r n a t i v e b e i n g ethnographies w r i t t e n e n t i r e l y i n the n a t i v e language - we must n e v e r t h e l e s s e v e n t u a l l y confront the question o f whether or not these phenomena, a p p a r e n t l y s i m i l a r , are r e a l l y s u f f i c i e n t l y a l i k e t o warrant d e s i g n a t i o n by the -5- same term. Leach's discussion of the d i f f i c u l t i e s of e l u c i d a t - i n g any u n i v e r s a l l y v a l i d d e f i n i t i o n of marriage seems worth mentioning at t h i s point i n order to i l l u s t r a t e the kinds of terminological d i f f i c u l t y anthropologists face. S t a r t i n g from the premise that marriage represents a "bundle of r i g h t s " , Leach shows that any attempt to go beyond t h i s formula and seek a u n i v e r s a l l y v a l i d d e f i n i - t i o n of marriage i s i n vain. This i s f o r the reason that marriage may serve, i n d i f f e r i n g s o c i e t i e s , to e s t a b l i s h widely d i f f e r i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p s of r i g h t and o b l i g a t i o n . Leach, f o r example, l i s t s ten examples of such r i g h t s and obligations, and the l i s t could e a s i l y be extended. The important point i s that i n no society does marriage estab- l i s h a l l these r i g h t s and obligations simultaneously: nor, on the other hand, i s there any single one of these r i g h t s and obligations which i s i n v a r i a b l y established i n every known society by marriage. Thus the i n s t i t u t i o n s commonly described as marriage do not by any means a l l have the same l e g a l and s o c i a l concomitants. Hence the anthropolo- g i s t ' s dilemma: i f , i n order to compare the mar i t a l i n s t i - tutions of d i f f e r e n t cultures, he frames a d e f i n i t i o n of marriage drawn from one cu l t u r e , then the mar i t a l i n s t i t u - tions of other cultures w i l l be misdescribed i n terms of that d e f i n i t i o n . On the other hand, the attempt to formu- l a t e a d e f i n i t i o n of marriage which would f i t the f a c t s from every culture equally well would r e s u l t i n a concept so neutral and bare as to be devoid of content and mean- 10 mg. - 6 - l e a c h has also attacked anthropologists f o r tending to t r e a t words l i k e " s i b l i n g " , " f i l i a t i o n * ' , "descent." and " a f f i n i t y " as absolute t e c h n i c a l terms which can be d i s - tinguished from one another by a p r i o r i reasoning without regard to ethnographic evidence. 1 1 In a s i m i l a r vein, L6vi-Strauss has c a l l e d i n t o question the v a l i d i t y of the concept of totemism. He has argued that t h i s concept rep- resents an improperly constructed semantic f i e l d , i l l e g i - t imately grouping together a complex of customs and be- l i e f s " a c t u a l l y extremely heterogenous and d i f f i c u l t to 12 i s o l a t e " . C. Magic. Witchcraft And Sorcery When we consider the d i f f e r e n t customs and b e l i e f s which have "been described as "destructive magic", "sor- cery" and "witchcraft", we may note also with these pheno- mena a wide d i v e r s i t y i n b e l i e f and p r a c t i c e from one so- c i e t y to another. This d i v e r s i t y has been recognized by anthropologists themselves. Thus Kluckhohn writes that "Navaho: •witchcraft* ... must immediately be recognized as a horse of a d i f f e r e n t colour from most Melanesian •witch- c r a f t s i n that Navaho Switches 1: seldom boast openly of 13 t h e i r power and are not a v a i l a b l e as h i r e d agents". S i - m i l a r l y , Evans-Pritchard has drawn att e n t i o n to the d i f - ferences between Zande and European conceptions of witch- c r a f t : When a Zande speaks of witchcraft he does not speak of i t as we speak of the weird wit c h c r a f t i n our own h i s t o r y . Witchcraft to him i s a commonplace happening and he seldom -7- passes a day without mentioning i t . ... Unless the reader appreciates that witchcraft i s quite a normal f a c t o r i n the l i f e of the Azande, one to which almost any and every happening may be r e f e r r e d , he w i l l e n t i r e l y misunderstand t h e i r a t t i - tude towards i t . To us witchcraft i s something which haunted and d i s - gusted our credulous f o r e f a t h e r s . But the Zande expects to come across witchcraft at any time of the day or ni g h t . He would be j u s t as s u r p r i s - ed i f he were not brought in t o d a i l y contact with i t as we would be i f confronted by i t s appearance. To him there i s nothing miraculous about it.14 In view of t h i s , i t i s important to d i s t i n g u i s h the magical b e l i e f s and p r a c t i c e s of the Azande from those that might be held and perhaps practiced by a person be- longing to our own c u l t u r e . Moreover, these differences involve f a r more than a matter of mere f a m i l i a r i t y , a l - though i t would be wrong to underestimate the importance even of t h i s . l o r our own culture bestows a d i f f e r e n t meaning on wit c h c r a f t and magic from the Zande. As Peter Winch explains, Concepts of wit c h c r a f t and magic i n our culture, at l e a s t since the ad- vent of C h r i s t i a n i t y , have been pa- r a s i t i c on, and a perversion of other orthodox concepts, both r e l i - gious and, i n c r e a s i n g l y , s c i e n t i f i c . To take an obvious example, you could not understand what was i n - volved i n conducting a Black Mass, unless you were f a m i l i a r with the conduct of a proper Mass.and, there- -8- fore, with the whole complex of r e l i - gious ideas from which the Mass draws i t s sense. Neither would you under- stand the r e l a t i o n between these without taking account of the fac t that the Black p r a c t i c e s are rejected as i r r a t i o n a l ( i n the sense proper to r e l i g i o n ) i n the system of b e l i e f s on which these pr a c t i c e s are p a r a s i t i c . 1 5 In the l i g h t of these observations i t becomes s i g n i f i - cant that, i n searching f o r a notion from our own culture with something of the same meaning f o r us that of witch- c r a f t has f o r the Azande, Evans-Pritchard did not select some idea drawn from a r i t u a l or ceremonial context, nor some b e l i e f associated with the lore of Satanism, but i n - stead decided on the f a m i l i a r everyday notion of "bad l u c k " . 1 6 Witchcraft, magic and sorcery may therefore vary con- siderably from one society to another, and what i s c a l l e d witchcraft i n one culture may not resemble witchcraft i n another culture so much as some other i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d be- l i e f . The main dimensions along which b e l i e f s and actions r e l a t i n g to witchcraft, magic and sorcery might vary would seem to be the following: i . Content - v a r i a t i o n w i l l occur i n the constituent e l e - ments c o n s t i t u t i n g p a r t i c u l a r t r a d i t i o n s of witchcraft, magic and sorcery. To take some simple examples, among the Azande i t i s believed that witches i n h e r i t t h e i r harmful powers u n i l i n e a l l y , i n the form of a phys i c a l substance; i n Europe t h i s b e l i e f i s absent and notions of witchcraft, are f i r m l y l i n k e d to those concerning a pact with the De v i l ; -9- among the Navaho, on the other hand, both of these b e l i e f s are absent and witchcraft ideas place a heavy emphasis on such practices as f r a t r i c i d e and were-animalism. i i . Meaning - even where i d e n t i c a l or s i m i l a r constituent elements are discovered i n the b e l i e f systems of two d i f - ferent cultures, these can s t i l l not necessarily be equat- ed, since each element derives i t s sense from the sum of i t s r e l a t i o n s with the other elements of the t o t a l con- ceptual system to which i t belongs. Certain types of Navaho witches, f o r example, are believed to p a r t i c i p a t e i n secret nocturnal gatherings. At these gatherings, concerted ac- t i o n against victims i s planned, new members are i n i t i a t e d , cannibalism and sexual intercourse with dead women are practised, and victims are k i l l e d at a distance by r i t u a l 17 means. These gatherings bear a s t r i k i n g resemblance to the European Witches 1 Sabbath, but i t would be wrong to r e - gard them as equivalent on that count. This would be to make a mistake of the kind that Prazer made. For the European Witches* Sabbath has no meaning i n i t s e l f , but only i n the context of the t o t a l demonological ideology and Chr i s t i a n b e l i e f . In the same way, the nocturnal gatherings ascribed to Navaho witches cannot be understood i f they are abstracted from t h e i r c u l t u r a l context, but only i f they are related to the t o t a l i t y of Navaho witch b e l i e f s and, indeed, ,the entire Navaho world-view. i i i . Function - the implications of witchcraft, magic and sorcery f o r the s o c i a l group considered as a perduring un i t , and also for the human i n d i v i d u a l , w i l l vary. For instance, a high proportion of Navaho witchcraft gossip r e - -10- f e r s to witches who l i v e i n distant l o c a l i t i e s and are thus r a r e l y or never seen. Feuds invo l v i n g these alleged witches are consequently u n l i k e l y to develop, and Navaho gossip about witches i s therefore f a r less disruptive than i n those s o c i e t i e s , l i k e the Zuni, where such gossip i s centred i n 18 the l o c a l group. To take a somewhat d i f f e r e n t example, Kluckhohn implies that a s i g n i f i c a n t number of witchcraft accusations among the Navaho are made against the wealthy by those of a lower socio-economic status. In t h i s case then, witchcraft b e l i e f operates as something i n the nature of a l e v e l l i n g device, discouraging the undue accumulation of wealth by c e r t a i n i n d i v i d u a l s , since the r i c h man knows that i f he i s stingy with h i s r e l a t i v e s and others, 19 he i s l i k e l y to be spoken of as a witch. In contrast to t h i s , no Zande commoner would dare accuse a prince of p r a c t i s i n g sorcery or of bewitching him, while only occasionally w i l l a poor commoner accuse a wealthy commoner. Moreover, the whole structure of Zande oracle consultation serves to reinforce the status d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n s of Zande society. The King's i s the f i n a l decisive oracle f o r pur- poses of i d e n t i f y i n g witches and the victims of vengeance magic, and no appeal from i t i s recognized or permitted. Since the authority of the King upholds that of the oracle, any Zande who consults the oracle i m p l i c i t l y recognizes the authority of the King. Thus there i s a r e l a t i o n s h i p of r e - , 20 c i p r o c a l support between the authority of King and oracle. Similar v a r i a t i o n s occur on the i n d i v i d u a l l e v e l . Por example, Kluckhohn's argument, that Navaho accounts of witches copulating with dead women provide a channel f o r the release i n fantasy of c e r t a i n c u l t u r a l l y disallowed aber- r a t i o n s o f a s e x u a l n a t u r e , seems p l a u s i b l e . P r o b a b l y a s i m i l a r argument c o u l d be made i n r e l a t i o n t o c e r t a i n a s - p e c t s o f European demonology, b u t would seem d i f f i c u l t t o m a i n t a i n w i t h r e g a r d to the f a c t s o f T r o b r i a n d o r Zande w i t c h c r a f t . C o n s i d e r i n g t h e e x t e n s i v e n e s s o f t h i s range o f pos- s i b l e v a r i a t i o n s , i t becomes o b v i o u s t h a t ; t h e r e a r e g r a v e d i f f i c u l t i e s c o n f r o n t i n g any a n t h r o p o l o g i s t who would a t - tempt t o d e v e l o p a s u i t a b l e t e r m i n o l o g y f o r t h e p u r p o s e s o f c r o s s - c u l t u r a l a n a l y s i s . I t r e m a i n s , however, w o r t h w h i l e e x a m i n i n g t h e e x t e n t t o w h i c h a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s have a t t e m p t - ed t h i s t a s k , and degree o f t h e i r s u c c e s s i n t h i s v e n t u r e . T e r m i n o l o g i c a l Usages Contemporary r e s e a r c h e r s i n t h i s f i e l d employ a s t o c k o f terms u l t i m a t e l y d e r i v e d f r o m s t a n d a r d E n g l i s h u s a g e . I n s t a n d a r d E n g l i s h , t h e s e terms have a range o f meanings t h a t a r e p r i m a r i l y d e s c r i p t i v e o f the f a c t s o f E n g l i s h w i t c h c r a f t and m a g i c a l b e l i e f s . Most o f them e n t e r e d t h e E n g l i s h l a n g u a g e w i t h t h e i r c u r r e n t meanings i n t h e s i x - t e e n t h c e n t u r y . The most i m p o r t a n t o f them a r e l i s t e d be- l o w , w i t h t h e i r most common meanings: M a g i c - t h e b e l i e v e d a r t o f i n f l u e n c i n g the c o u r s e o f e v e n t s by means o f c o m p e l l i n g the i n t e r v e n t i o n o f s p i r i t u a l b e i n g s o r by u s i n g some o t h e r o c c u l t p r i n c i p l e . A synonym f o r s o r c e r y and w i t c h c r a f t . S o r c e r y - t h e p r a c t i c e o f magic o r enchantment; w i t c h c r a f t . S o r c e r e r - t h e p r a c t i t i o n e r o f s o r c e r y ; a m a g i c i a n o r w i - z a r d . W i t c h - a f e m a l e m a g i c i a n ; a s o r c e r e s s ; a term e s p e c i a l l y -12- used to describe a woman i n league with the De v i l or e v i l s p i r i t s . Wizard - a male who practises witchcraft. 22 Warlock - the male equivalent of a witch. I t was from t h i s usage that these terms were at f i r s t incorporated into anthropology. Thus Prazer, while modi- fying the concept of magic i n h i s attempt to define i t s l o g i c (as he understood i t ) , continued to employ the term "sorcerer" as equivalent to "magician", and to follow the practice of using "sorcerer" and "witch" as sexually s p e c i - f i c terms. Prazer's use of the terms "magic", "science" and " r e l i g i o n " i s somewhat more complex, since he attmpted a d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n of universal v a l i d i t y between these three phenomena. Unfortunately h i s e f f o r t s i n t h i s d i r e c t i o n r e - sulted i n an unacceptable a p r i o r ism. Thus, f o r Prazer, any technique not based on a knowledge of objective condi- tions, and not seeking to operate through the goodwill of s p i r i t u a l intermediaries, was ipso facto magical. The trouble with such an approach i s that i t leads to a group- ing of phenomena i n a manner very d i f f e r e n t from the way i n which the people being studied group them. To take a sim- ple example, among the Navaho menstrual blood i s believed to be sometimes administered i n food as a malicious act. I f we were to define witchcraft and sorcery i n an a p r i o r i fashion along the l i n e s of "the b e l i e f i n the power of hu- man agents to cause harm and misfortune by the use of mys- t i c a l (non-empirical) means", then i t i s obvious that we would have to class t h i s act as "witchcraft" or "sorcery". -13- For while the Navaho consider t h i s action to "be harmful i n that i t consists i n the administration of a dangerous sub- stance, our own s c i e n t i f i c knowledge leads us to view t h i s b e l i e f as mistaken and therefore as non-objective, mystic and magical. On t h i s basis we would group i t together with such other Navaho b e l i e f s as Frenzy Witchcraft, Disease Witchcraft and Eagle P i t Sorcery, The problem i s that the Navaho do not. As EZLuckhohn explains, Observations of t h i s kind were f r e - quent: "Women just do that to be mean. I t hurts you a l l r i g h t , but i t i s n * t a witch way," My impression i s that my informants f e l t that menstrual blood was i n t r i n s i c a l l y dangerous - there was no need to add "magical" proce- dures ,23 I t might therefore appear that the Navaho think of menstrual blood as something i n the nature of what we would c a l l a na t u r a l poison. But even here we must beware of misdescribing t h e i r categories. For some of what we des- cribe as na t u r a l poisons are assimilated by the Navaho to the category of w i t c h c r a f t . Thus, according to the Navaho, when a man i s b i t t e n by a snake, he sickens and dies be- cause of the w i t c h c r a f t the snake holds i n i t s mouth. As a Navaho legend explains i t , Witchery started out under the ground. F i r s t Man, F i r s t Woman and Coyote - these three started i t . A f t e r everybody got above ground F i r s t Woman gave i t out. Snake wanted some too, but h i s mouth was the only place he could put i t . And so h i s b i t e k i l l s you,24 -14- Prazer seems to have been unaware of the problem posed by f a c t s such as these, and i t i s possible f o r us: to apply his; terminology only by d i s t o r t i n g the world-views that t h i s terminology was: intended to help us understand. Perhaps the force of t h i s objection w i l l become c l e a r - er i f we b r i e f l y consider V i l f r e d o Pareto*s d i s t i n c t i o n be- tween l o g i c a l and n o n - l o g i c a l behaviour. Pareto's attempt to c l e a r l y d i s t i n g u i s h the l o g i c a l from the n o n - l o g i c a l - as c r o s s - c u l t u r a l l y v a l i d categories - p a r a l l e l s P r a z e r 1 s d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n between magic, science and r e l i g i o n . It d i f f e r s , however, i n being more systematic and i n being based on more e x p l i c i t c r i t e r i a than those Prazer e l u c i d a t - 25 ed. But despite t h i s more systematic nature, Pareto*s d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n encounters similar- d i f f i c u l t i e s to> that of Prazer* s, and i t i s u s e f u l to consider these here-. This- is not a matter of knocking down straw men, since both Prazer* s d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n between magic;, science and r e l i - gion and Pareto's d i s t i n c t i o n between l o g i c a l , and non-logi- c a l behaviour, are representative of methodological presup- positions? which continue to: exercise a deep influence on anthropological thought. Levy-Bruhl's opposition betweem mystic thought and s c i e n t i f i c thought, accepted by Evans- Prit c h a r d , i s an example of t h i s . In Tha Mind and Society, Pareto o u t l i n e s four e r i t e r i a , a l l of which must be s a t i s f i e d i n order f o r an a c t i o n to be considered l o g i c a l . These are: i . the a c t i o n must be end-directed - that i s to say, i t must be performed: by the actor with a. goal i n mind, and with the i n t e n t i o n of achieving that goal; 15- i i , the goal which the actor i s seeking to achieve must he e m p i r i c a l l y i d e n t i f i a b l e ; i i i , the a c t i o n performed must a c t u a l l y tend to produce the r e s u l t which the actor envisages; i v , the actor must have "good" (what Pareto describes as "logico-experimental") grounds f o r h i s b e l i e f . Conversely, an action may be adjudged non-l o g i c a l according to a number of c r i t e r i a : i , i f the actor performs the action without intending to achieve any r e s u l t by doing so; or i i , i f the end which the actor hopes to achieve by h i s ac- t i o n l i e s outside the f i e l d of observation and experiment and i s therefore "imaginary" (Pareto assigns actions aiming at the s a l v a t i o n of the soul to t h i s category); or i i i , i f the end sought i s r e a l , but i s not gained i n the way i n which the actor thinks i t i s ( i n t h i s category, Pareto places magic as well as c e r t a i n a c t i v i t i e s l i k e wage-cutting by businessmen under conditions of free compe- t i t i o n ) ; or i v , i f the action performed a c t u a l l y does tend to produce the r e s u l t the actor i s seeking, but he nevertheless l a c k s logico-experimental grounds f o r thinking so. I t i s important to recognize that Pareto does not r e - gard n o n - l o g i c a l conduct as being the same thing as i l l o g i - c a l conduct, and i n t h i s respect i t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note h i s remark to the e f f e c t that a mistake i n engineering could not be regarded as a n o n - l o g i c a l a c t i o n . But what i s the difference between a mistake i n engineering and the er- r o r of a businessman, under conditions of free competition, -16- who thinks that by c u t t i n g h i s employees' wages he w i l l i n - crease h i s p r o f i t s ? Moreover, i s the businessman's mistake r e a l l y comparable to the performance of a magical r i t e ? Or ought i t rather, as Peter Winch suggests, be compared to a mistake i n a magical r i t e ? For while the businessman's mistake i s a p a r t i c u l a r act within the category of business behaviour, magical performances themselves constitute a category of behaviour. As Winch explains, Magic, i n a society i n which i t occurs, plays a p e c u l i a r r o l e of i t s own and i s conducted according to considerations of i t s own. The same i s true of b u s i - ness a c t i v i t y ; but i t i s not true of the kind of misguided business a c t i v i t y to which Pareto r e f e r s , f o r that can only be understood by reference to the aims and nature of business a c t i v i t y i n general.26 I t i s because of Pareto*s f a i l u r e to d i s t i n g u i s h gen- e r a l categories of action from p a r t i c u l a r acts within such categories, that h i s attempt to d i f f e r e n t i a t e n o n - l o g i c a l from i l l o g i c a l behaviour i s so unclear. I l l o g i c a l acts surely involve mistakes i n l o g i c ; non-logical acts f a l l outside the c r i t e r i a of l o g i c . Moreover, t h i s f a i l u r e i s compounded by the f a c t that Pareto was unaware of the f a c t that c r i t e r i a of l o g i c are not given, but a r i s e out of, and are i n t e l l i g i b l e only i n terms of, modes of s o c i a l l i f e . From t h i s i t follows that c r i t e r i a of l o g i c cannot be ap- p l i e d to modes of s o c i a l l i f e as such. Science, f o r exam- ple, i s one such mode and r e l i g i o n i s another. Within each mode, actions may be e i t h e r l o g i c a l or i l l o g i c a l , but n e i - ther science nor r e l i g i o n as such i s e i t h e r l o g i c a l or i l - -17- l o g i c a l . Each i s n o n - l o g i c a l , and each has c r i t e r i a of i n - t e l l i g i b i l i t y p e c u l i a r to i t s e l f . I t follows that to try to use the aims and a c t i v i t i e s of one as a means to under- stand the aims and a c t i v i t i e s of the other can only lead to misunderstandings. But i t i s p r e c i s e l y t h i s that Pareto - 27 together with Prazer - i s g u i l t y o f . I t i s to Malinowski, more than to any other single w r i t e r , that we owe the i n s i g h t that the c r u c i a l c r i t e r i a f o r d i f f e r e n t i a t i n g the t e c h n i c a l from the magical must be those of the people themselves. Por although Malinowski did not e x p l i c i t l y discuss t h i s c r i t e r i o n , he made use of i t , and that, as Nadel comments, " i s s t i l l a lesson worth 28 l e a r n i n g " . Indeed, recognition of the necessity of pro- v i d i n g an account of native categories of thought - and of not imposing h i s own i n an a p r i o r i fashion - permeates Malinowski*s w r i t i n g s . Thus, i n h i s discussion of the Trobriand outlook on myth, Malinowski asks, ...what i s myth to the natives? How do they conceive and define i t ? Have they any l i n e of demarcation between the mythical and actual r e - a l i t y , and i f so, how do they draw t h i s l i n e ? 2 9 Hence, instead of being presented with a set of preconceiv- ed categories - l i k e "myth", "legend", " f a i r y t a l e " or "fable " , we are given Trobriand categories, with the near- est E n g l i s h equivalent to them offered as a t r a n s l a t i o n , or an explanation of t h e i r meaning when no near E n g l i s h equi- valent e x i s t s . ^ S i m i l a r l y i n h i s discussion of Trobriand magic, Malinowski did not t r y to provide a seri e s of -18- a p r i o r i categories of supposedly u n i v e r s a l value, but a t - tempted instead to s e l e c t a set of words which best f i t t e d 31 the f a c t s of Trobriand b e l i e f . What, then, were these f a c t s , and what terms did Malinowski s e l e c t to describe them? The Trobrianders conceive of two kinds of p r a c t i t i o n e r of "black" magic. These are the bwaga*u, always a male p r a c t i t i o n e r , and the .yoyova, always a female. Of these, the bwaga'u i s the most common and there are u s u a l l y one or two men i n each v i l l a g e who are known and feared as such. But although l e s s common, the yoyova i s considered f a r more deadly than the bwaga'u. For whereas the bwaga'u i s merely the possessor of a powerful form of magic, the yoyova possess a mulukwausi. or disembodied second s e l f , which can f l y through the a i r at w i l l . The power of the bwaga 1u l i e s i n h i s knowledge of s p e l l s . These he may le a r n from h i s father (without pay- ment) or from h i s maternal uncle ( i f a high fee i s p a i d ) . An a r i s t o c r a t may also l e a r n these s p e l l s from an unre- l a t e d commoner, on payment of a suitable f e e. The yoyova, on the other hand, can only very gradually be i n i t i a t e d i n t o her powers. Indeed, since the process of i n i t i a t i o n begins with the c u t t i n g of the u m b i l i c a l cord at b i r t h , only a small c h i l d whose mother h e r s e l f i s a yoyova can become one. This i s not, however, to suggest that the powers of the yoyova are i n any way inherent or i n h e r i t e d . A l l of them derive from magic, which must be spoken at 32 every stage i n the t r a i n i n g of a young yoyova. Special s p e l l s must also be uttered by the yoyova every time she .19 wants to become i n v i s i b l e , to f l y , or to penetrate the darkness and see i f an accident i s happening. The bwaga'u hunts down h i s quarry by p l a c i n g a s p e l l on those places the intended v i c t i m frequents. In t h i s way, the v i c t i m i s confined to bed and immobilized. This gives the bwaga'u the opportunity to creep out to the v i c - t i m ^ hut at night, which he does equipped with herbs over which a s u i t a b l e s p e l l has been uttered. These herbs the bwaga'u attaches to a long s t i c k and attempts to thrust through the thatch wall of the hut, and int o the f i r e over which the v i c t i m w i l l be l y i n g i n an attempt to keep him- s e l f warm. I t i s believed that, should the v i c t i m inhale the fumes of these burning leaves, he w i l l contract a dead- l y disease. In another r i t e the bwaga'u c a r r i e s out, some coconut o i l i s f i r s t b o i l e d i n a small pot. Leaves of various herbs are then soaked i n t h i s o i l and l a t e r are wrapped around a stingaree spine or some other pointed object. An incantation i s chanted over the spine with attached leaves and the bwaga'u hides with i t behind a shrub or house. Then, on s i g h t i n g h i s victim, he thrusts the "dagger" he has made i n h i s d i r e c t i o n and v i o l e n t l y turns i t i n the a i r , as i f to stab the vic t i m and twist the spine i n h i s wound. This r i t e i s thought never to f a i l i n k i l l i n g a man, i f 33 properly c a r r i e d out and not countered by another magician. When the yoyova - i n her mulukwausi form - attacks a victim, i t i s believed that she may do so simply by k i c k i n g or h i t t i n g him or her: i l l n e s s r e s u l t s . More dangerously, the mulukwausi may pounce on a vi c t i m and remove h i s or her 20 lungs, heart, brain or tongue. These may be devoured on the spot, or c a r r i e d away to be consumed at some future date. The v i c t i m i s thought c e r t a i n to die i n a r e l a t i v e l y short period of time, unless another yoyova i s paid to search f o r and return the missing parts before they are eaten. The bwaga'u pr a c t i s e s h i s a r t on h i s own behalf, or f o r a f e e . In purchasing h i s services, c h i e f s and men of rank have f i r s t claim and he would not s e l l h i s services to l e s s e r men f o r unjust causes. Among h i s main functions are the safeguarding of the r i g h t s and p r i v i l e g e s of the c h i e f . Thus the bwaga'u w i l l punish d i r e c t breaches of etiquette and ceremony, as we l l as f l a g r a n t offences l i k e adultery with one of a c h i e f ' s wives. The bwaga'u. therefore, a l - though he may sometimes abuse h i s powers, cannot be thought 34 of as a cr i m i n a l but i s a mainstay of the s o c i a l order. In contrast to the bwaga'u. who often t r e a t s h i s spe- c i a l i t y quite openly i n conversations, the r o l e of the yoyova i s never p u b l i c l y donned. Ho woman would ever d i - r e c t l y confess to being a yoyova, even to her husband. But, at the same time, some women are marked as such and even play up to the r o l e . Por supernatural powers are a good source of income and a reputed yoyova w i l l receive g i f t s on the understanding that a p a r t i c u l a r person i s to be inj u r e d i n return f o r them, or i n order to undo the da- mage another yoyova has caused. Her r o l e i s therefore semi-public and the most important yoyova are known hy name. Moreover, according to Malinowski, "to have such a character would i n no way s p o i l matrimonial chances or do anything hut enhance the s o c i a l status of a woman"• Malinowski offered, as E n g l i s h equivalents to the terms bwagaftu and yoyova, the words "sorcerer" and "witch" r e s p e c t i v e l y . He thus continued the popular E n g l i s h use of these terms i n a sexually s p e c i f i c manner, a p r a c t i c e which i s p e r f e c t l y reasonable when i t i s r e c a l l e d that the Tro- brianders themselves draw a d i s t i n c t i o n between the ma- g i c a l powers of the male bwaga*u and the female yoyova. This usage was also followed by Eeo Fortune i n regard to the i n some respects s i m i l a r material from Dobu,^ but otherwise has not generally been adopted by anthropolo- g i s t s . Another aspect of Malinowski*s terminology has proved more enduring. I t w i l l be noted from the above discussions that Malinowski used the term "sorcery" to r e f e r to the whole domain of destructive magic and not only to that part of i t deemed i l l e g i t i m a t e by the members of the s o c i a l group concerned. Oceanianists have continued to employ h i s 37 terminology i n t h i s respect, although some writers (E.M. Berndt and Meggitt) have begun to speak of R e t a l i a t o r y sor- cery" or "legitimate sorcery" i n order to d i f f e r e n t i a t e that branch of destructive magic which constitutes the so- c i a l l y sanctioned redress of a wrong from " i l l e g i t i m a t e sorcery", or s o c i a l l y condemned destructive magic. In do- i n g so, these recent writers on Oceania have adopted a d i s - t i n c t i o n long accepted by A f r i c a n s p e c i a l i s t s . Standard A f r i c a n i s t usage derives, of course, from Evans-Pritchard 1s c l a s s i c study of the Azande. I f Malinowski did not render e x p l i c i t the c r i t e r i a he was em- 22- ploying i n e s t a b l i s h i n g the categories he di d , Evans- P r i t c h a r d was e x p l i c i t i n emphasizing that he was not in»- terested i n d e f i n i n g w i t c h c r a f t , oracles and magic as " i d e a l types" of thought, hut was anxious rather to explain what the Azande themselves understood when they spoke of mangu, soroka and ngua. Thus he wrote, I am not gr e a t l y concerned with the question whether oracles should be c l a s s i f i e d as magic, nor whether the b e l i e f that c h i l d r e n are unlucky who cut t h e i r upper teeth before t h e i r lower i s a form of w i t c h c r a f t ; nor yet whether taboo i s negative magic• My aim has been to make a number of E n g l i s h words stand f o r Zande notions and to use the same term only and a l - ways when the same notion i s being discussed* For example, the Zande does not speak of oracles or taboos as ngua, and therefore I do not c a l l them "magic".39 Unlike the Trobriand Islanders, the Azande do not make any d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n between the occ u l t powers of male and female. Thus i n contrast to the Trobriand d i s t i n c t i o n be* tween male bwaga'u and female yoyova, the Azande make a d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n of a quite d i f f e r e n t order: that between mangu. gbigb i t a ngua and bagbuduma. In t r a n s l a t i o n of these Zande concepts, Evans-Pritchard offered the terms "witchcraft", "sorcery" and "vengeance magic" r e s p e c t i v e l y . In doing so, he abandoned the convention - followed by Malinowski - of using the terms "sorcerer" and "witch" with a sexual r e f e r e n t , since t h i s r e f e r e n t has no sense i n the context of Zande s o c i e t y . Even more r a d i c a l l y , i n using the term "witch" to describe the Zande possessor of mangu, 23- Bvans-Pritchard abandoned the old l i n k between the notions of w i t c h c r a f t and magic. The Azande conceptualize manga as a p h y s i c a l substance found i n the b e l l i e s of i r a mangu (possessors of manguK I t i s us u a l l y described as an oval swelling or sack, of bl a c k i s h or reddish colour, which sometimes contains the seeds of pumpkin and sesame consumed by the i r a mangu i n the gardens. Mangu i s believed to be i n h e r i t e d u n i l i n e a l l y from the parent of the same sex. In other words, a female i r a mangu w i l l pass on mangu to a l l of her daughters but to none of her sons, while a male i r a mangu transmits mangu to a l l of 40 h i s sons but to none of h i s daughters. I r a mangu are believed to show a few external signs of t h e i r c o n d i t i o n . Thus the possession of red eyes, or the i s s u i n g of maggots from a person*s body before b u r i a l , are 41 considered i n d i c a t i v e of mangu. I r a mangu are also thought to have unpleasant p e r s o n a l i t y t r a i t s : A s p i t e f u l d i s p o s i t i o n arouses sus- p i c i o n s of w i t c h c r a f t . Glum and i l l - tempered people, those who s u f f e r from some ph y s i c a l deformity, and those who have been mutilated are suspected on account of t h e i r s p i t e * f u l n e s s . Men whose habits are d i r t y , such as those who defecate i n the gardens of others and urinate i n pub- l i c , or who eat without washing t h e i r hands, and eat bad food l i k e t o r t o i s e , toad, and house-rat, are the kind of people who might w e l l bewitch others. The same i s thought of unmannerly people who enter i n t o a man's hut without f i r s t asking h i s permission; —24** who cannot disguise t h e i r greed i n the presence of food or beer; who make offensive remarks to t h e i r wives and neighbours and f l i n g i n s u l t s and curses a f t e r them; and so on.* Ir a mangu are held by the Azande to be responsible f o r misfortunes, which they d e l i b e r a t e l y cause to f a l l on people. I t i s important to note that t h e i r method of doing so involves no magical technique (there i s no r i t e , no s p e l l , no use of medicines and no necessary r i t u a l condi- t i o n on the par t of the performer) but rather i s i n the na- ture of a psychic a c t . The i r a mangu i s believed to d i s - patch h i s mbisimo mangu (the s p i r i t of h i s mangu) to accom- p l i s h h i s ends. The mbisimo mangu i s believed to remove part of the s p i r i t of the victim's f l e s h to devour; by so«* doing, i t causes i l l n e s s and death. I r a mangu often combine to a s s i s t each other i n crimes and to f e a s t together. They are believed to be organized i n t o a brotherhood presided over by the oldest and most ex- perienced members. The t r a i n i n g and t u i t i o n of the younger by the older i r a mangu i s thought necessary before a young witch can become strong enough to k i l l h i s neighbours Young c h i l d r e n who are i r a mangu are not considered by the Azande to be dangerous, since t h e i r mangu i s too small to be able to i n j u r e others. I t i s even thought possible f o r a person's mangu to remain inoperative, or n c o o l w , throughout the course of h i s or her l i f e . In t h i s way, i t i s considered possible f o r a man to be an i r a mangu and at the same time a good c i t i z e n , meeting h i s obli g a t i o n s and 44 l i v i n g on good terms with h i s neighbours. For mangu to -25- be dangerous, i t must f i r s t be activated by hatred. As one Zande expressed i t to Evans-Pritchard, hatred springs f i r s t i n the breast and then goes down to the b e l l y to rouse 45 w i t c h c r a f t . Anybody except an a r i s t o c r a t may be an i r a mangu, and almost everyone i s accused, by someone or other at some period of t h e i r l i v e s , of having bewitched t h e i r neigh- bours. Usually however, i t i s only those who make them- selves d i s l i k e d by many of t h e i r neighbours who are often 46 accused of wit c h c r a f t and earn reputations as i r a mangu. Most suspicion i s attached to the aged since i t i s believed that, generally speaking, the older a man grows the more potent h i s mangu becomes and the more v i o l e n t and unscrupu- lous he becomes i n i t s use. Most i r a mangu are believed to eventually f a l l v i c t i m to vengeance magic, sorcery, or the 47 malice of another i r a mangu. Ira mangu are considered by the Azande to be l i k e i r a gbigbita ngua (sorcerers) who p r a c t i s e a variant of ngua (magic) that i s considered both i l l i c i t and immoral. Ir a mangu and i r a gbigbita ngua are seen as being a l i k e "the enemies of men", and are therefore placed i n the same moral category. Mangu and gbigbita ngua are together op- posed by and opposed to wene ngua (good magic). But gbigbita ngua i s also conceived by the Azande i n a very d i f f e r e n t way from mangu, i n that i t i s not i n any way de- pendent on an inherent power i n the i r a gbigbita ngua. Rather, i t employs a magical technique and i s a v a i l a b l e to anyone who can secure the r e q u i s i t e medicines and who i s f a m i l i a r with the proper procedure f o r t h e i r u t i l i z a t i o n . -26- The most feared of a l l bad medi- cine, and the one most often c i t e d as cause of sickness i s menzere. It is: probably derived from an arboreal p a r a s i t e . The sorcerer goes by night, generally at f u l l moon, to the home- stead of his^ v i c t i m and places the medicine on i t s threshold, i n the cen- tr e of his; homestead, or i n the path leading to; i t . As he does so he u t - t e r s a s p e l l over i t . It i s said that i f he succeeds i n s l a y i n g h i s enemy he w i l l mourn him by wearing a g i r d l e of bingba grass f o r several days a f t e r h i s death. If the sorcerer neglects; t h i s r i t e he may f a l l s i c k . The g i r - dle would not lead too h i s detection "because men often mourn f o r a few. days a f t e r the death of distant r e l a t i v e s . Menzere i s so potent a medicine that should any man f o r whom i t i s not intended step over i t he w i l l be i l l f o r a while though he w i l l not d i e . There are many antidotes to menzere and a man who knows these w i l l be sent f o r immediately i f a man suspects, he is; attacked by i t . Menzere i s regard- ed with abhorrence by/ a l l . Azande have always; t o l d me that i n the past those who k i l l e d men with witchcraft were generally allowed to pay compen- sation, but that those who k i l l e d men by sorcery were i n v a r i a b l y put to g death, and probably t h e i r kinsmen a l s o . Other bad medicines include the h a i r s of the ant-bear. A s p e l l i s uttered over these, and they are placed i n a man's beer i n order to slay him. They cause h i s neck and tongue to swell, and i f an antidote i s not quickly adminis- tered, he w i l l d i e . Gbigbita ngua may also a f f e c t the ver- d i c t of the poison oracle, and can break up the family of a -27- 49 man. I t i s important to understand that the Azande do not stigmatize gbigbita ngua as bad simply because i t destroys the health and property of others, but because i t f l o u t s moral r u l e s . Wene ngua (good magic) may also be l e t h a l , but i t s t r i k e s only those who have committed a crime. Thus bagbuduma, the vengeance magic used against witches, i s the most destructive yet most honourable of a l l Zande magic. I t acts only against a g u i l t y witch, and i f attempted to be used to k i l l an innocent man out of s p i t e , i t would not only prove i n e f f e c t i v e , but would a c t u a l l y turn against and destroy the magician who sent i t . Such magic operates r e - g u l a r l y and i m p a r t i a l l y i n executing j u s t i c e i n accordance with the moral and l e g a l sanctions of the community. Gbigbita ngua, on the other hand, i s bad medicine, f o r i t does not give judgements, but slays one of the pa r t i e s to a dispute without regard to the merits of the case. I t i s a personal weapon aimed at some i n d i v i d u a l whom the i r a gbigbita ngua d i s l i k e s , but against whom he has no moral or l e g a l case. I t i s used out of spite against men who have broken no law or moral convention. No Zande w i l l confess himself to be an i r a gbigbita ngua, and most do not even l i k e to discuss the matter i n case suspicions be aroused concerning the sources of t h e i r knowledge. Gbigbita ngua must be performed at the dead of night, f o r the i r a gbigbita ngua would be s l a i n i f seen p r a c t i c i n g h i s r i t e s . In t r a n s l a t i n g ngua as "magic", gbigbita ngua as "sorcery", bagbuduma as "vengeance magic" and mangu as -28- "witchcraft", Evans-Pritchard was not seeking to devise a terminology of general a p p l i c a b i l i t y to other cultures, but was searching instead only f o r some En g l i s h terms which could be used c o n s i s t e n t l y to r e f e r to what are d i s t i n c t Zande concepts. Nevertheless, despite h i s h e s i t a t i o n i n transcending the f a c t s of Zande ethnography, Evans- P r i t c h a r d ^ terminology can be viewed as suggesting as a conventional usage the term "witchcraft" to r e f e r to an i n - h e r i t e d or inherent condition, "sorcery" to r e f e r to the a p p l i c a t i o n of magical techniques i n a cr i m i n a l manner and "vengeance magic" or "destructive magic" to r e f e r to the s o c i a l l y sanctioned use of magic i n order to punish a c r i - minal or protect property. The main impact of Evans-Pritchard's work, however, was not to come u n t i l the period following the end of the Second World War, and thus the terminology he suggested did not f i n d immediate acceptance. Kluckhohn, indeed, seems to have written Navaho Witchcraft without even having read Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic among the Azande. Perhaps because of t h i s , Kluckhohn described a c l a s s of phenomena among the Navaho as "witchcraft" which stands f a r c l o s e r to "sorcery" i n Evans-Pritchard's use of the term. "Sorcery" he also used i n quite a d i f f e r e n t sense from Evans- P r i t c h a r d , to describe a sub-type of w i t c h c r a f t . Yet des- p i t e the differences i n the terminology he adopted, Kluckhohn, l i k e Malinowski and Evans-Pritchard, offered h i s terminology p r i m a r i l y to serve as a set of convenient l a - bels which could serve to approximate i n t r a n s l a t i o n of Navaho terms. He made no attempt to apply a set of precon- -29- ceived categories i n an a p r i o r i manner. Kluckhohn used the term "witchcraft" (uncapitalized) as a generic category to describe four sub-types of Navaho b e l i e f : those of Witchery, Sorcery, Wizardry and Frenzy Witchcraft ( a l l c a p i t a l i z e d ) . Of these b e l i e f s , Kluckhohn considered the concepts of Witchery and Sorcery to be the most c l o s e l y l i n k e d i n native thought, and to form, t o - gether with Wizardry, a major pattern of a t t r i b u t e s c l e a r l y 50 d i f f e r e n t i a t e d from Frenzy Witchcraft. We may b r i e f l y s p e c ify the content of each of these categories of Navaho thought as follows: i . Witchery i s normally l e a r n t from a grandparent, parent or spouse who i s also a Witch. I n i t i a t i o n requires the k i l l i n g of a close r e l a t i v e , u s u a l l y a s i b l i n g . Witches are believed to be e s p e c i a l l y a c t i v e a t night, and to roam around at great speeds i n the skins of coyotes, bears, owls, wolves, desert foxes and crows. They hold assemblies or "Sabbaths" at which they plan concerted actions against victims, i n i t i a t e new members, k i l l victims from a distance by means of r i t u a l i z e d p r a c t i c e s , and p r a c t i s e cannibalism and intercourse with dead women. At these meetings, songs are also sung and dry paintings are made. Some Navahos consider that these paintings represent intended victims and believe that the c h i e f Witch shoots a turquoise bead i n t o each p a i n t i n g by means of a small bow. Witches are also thought to make "poisons" from the f l e s h of corpses. These poisons may be dropped i n through the smoke-holes of hogans, placed i n the mouth or nose of a sleeping victim, blown from furrowed s t i c k s i n t o the face of a v i c t i m i n the -30- midst of a large crowd, or administered by means of a c i g a - r e t t e . This leads e i t h e r to sudden f a i n t i n g , l o s s of con- sciousness, lockjaw and a swollen tongue, or else the gra- 51 dual wasting away of the v i c t i m . i i . Sorcery i s c l o s e l y r e l a t e d to Witchery i n Navaho thought, and Sorcerers are believed to take p a r t i n the same Sabbaths as those i n which Witches p a r t i c i p a t e . Sor- cery, however, employs a number of techniques p e c u l i a r to i t s e l f . Of these, the casting of s p e l l s i s the most cha- r a c t e r i s t i c . There i s no need f o r the Sorcerer to person-* a l l y encounter h i s v i c t i m . A l l that i s necessary i s that some c l o t h i n g or personal o f f a l , belonging to the vi c t i m , be obtained. This i s then buried together with corpse f l e s h or some other material from a grave, or a l t e r n a t i v e l y i s buried i n a grave, or under a tree which has been struck by l i g h t n i n g . The Sorcerer then r e c i t e s a s p e l l , often s p e c i f y i n g the number of days a f t e r which the v i c t i m i s to d i e . This s p e l l may be chanted, sung, or both chanted and sung. Sometimes a "good prayer" may be r e c i t e d backwards as a part of the technique. Other procedures followed by Sorcerers include whispering a s p e l l while stepping over someone, t o r t u r i n g the e f f i g y of a victim, the use of evil*-* wishing sand-paintings s i m i l a r to those Witches employ, scratching the image of a v i c t i m on a stone which i s then concealed i n the victim's home, car or saddle-bag, and the cutting-open of the b e l l y of a toad and the p l a c i n g i n s i d e i t of a charm while repeating a s p e l l . Each Sorcerer i s also believed to have a s p e c i a l power which a s s i s t s him. The earth, the sun, l i g h t n i n g , bears, owls and snakes are -31- a l l examples of these powers. Whirlwinds and some animals, 52 e s p e c i a l l y dogs, are also thought to p r a c t i s e Sorcery. i i i . Wizardry, l i k e Witchery and Sorcery, requires the k i l l i n g of a s i b l i n g or close r e l a t i v e as a p r e r e q u i s i t e to p a r t i c i p a t i o n . In contrast to Witches and Sorcerers, how- ever, Wizards do not p a r t i c i p a t e i n Sabbaths, nor do they become were-animals. P a r t i c u l a r to Wizardry i s the i n t r o - ^ection of f o r e i g n objects - p a r t i c l e s of stone, bone, ash, charcoal or q u i l l - i n t o the body of the v i c t i m . This i s generally believed to be accomplished by p l a c i n g such ob- je c t s i n a basket and making i t r i s e through the a i r by i n - cantation, although some Navahos consider that the Wizard does h i s "shooting" through a tube, and some consider that he must remove h i s clothes and rub ashes on h i s body before doing t h i s . Emaciation, together with pain i n the area where the m i s s i l e i s lodged, i s us u a l l y considered diagnos- 53 t i c of Wizardry. i v . Frenzy Witchcraft remains within the general corpus of Navaho w i t c h c r a f t , i n that i t i s a malevolent a c t i v i t y , d i - rected against the r i c h i n p a r t i c u l a r . I t resembles other forms of Navaho witc h c r a f t i n r e q u i r i n g the k i l l i n g of a s i b l i n g as the p r i c e of i n i t i a t i o n . C h a r a c t e r i s t i c of Frenzy Witchcraft i s the use of s p e c i a l plants, of which datura i s the most prominent. Each plant must be gathered i n a prescribed manner, and each plant has i t s own song. I t may be administered i n food, i n a c i g a r e t t e , or by k i s s - i n g . Frenzy Witchcraft i s associated with love magic, trading and gambling, and may also be used f o r success i n hunting and sa l t - g a t h e r i n g . I t s techniques do not involve -32- the dead and i t s p r a c t i t i o n e r s do not attend Sabbaths or transform themselves i n t o animals. Pear i s u n i v e r s a l l y ex- pressed i n regard to Frenzy Witchcraft, but there i s : no unanimity that i t i s u n q u a l i f i e d l y bad. Some Navahos con- s i d e r that i t may be usedi i n r e l a t i v e l y respectable ways l i k e s e l f - p r o t e c t i o n , or f o r success: i n t r a d i n g or gambling 54 against out-groupers. These categories of Navaho witch b e l i e f are so obvious- l y d i f f e r e n t from those of the Trobrianders and the Azande that i t i s only to be expected that the terminology employ- ed by Kluckhohn i n t r a n s l a t i o n of them should d i f f e r mark- edly from that used by Malinowski or Evans-Pritchard. Moreover, i t i s d i f f i c u l t to believe that these d i f f e r e n c e s would have been any l e s s s u b s t a n t i a l even i f Kluckhohn had been f a m i l i a r with Evans-Pritchard 1 s work, given his? con- cern to understand the Navaho world-view/ rather than a t - tempting to develop broad c r o s s - c u l t u r a l g e n e r a l i z a t i o n s . Our survey of the terminologies employed i n the period be- tween the two world wars; therefore leads us to i d e n t i f y two major features of t e r m i n o l o g i c a l evolution: i . The recognition, i m p l i c i t or e x p l i c i t , of the importance of e l u c i d a t i n g native categories of thought and of the necessity of adapting anthropological terminology to t h i s end. i i . The l a c k of any consistency i n t e r m i n o l o g i c a l conven- t i o n s adopted by d i f f e r e n t w r i t e r s . In the period f o l l o w i n g the Second World War, the s i t - uation with regard to the l a s t of; these facts: has- changed considerably, and of the three d i f f e r e n t sets of terminology -33- adopted by Malinowski, Kluckhohn and Evans-Pritchard, that of Evans-Pritchard has come c l o s e s t to being accepted as standard. This i s f o r a number of reasons. F i r s t l y , Evans-Pritchard's study was of an African people, as have been the overwhelming majority of studies of w i t c h c r a f t and sorcery i n the period f o l l o w i n g the Second World War. Apart from the f a c t that h i s work would therefore tend to be read more c a r e f u l l y by A f r i c a n i s t s than would be the case i f the Azande inhabited Oceania or the Americas, a greater s i m i l a r i t y i n the ethnographic evidence being considered would render h i s terminological system more d i r e c t l y a p p l i - cable. ( I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g , i n t h i s respect, to note the greater influence of Malinowski*s terminological conven- tions among Oceanianists.) A second f a c t o r of some impor- tance i s probably the f a c t that Evans-Pritchard i s a B r i t i s h anthropologist and that most subsequent research on wi t c h c r a f t , sorcery and magic has been c a r r i e d out by B r i t i s h anthropologists. One of the implications of t h i s i s that h i s s o c i o l o g i s t i c approach i s f a r closer to the methodological presuppositions of l a t e r i n v e s t i g a t o r s than i s Kluckhohn*s i n t e r e s t i n personality and c u l t u r e . More- over, i t i s necessary to point out that Malinowski's theo- r e t i c a l w ritings on witchcraft and sorcery are s l i g h t (both i n size and i n substance) and have not exercised a profound influence f o r t h i s reason. Among conscious attempts to standardize and generalize Evans-Pritchard*s terminology, that of Middleton and Winter i s worth noting. Suggesting "wizardry" as a generic term to cover both witchcraft and sorcery, they have defined -34- wi t c h c r a f t as being based on a "mystical and innate power", and sorcery as a magical ( o b j e c t i v e l y f a l l a c i o u s ) technique 55 p o t e n t i a l l y a v a i l a b l e to anyone. While few anthropolo- g i s t s have accepted t h i s suggestion to use wizardry as a 56 generic term covering both w i t c h c r a f t and sorcery, most have adopted the convention of d i s t i n g u i s h i n g between wit c h c r a f t and sorcery along the l i n e s suggested by 57 Middleton and Winter. Unfortunately, t h i s attempt at a terminological stan- dardization can hardly be described as an u n q u a l i f i e d suc- cess. Por few other s o c i e t i e s have the same notions of witchc r a f t and sorcery as the Azande have. Consequently, the attempt to apply the terminology, o r i g i n a l l y devised to f i t the Zande f a c t s , to other c u l t u r a l contexts has given r i s e to a considerable degree of confusion. Por, even f o r - ulated as broadly as by Middleton and Winter, t h i s termino- logy encounters considerable problems of a p p l i c a t i o n . Thus t r a i t s assigned by one wr i t e r to "witchcraft" are assigned by another to "sorcery", and Middleton himself writes that among the Lugbara, "the a b i l i t y , and the wish, to poison people by sorcery may be i n h e r i t e d , e s p e c i a l l y from the mo- 58 ther", E. Resolution of Terminological D i f f i c u l t i e s I t i s not, of course, necessary to conceptualize witchcraft and sorcery as d i s c r e e t categories admitting of no intermediate forms. Rather, one might follow the pro- cedure widely used i n the s o c i a l sciences (whether con- sc i o u s l y or unconsciously) of attempting to construct i d e a l -35- types rather than that of attempting to e s t a b l i s h empiri- c a l l y d e s c r i p t i v e categories of d i r e c t a p p l i c a t i o n . F i r s t systematized by Max Weber, t h i s methodological approach has been suggested as relevant f o r anthropology by W.J. Goode. Goode applies the method, i n the form of oppositions of po- l a r i d e a l types, to t r y and make some sense of the old d i s - t i n c t i o n between magic and r e l i g i o n . He explains that: In i t s a p p l i c a t i o n one accepts the idea that any given magical or r e l i - gious system i s concretely not to be found at e i t h e r extreme, but some- where between the two. This i s , of course, always an approximation, as the a p p l i c a t i o n of any s c i e n t i f i c concept to concrete s i t u a t i o n s w i l l be: the unique s i t u a t i o n or phenome- non r a r e l y , i f ever, equates with the conceptual d e s c r i p t i o n or t h e o r e t i c a l formulation of any science. Further- more, the decision as toward which pole a supernatural system f a l l s re-» quires several c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , each of which i s a variable running be- tween two opposing or a n t i t h e t i c a l forms•59 U t i l i z i n g Goode*s suggestion, we might construct polar i d e a l types, opposing sorcery to w i t c h c r a f t , i n some such manner as i s i l l u s t r a t e d i n Diagram One (next page). I f such a scheme were employed, most of the phenpmena so f a r described i n t h i s chapter could be grouped without d i f f i c u l t y as standing c l o s e r e i t h e r to w i t c h c r a f t or to sorcery. I t would, however, be the sorcery pole which con- formed more c l o s e l y to the empirical data than the witch- c r a f t pole. For example, the Azande believe that witch- - 3 6 - CHARACTERISTIC WITCHCRAFT SORCERY Ac q u i s i t i o n i n h e r i t e d l e a r n t Method innate power magical technique Psychology unconscious & unintentional conscious & i n t e n t i o n a l P o t e n t i a l D i s t r i b u t i o n r e s t r i c t e d u n r e s t r i c t e d Diagram 1. Witchcraft and Sorcery as Polar Ideal Types c r a f t may be conscious and unintentional, but also consider that i t i s us u a l l y conscious and i n t e n t i o n a l . Zande witch c r a f t does not, therefore, exactly coincide with the witc h c r a f t pole of our i d e a l type. Zande sorcery, on the other hand, exactly f i t s our designation of i t i n terms of the i d e a l type. But even although the attempt to construct i d e a l types might seem to o f f e r advantages i n comparison to that of t r y i n g to formulate categories of d i r e c t empirical a p p l i c a - b i l i t y , the construction of polar i d e a l types of witchcraft and sorcery along the l i n e s suggested above nevertheless encounters serious d i f f i c u l t i e s . This i s f o r the reason that any attempt to formulate c r o s s - c u l t u r a l categories on a content basis n e c e s s a r i l y involves a departure from the categories of p a r t i c u l a r s o c i e t i e s and may therefore impede our understanding of these. -37- Por instance, the set of c r i t e r i a used to group a par- t i c u l a r c o n s t e l l a t i o n of phenomena towards one end or the other of the continuum, may not r e a l l y he equivalent. Among the Azande, to take one example, i s the notion that bewitchment may constitute an unconscious and unintentional act as s i g n i f i c a n t as the notions that witchcraft i s i n - herited and constitutes an innate power? Perhaps one might t r y to circumvent t h i s objection by arguing that the c r i t e r i a selected f o r constructing an i d e a l type must be l o g i c a l l y dependent on each other. Thus one might argue that the c r i t e r i a selected f o r defining sorcery i n Diagram 1 (preceding page) are s i g n i f i c a n t i n that i t follows from the f a c t that sorcery employs a magical technique that i t must be learned, that i t s a p p l i c a t i o n must be conscious, and that i t s potential d i s t r i b u t i o n among the population i s unlimited. Against t h i s view, I would argue that l o g i c a l dependencies are s i g n i f i c a n t only i n so f a r as they are actually perceived as being such within the contexts of the p a r t i c u l a r b e l i e f systems con- cerned. D i f f e r e n t peoples w i l l draw d i f f e r e n t conclusions from the same premises, and the same conclusion from d i f - ferent premises. The problem of selecting c r i t e r i a and of determining t h e i r equivalence therefore remains. In many respects, the attempt to construct i d e a l types of magic and sorcery may be compared to Pareto 1s search f o r residues (recurring features i n our observation of human society which provide a s u i t a b l e subject f o r s c i e n t i f i c g e n e r a l i z a t i o n ) . Examples of residues are baptism (the use of water, blood or other substances f o r purposes of r i t u a l -38- or moral p u r i f i c a t i o n ) andi sexual asceticism (the notion that sexual r e l a t i o n s are to be avoided! as being morally or p h y s i c a l l y d e b i l i t a t i n g , or f o r some other reason). The problem i s that phenomena l i k e sexual asceticism and bap- tism - and, f o r that matter, the inheritance of wi t c h c r a f t , or ensorcellment by magical techniques - arer not simply given to our observation, but can be distinguished only through a process of abst r a c t i o n . The common features used to develop such categories as baptism, sexual asceticism, ensorcellment by magical techniques, and the inheritance of wi t c h c r a f t , are derived by analysing them out of the t o t a l systems of ideas from which they derive t h e i r sense. But ideas cannot be torn out of t h e i r context i n t h i s way, since t h e i r meaning i s determined by the r o l e they play i n the system of which they form a part. As Winch remarks, It i s nonsensical to take several systems of ideas, f i n d an element i n each which can be expressed i n the same verba l form, and then claim to have discovered an idea which i s com- mon to a l l systems. This would be l i k e observing that both the A r i s t o - t e l i a n and Ga l i l e a n systems o f me- chanics use a notion of force, and concluding that they therefore make use of the same notion.60 In a d d i t i o n to the problem posed by the f a c t that the t r a i t s selected by the anthropologist f o r the purpose of constructing h i s i d e a l types w i l l have a d i f f e r e n t meaning i n each p a r t i c u l a r society, there i s : also the problem that such c l a s s i f i c a t o r y systems tend to obscure the? relevance of s i t u a t i o n and process. V i c t o r Turner's discussion of the a p p l i c a b i l i t y of Middleton and Winter's; attempted d i f - f e r e n t i a t i o n between witchcraft andl sorcery to the f a c t s <s£ Lugbara ethnography brings out something of the s i g n i f i c - ance of t h i s . Even although Middleton and Winter here were not ( e x p l i c i t l y ) attempting to e s t a b l i s h t h i s d i f - f e r e n t i a t i o n i n terras of i d e a l types, Turner's remarks are nevertheless s t i l l relevant and to the point: •.. Lugbara themselves f i n d i t d i f f i - c u l t to d i s t i n g u i s h between deaths brought about by w i t c h c r a f t and "by 'ghost invocation' by elders against h a b i t u a l l y disobediant juniors?. Both are s a i d to be motivated by the sentiment Lugbara c a l l o l e . . . . In a w i t c h c r a f t context ole m&jr "be trans- l a t e d as 'jealousy* (an unrighteous sentiment) and i n a ghost-invocation s e t t i n g as 'righteous indignation*. Middleton's r i c h case material shows that the same death may be i n t e r p r e t - ed by d i f f e r e n t f a c t i o n s as: one or the other, again according to the s t r u c t u r a l perspective of the i n t e r - p r e t e r s . The f a c t , too, that both •witches* and •sorcerers*, i n Middleton*s usage, may be c a l l e d oleu ... a d e r i v a t i v e of ole, makes i t c l e a r that what i s regarded- as: ideo- l o g i c a l l y important by the Lugbara i s b e l i e f i n the existence of a broad c l a s s of persons who can i n - jure others by mystical means i r r e s - pective of motive. It i s only i n the a c t i o n - f i e l d context that a l l e - gations of t h i s or that s p e c i f i c means are made by int e r e s t e d par- t i e s . Almost every s o c i e t y recog- nizes such a wide v a r i e t y of mystic- a l l y harmful techniques that i t may -40- be p o s i t i v e l y m i s l e a d i n g to impose upon them a dichotomous c l a s s i f i - c a t i o n . The s o l u t i o n t o t h i s problem seems to me to hinge on abandoning any idea that we can d e f i n e e x a c t l y what w i t c h - c r a f t , s orcery, o r d e s t r u c t i v e magic are ( i n the sense of some shared essence), since there need be no set of shared e s s e n t i a l a t t r i b u t e s which can be a b s t r a c t e d . While we might be able to o u t l i n e some of the a t t r i b u t e s shared by some examples of w i t c h c r a f t , sorcery and d e s t r u c t i v e magic, there i s no set of c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s simultaneously a p p l i c - able to a l l examples and to them alone. Thus, i n s t e a d of seeking to e s t a b l i s h u n i v e r s a l c l a s s e s , we should recognize that we are d e a l i n g w i t h concepts which bear only a f a m i l y resemblance to one another. The d i f f e r e n c e between a c l a s s and a f a m i l y resemblance i s brought out i n Diagram 2, below. Family Resemblance Class 1 2 3 5 1 2 3 4 5 6 2 3 4 5 6 1 2 3 4 I T E 1 4 5 6 1 4 5 6 g 1 6 1 2 3 6 2 3 6 1 3 4 6 ATTRIBUTES Diagram 2: Family Resemblance and U n i v e r s a l Class I f , i n the above diagram, each h o r i z o n t a l l i n e i s i n t e r p r e t - ed as r e p r e s e n t i n g an item, and each number w i t h i n each l i n e as r e p r e s e n t i n g an element of an item, i t w i l l be seen th a t each v e r t i c a l l i n e represents elements shared i n com- -41 mon by d i f f e r e n t items. A l l the members of the same c l a s s share one element i n common(1). With the group of items which have been described as bearing a family resemblance to each other, however, there i s no single element which i s shared by a l l items, which nevertheless have a good deal i n common. A family resemblance, i n other words, i s c o n s t i t u - ted by a network of overlapping and c r o s s - c u t t i n g resenh- b l a n c e s . ^ I t i s my contention that we w i l l be better served i f we conceptualize w i t c h c r a f t and sorcery as c o n s t i t u t i n g "natural f a m i l i e s " rather than true classes, since the a t - tempt to e s t a b l i s h classes to group such b e l i e f s ends up i n a priorism and a v i o l a t i o n of indigenous structures of thought. While t h i s i s l e s s true of the ideal-type mode of c l a s s i f i c a t i o n than of the attempt to e s t a b l i s h s t r i c t categories, i t remains also true of t h i s . There i s , indeed, good reason to think that i n t e l l e c t u a l structures should be l i t t l e s u ited to the development of c r o s s - c u l t u r a l cate- gories, i n terms of which t h e i r contents may be described. This i s because the component elements of idea systems bear an i n t e r n a l r e l a t i o n s h i p to each other, and each idea sys- tem must therefore be understood i n and f o r i t s e l f . I t might be argued, against t h i s view, that every science must develop a precise terminology i f confusion i s to be avoided. Yet even i f we accept the dubious methodo- l o g i c a l postulate on which t h i s argument i s based - the unity of method of the natural and s o c i a l sciences - i t i s i n v a l i d . Contrasting nominalist and r e a l i s t (or "essen- t i a l i s t " ) approaches towards the importance of d e f i n i t i o n s , -42- S i r K a r l Popper has persuasively argued that " i n science a l l the terms r e a l l y needed must be undefined t erms."^ He contrasts the s i t u a t i o n , as he sees i t , between philosophy and physics. Philosophers, f o r twenty centuries, have wor- r i e d over the meaning of terms, but t h e i r d i s c i p l i n e con- tinues to be vague, ambiguous and f u l l of verbalisms. Phy- s i c s , on the other hand, hardly concerns i t s e l f about terms and meanings, but about f a c t s instead, yet has achieved great p r e c i s i o n i n i t s discourse. The conclusion which Popper draws from t h i s i s that i t i s a mistake to .try and make the statements made i n a science depend on the meaning of terms. No argument should be based on a d e f i n i t i o n , f o r t h i s merely s h i f t s the ques- t i o n of i t s v a l i d i t y back to i t s def i n i n g terms. The cor- r e c t s o l u t i o n i n t r y i n g to avoid the imprecision inherent i n a l l language does not therefore l i e i n t r y i n g to specify terms more exa c t l y . Rather, i t consists i n t r y i n g to re- main within the l i m i t s of vagueness, phrasing sentences i n such a way that possible shades of meaning of terms are not important. In Popper's view, the p r e c i s i o n of language depends i n fa c t on not t r y i n g to make terms too p r e c i s e . Terms l i k e "sand-dune" and "wind", f o r example, are very d i f f i c u l t to define exactly (how do we d i s t i n g u i s h a dune from a h i l l , mound or heap; a wind from a gale, breeze or hurricane?). Yet these terms have proved s u f f i c i e n t l y precise f o r many of the purposes of the meteorologist and the geologist, and where a more exact s p e c i f i c a t i o n i s necessary, i t i s s u f f i - c i e n t to say "dunes, f o r t y to f i f t y f e e t high" or "winds of -43- 64 a v e l o c i t y of f o r t y to f i f t y miles per hour". Anthropologists may also adopt the procedure of the geologist and meteorologist. Instead of t r y i n g to formu- l a t e terms which exactly describe a l l cases of witch c r a f t , sorcery and destructive magic, not confusing these cate- gories and also d i s t i n g u i s h i n g them c l e a r l y from such other notions as ghost-invocation or cursing, where p r e c i s i o n i s necessary we may adopt the p r a c t i c e of speaking of "des- t r u c t i v e magic with the fo l l o w i n g features...", or "witch- c r a f t , where the witch i s a t t r i b u t e d the fo l l o w i n g charac- 65 t e r i s t i c s . . . " • Notes and References 1. I employ the term "primitive" i n reference to s o c i e t i e s with the following c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s : low-level techno- logy, non-literacy, low population density, "multiplex" role systems, s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s organized on a face-to- face basis. No implications of i n f e r i o r i t y or of "backwardness" are intended, 2. Kluckhohn, C , Navaho Witchcraft, (Beacon Press, Boston, 1967); Evans-Pritchard, E.E., Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic among the Azande, (Oxford University Press, London, 1937). 3* Or perhaps we should say "socio-structuralism", i n order to d i f f e r e n t i a t e Evans-Pritchard*s approach from the l i n g u i s t i c o - l o g i c a l structuralism of writers l i k e Claude Levi-Strauss. 4. Kuhn, T.S., The Structure of S c i e n t i f i c Revolutions, (University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1962), P. x. 5. See Douglas, M., Natural Symbols: Explorations i n Cosmology, (Barrie & Rocklife, London, 1970); "Intro- duction: T h i r t y Years A f t e r Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic", i n Douglas, M., Witchcraft: Confessions and Accusations, (Tavistock Publications Ltd., London, 1970); Leach, E.R., Rethinking Anthropology, (Athlone Press, London, 1961), Ch. I; Nadel, S.F., "Witchcraft i n Pour African S o c i e t i e s : An Essay i n Comparison", American Anthropologist, V o l . LIV, (1952), Pp. 18-29, reprinted i n Marwick, M. (ed.), Witchcraft and Sorcery, (Penguin Books Ltd., Harmondsworth, 1970), Ch. XXIII; Swanson, G.R., The B i r t h of the Gods. (University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, 1964), Ch. VII. 6. Mair, L., Witchcraft, (McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1969). 7. That the r e l a t i o n s h i p between conceptual categories and manifest behaviour must be posed as problematic, not taken as given, i s shown by the phenomena which s o c i a l -45- s c i e n t i s t s have characterized "by such terms as deviance, ideology, r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n and f a l s e consciousness. The nature of t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p i s discussed f u r t h e r i n Ch. I I of t h i s t h e s i s . 8. Mair, L., Witchcraft, op. c i t . , P. 165. 9. Wittgenstein, L., P h i l o s o p h i c a l Investigations, ( B a s i l Blackwell, Oxford, 1953). 10. Leach, E;R., Rethinking Anthropology, op. c i t . , Pp. 105-8. 11. i b i d . , P. 27. 12. Le'vi-Strauss, C., Totemism. (Merlin Press, London, 1964), P. 3. 13. Kluckhohn, C , Navaho Witchcraft, op. c i t . , P. 67. 14. Evans-Pritchard, E.E., W i t c h c r a f t . . o p . c i t . , P. 64. 15. Winch, P., "Understanding a P r i m i t i v e Society", Ameri- * can P h i l o s o p h i c a l Quarterly, V o l . I, No. 4, (Oct. 1964), P. 310. Emphasis i n o r i g i n a l . 16. Cf. Ch. VIII of t h i s t h e s i s , Section D, "Action Against Witchcraft". 17. Kluckhohn, C , Navaho Witchcraft, op. c i t . , P. 27. 18. I b i d . . P. 96. I follow here the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n offered by Kluckhohn i n Navaho Witchcraft. Max Marwick, how- ever, reports r e c e i v i n g a personal communication from Kluckhohn containing information not supportive of t h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . According to Marwick, Kluckhohn stated i n t h i s communication "...that h i s more recent data had not confirmed h i s e a r l i e r conclusions i n t h i s respect, and that gossip about l o c a l witches was commoner than h i s f i r s t impressions had l e d him to b e l i e v e . I get the impression that h i s e a r l i e r f i n d i n g may have been based on informants* general statements; and t h i s l a t e r one, on the examination of s p e c i f i c instances. I t may be -46- that ... people put the blame for misfortunes in gene- r a l on to distant witches and for a specific misfortune on to someone within the community ...". Marwick, M., "Witchcraft as a Social Strain-Gauge", Australian Jour- nal of Science, Vol. XXVI, (1964), Pp. 263-8, reprinted in Marwick, M. (ed.), Witchcraft and Sorcery, op. c i t . , Ch. XXIV. Cf. P. 287. 19. Kluckhohn, C , Navaho Witchcraft, op. c i t . . P. 111. Again, the r e l i a b i l i t y of Kluckhohn's information on this point i s not clear, since, with the exception of some information on ties of kinship, we are given no concrete data on the relations between witch, victim and accuser. From the information we are given, i t would seem that a disproportionate number of those accused of witchcraft, and even more of those who are bewitched, are wealthy. This might suggest that most accusations are made between persons of roughly equal socio-economic status, and that witchcraft i s mainly of concern to the wealthier members of Navaho society. Ibid., Pp. 59-60. 20. Evans-Pritchard, E.E., Witchcraft..., op. c i t . , Pp. 104-5, 343-4. 21. Kluckhohn, C , Navaho Witchcraft, op. c i t . , P. 85. 22. I have drawn here on The Shorter Oxford English Dic- tionary, (Oxford University Press, London, 1959). 23. Kluckhohn, C , Navaho Witchcraft, op. c i t . . P. 45. Em- phasis in o r i g i n a l . 24. Ibid., P. 133, note 3. 25. In the following section, I have drawn heavily on the exposition and critique of Pareto by Winch, P., The Idea of a Social Science, (Routledge & Kegan Paul, Lon- don, 1958), espc. Pp. 95-103. Cf. also, Pareto, V., The Mind and Society (Harcourt Brace, New York, 1935). 26. Winch, P., The Idea..., op. c i t . , Pp. 99-100, Emphasis in o r i g i n a l . -47- 27. This point w i l l be developed more f u l l y i n l a t e r sections of t h i s t h e s i s . 28. Nadel, S.F., "Malinowski on Magic and R e l i g i o n " , i n F i r t h , R. (ed.), Man and Culture. (Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1957), P. 196. Cf. Malinowski, B., Argonauts of the Western P a c i f i c , (E.P. Dutton & Co., Inc., New York, 1961), P. 424. 29. Malinowski, B., Argonauts..., op. c i t . , P. 299. 30. I b i d . . 31. This despite the f a c t that, at the time of w r i t i n g Argonauts of the Western P a c i f i c , Malinowski continued to accept the v a l i d i t y of Frazer's theories of magic and r e l i g i o n . I b i d . , P. 73, footnote. 32. Despite, however, the f a c t that the powers of the yoyova are believed to derive from magic, they seem also to involve an innate component. Thus the yoyova i s believed to develop a small egg-shaped kapuwana i n her body which a t night assumes the various forms i n which the mulukwausi appears. Whether t h i s kapuwana i s a p h y s i c a l substance or not seems unclear, and i n Malinowski's view to ask such a question i s to attempt to smuggle i n our own categories where they do not e x i s t . I t i s also believed that young yoyova are e a s i l y picked out from other g i r l s by t h e i r crude tastes, and e s p e c i a l l y t h e i r l i k i n g f o r raw pork and f i s h . I b i d . , Pp. 238-40. 33. I b i d . , Pp. 73-5. 34. Malinowski, B., Crime and Custom i n Savage Society, (Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1926), Pp. 85-94. 35. Malinowski, B., Argonauts..., op. c i t . , Pp. 76, 236-41. 36. Fortune, R., Sorcerers of Dobu, (Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1963). 37. Cf. F i r t h , R., Human Types, (Mentor, New York, 1958), -48- Ch. VIj "The Sociology of »Magic»", Sooiologus, n.s., Vol. IV, (1954), Pp. 97-116, reprinted in Fi r t h , R., Tikopia Ritual and Belief,- (Allen & Unwin, London, 1967), Ch. IX; Hogbin, H.I., "Sorcery and Administra- tion", Oceania, Vol. VI, (1935), Pp. 1-32. 38. Marwick, M., "The Study of Witchcraft", in Epstein, A.L. (ed.), The Craft of Social Anthropology, (Tavistock Publications Ltd., London, 1967), P. 233. 39. Evans-Pritchard, E.E., Witchcraft..., op. c i t . , P. 8. 40. Ibid., Pp. 21-3. 41. Ibid., P. 23. 42. Ibid., P. 112. 43. Evans-Pritchard, E.E., "Witchcraft (Mangu) Amongst the Azande", Sudan Notes and Records, Vol. XII, (1929), Pp. 163-249, reprinted in Marwick, M. (ed.), Witch- craft..., op. c i t . , Ch. I I . Cf. Pp. 29-30. 44. Evans-Pritchard, E.E., Witchcraft..., op. c i t . , P. 109. 45. Ibid.. P. 119. 46. Ibid., P. 114. 47. Evans-Pritchard, E.E., "Witchcraft (Mangu)...", op. c i t . , P. 30. 48. Evans-Pritchard, E.E., Witchcraft..., op. c i t . , P. 392. 49. Ibid., Pp. 394-8. 50. Kluckhohn, C , Navaho Witchcraft, op. c i t . , Pp. 22-4. 51. Ibid., Pp. 25-7. 52. Ibid., Pp. 31-3. 53. Ibid., Pp. 34-5. -49- 54. I b i d . , Pp. 40-1. In t h i s b r i e f outline of the cate- gories of Navaho witch c r a f t , I have not given the Navaho terms f o r Frenzy Witchcraft, Sorcery, etc., because of the d i f f i c u l t y of reproducing the phonetic t r a n s c r i p t i o n used by Kluckhohn. 55. Middleton, J . and Winter, E.H., "Introduction" to Middleton, J . and Winter, E.H. (eds.), Witchcraft and Sorcery i n East A f r i c a , (Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1963), P. 3. 56. An exception i s Crawford, J.R., Witchcraft and Sorcery i n Rhodesia, (Oxford U n i v e r s i t y Press, London, 1967). 57. Cf. Mair, L., Witchcraft, op. c i t . , P. 23; Marwick, M., "Introduction" to Marwick, M. (ed.), Witchcraft..., op. c i t . , Pp. 12-13. 58. Quoted i n Turner, V., "Witchcraft and Sorcery: Taxonomy versus Dynamics", A f r i c a , V o l . XXXLT, No. 4, (1964), Pp. 314-25. Cf. Pp. 322-3. Turner's emphasis. 59. Goode, W.J., R e l i g i o n Among the P r i m i t i v e s , (Free Press, Glencoe, 111., 1951), P. 52. 60. Winch, P., The I d e a . . o p . c i t . , P. 107. See also Pp. 105-6. 61. Turner, V., "Witchcraft...", op. c i t . , P. 323. 62. Wittgenstein, L., P h i l o s o p h i c a l . . . , op. c i t . , Pp. 31-6. 63. Popper, K.R., The Open Society and i t s Enemies, (Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1961), V o l . I I , P. 18. 64. I b i d . . V o l . I I , Pp. 10-19. 65. As f a r as my own use of terminology i s concerned, I propose, f o r the purposes of t h i s t h e s i s , to use such terms as "witchcraft", "sorcery" and "magic" i n the same sense as they are used by the p a r t i c u l a r theore- t i c i a n s being discussed. CHAPTER TWO FURTHER METHODOLOGICAL CONSIDERATIONS A. Introduction In the preceding chapter, we have suggested that the p r i n c i p a l task of the anthropologist l i e s i n t r y i n g to ren- der i n t e l l i g i b l e , to a p a r t i c u l a r audience, the way of l i f e of another c u l t u r a l group. 1 In t h i s chapter, I propose to develop f u r t h e r some of the implications of t h i s view and to elaborate on some of the methodological considerations already invoked i n our discussion of problems of termino- logy and d e f i n i t i o n . Fundamental to the understanding of c u l t u r a l l i f e i s the recognition of i t s nature as meaningful behaviour. An- other way of expressing the same idea i s to say that c u l - t u r a l behaviour takes place within the context provided by a set of concepts and b e l i e f s which are i n t e r r e l a t e d i n such a way as to form a system. These systems are s t r u c - tured according to c e r t a i n r u l e s , and i t follows from t h i s 2 that c u l t u r a l behaviour i s rule-governed. In order to un- derstand c u l t u r a l behaviour, therefore, i t i s f i r s t neces- sary to succeed i n grasping the rules which order i t and the notions which enter in t o i t . I t i s f o r t h i s reason that, i n the preceding chapter, we have several times c r i - t i c i z e d suggested terminological systems f o r v i o l a t i n g the i n t e g r i t y of native systems of thought. This i s not to imply that a s a t i s f a c t o r y understanding of the way of l i f e of a p a r t i c u l a r s o c i a l group i s neces- s a r i l y contained i n the way i n which i t s own members con- ceptualize i t . Many of the r u l e s governing c u l t u r a l l i f e may not be a c t u a l l y present i n the consciousness of those who follow them: many l i n g u i s t i c conventions, f o r example, are unconsciously followed i n t h i s manner. Moreover, even when c u l t u r a l r u l e s are consciously applied, those apply- ing them may not be aware of the f u l l consequences of t h e i r doing so ( j u s t as a chess player may not forsee the f u l l consequences of a move that he makes). Por c u l t u r a l r u l e s are not applied i n a vacuum, but i n the context of p a r t i c u l a r a c t i o n - s i t u a t i o n s , and the r e s u l t of t h e i r ap- p l i c a t i o n i n the context of these p a r t i c u l a r s i t u a t i o n s i s to generate new s i t u a t i o n s which may or may not be those which were o r i g i n a l l y intended. I t follows from t h i s that the nature of a p a r t i c u l a r way of l i f e , considered as an on-going process, may not be f u l l y understood by those l i v i n g i t , and therefore that current conceptualizations of s o c i a l r e a l i t y may embody falsehoods.^ Among the tasks of the anthropologist, i s that of determining the extent of these misconceptions, and of discovering what r o l e they play, as misconceptions, i n the l i f e of the s o c i a l group concerned. The conceptualization of s o c i a l r e a l i t y i s , of course, only a s p e c i a l case of the understanding of r e a l i t y as such, and i t i s not only the former, but also the l a t t e r , which enters i n t o a given way of l i f e . As Winch expresses -52- A man's s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s with h i s fellows are permeated with h i s ideas about r e a l i t y . Indeed, "permeated" i s hardly a strong enough word: s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s are expressions of ideas about r e a l i t y A In support of t h i s argument, Winch gives the example of the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s which a monk has with h i s f e l l o w monks and with people outside the monastery: i t would be impossible to achieve more than a s u p e r f i c i a l understanding of these r e l a t i o n s without taking into ac- count the r e l i g i o u s ideas on which the monk's l i f e i s 5 centred. Other examples of the way i n which notions of s o c i a l , psychic, s p i r i t u a l , b i o l o g i c a l or physico-chemical r e a l i t y govern people's c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a c t i v i t i e s , i n c l u d - i n g t h e i r r e l a t i o n s with t h e i r fellows, spring r e a d i l y to mind. One might c i t e the way i n which the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c behaviour of the vegetarian, the r a c i s t , the alchemist or the devotee of astrology or of the I Ching, manifests h i s or her p a r t i c u l a r notions of r e a l i t y ; but the example of the meat-eater, the l i b e r a l , the nuclear p h y s i c i s t , or the r a t i o n a l i s t , would be equally v a l i d . Of course, j u s t as i t i s possible that a s o c i a l consciousness may be a f a l s e consciousness, so too i s i t possible that an actor may not f u l l y comprehend the way i n which h i s s o c i a l i n t e r a c t i o n network, and h i s way of l i f e i n general, i s founded on im- p l i c i t or e x p l i c i t notions of other dimensions of r e a l i t y . B. C u l t u r a l Knowledge as a C u l t u r a l Phenomenon A p a r t i c u l a r image of society, and a p a r t i c u l a r view of r e a l i t y , i s acquired by the i n d i v i d u a l from h i s l i f e i n -53- society, j u s t as a language i s so acquired. I t i s i n terms of t h i s s o c i a l consciousness, and t h i s world-view, that the i n d i v i d u a l makes sense of h i s e x p e r i e n t i a l world, i n c l u d i n g h i s universe of s o c i a l i n t e r a c t i o n . This statement holds equally true f o r the anthropo- l o g i s t as f o r the members of the cultures which he studies. The anthropologist does not approach the phenomena of other cultures without expectations, but does so with de- f i n i t e assumptions i n mind which are a product of h i s b i o - graphy i n a s p e c i f i c s o c i o - c u l t u r a l m i l i e u . No l e s s than the shaman or the witch-doctor, the anthropologist has a p a r t i c u l a r s o c i a l i d e n t i t y and a p a r t i c u l a r conceptualiza- t i o n of t h i s i d e n t i t y , of h i s society, of s o c i e t y and hu- manity i n general, and even of r e a l i t y , be these views elaborated i n t o a consistent philosophy.or present only as an unintegrated s e r i e s of presuppositions. Most commonly, t h i s world-view takes the form of some variant or other of a s e c u l a r i s t l i b e r a l humanism compatible with a techno- c r a t i c s o c i a l o r d e r . 6 Such views deeply influence the anthropologist's analysis of other s o c i e t i e s . As Pocock points out, even i n h i s f i r s t piece of field-work the anthropologist neces- s a r i l y compares the categories of h i s own society with those of the s o c i e t y he i s studying, and also has i n mind the works of h i s predecessors dealing with phenomena com- 7 parable to those which he f i n d s . The anthropologist's experience of p r i m i t i v e society, i n other words, i s a function of h i s p r i o r experience of h i s own s o c i e t y . In t h i s way, the p o s i t i o n of the anthropologist may be r e - -54- garded as being i n essence i d e n t i c a l to that of the h i s - t o r i a n i n t e r p r e t i n g another h i s t o r i c a l epoch. As the h i s - torian's work i s i t s e l f the product of an h i s t o r i c a l evolu- t i o n , so i s that of the anthropologist a product of a par- t i c u l a r c u l t u r a l c o n f iguration. Thus, as Paul Cardan writes, ... each c i v i l i z a t i o n or epoch, from the very f a c t that i t i s p a r t i c u l a r and dominated by i t s own obsessions, i s l e d to suggest or uncover new meanings i n the s o c i e t i e s which pre- ceded i t or surround i t . . . . These meanings can never f i x or exhaust t h e i r object, not the l e a s t reason f o r which i s that they themselves sooner or l a t e r become objects of i n terpre tation.$ The following provides a c l e a r example of the way i n which s o c i a l and h i s t o r i c a l thought i s i t s e l f s o c i o - h i s t o r i c a l l y determined: In the thinking of the ancient Greeks the dominant categories de- f i n i n g s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s and h i s t o r y were e s s e n t i a l l y p o l i t i c a l (the power of the c i t y , r e l a t i o n s between c i t i e s , r e l a t i o n s between "might" and " r i g h t " , e t c . ) . The economy only received marginal a t t e n t i o n . This was not because the i n t e l l i - gence or i n s i g h t of the Greeks were l e s s "developed" than those of mo- dern man. Nor was i t because there were no economic f a c t s , or because economic f a c t s were t o t a l l y ignored. I t was because i n the s o c i a l r e a l i t y of that p a r t i c u l a r epoch the economy had not yet become a separate, auto- -55- nomous f a c t o r (a f a c t o r "for i t s e l f " as Marx would say) i n human develop- ment. A s i g n i f i c a n t analysis of the economy and of i t s importance f o r s o c i e t y could only take place i n the 17th century and more p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the 18th century. I t could only take place i n p a r a l l e l with the r e a l development of c a p i t a l i s m which made of the economy the dominant element i n s o c i a l l i f e . The c e n t r a l import- ance a t t r i b u t e d by Marx and the marxists to economic fact o r s i s but an aspect of the unfolding of t h i s h i s t o r i c a l r e a l i t y . 9 C. Levels of C u l t u r a l Understanding There are two separate stages involved i n the under- standing of another c u l t u r e . The f i r s t involves assimi- l a t i n g the categories of native thought and f e e l i n g , to- gether with a knowledge of the contexts i n which such cate- gories are employed: a process which might be compared to that of l e a r n i n g a f o r e i g n language. The second stage i n - volves going beyond these categories, i n some sense, i n order to i n d i c a t e t h e i r s i g n i f i c a n c e to anthropological theory: a process which might be compared to the s c i e n t i - f i c d e s c r i p t i o n of a language. Another possible analogy to anthropological understanding i s that of psychoanalysis. As Pocock argues, The analyst enters the p r i v a t e world of h i s subject i n order to l e a r n the grammar of h i s p r i v a t e language. I f the analysis goes no f u r t h e r i t i s no d i f f e r e n t i n kind from the under- standing which may e x i s t between any two people who know each other w e l l . -56- I t becomes s c i e n t i f i c to the extent that the private language of i n t i - mate understanding i s translated i n - to a p u b l i c language ... i n t h i s case ... the language of psycholo- g i s t s . But the p a r t i c u l a r act of t r a n s l a t i o n does not d i s t o r t the p r i v a t e experience of the subject and i d e a l l y i t i s , at l e a s t poten- t i a l l y , acceptable to him as a s c i e n t i f i c presentation of i t . " * ^ Obviously the task of understanding the b e l i e f s and p r a c t i c e s of the members of another society i s not equally d i f f i c u l t on a l l l e v e l s of s o c i o - c u l t u r a l organization. The r e l a t i v e d i f f i c u l t y of understanding i s p r i m a r i l y de- termined by the degree of s i m i l a r i t y or difference of the b e l i e f s and p r a c t i c e s being studied to those operative i n the anthropologist's own s o c i e t y . Technological behaviour, f o r example, poses no p a r t i c u l a r problems of understanding since, qua technological behaviour, i t i s r e a d i l y a s s i m i l - able to the categories of our own world-view and s a t i s f i e s our own c r i t e r i a of r a t i o n a l i t y . Nobody i s puzzled by the f a c t that, i n order to grow crops, seeds are planted i n the ground and watered, and the garden c a r e f u l l y tended and weeded. Once the goal of the gardener i s known - the growing of crops - and the l i m i t a t i o n s of h i s resources and gardening knowledge comprehended, h i s behaviour i s im- mediately i n t e l l i g i b l e to us. More than t h i s , simply by observing technological behaviour - i n i t s more elementary forms at l e a s t - i t i s often possible to i n f e r not only the goals of the technologist, but also the l i m i t a t i o n s of the resources and te c h n i c a l knowledge at h i s d i s p o s a l . We -57- might recognize that there are other ways of accomplishing the same end, but h i s way i s also e f f e c t i v e . Thus, even i f the native observer explains the e f f i c a c y of h i s tech- n o l o g i c a l a c t i v i t i e s using d i f f e r e n t terms from those which we would use, these a c t i v i t i e s nevertheless i n no way challenge our conceptualization of the nature of r e a l i t y . The problem begins when we are forced to consider the magical r i t u a l s so often associated with what we describe as technology: the s p e l l that i s whispered over the digging-stick, the "medicines" that are used to promote growth or ward-off thieves. Are such p r a c t i c e s to be ex- plained simply as misguided technological procedures, the r e s u l t of errors i n the understanding of natural causation, or i s there some other explanation? A s i m i l a r d i f f i c u l t y confronts us when we consider Navaho tales of witches who enclose themselves i n gourds and t r a v e l by r a p i d l y r o l l i n g along the ground, or of other witches who can transform themselves in t o wolves, coyotes and bears and move at great speeds, or of dogs which may pray sickness on 11 people. Por such b e l i e f s seem to assert the existence of powers, substances and r e l a t i o n s h i p s that, f o r us, have no r e a l i t y . How, then, are we to make sense of them? Such b e l i e f s - and the a c t i v i t i e s associated with them - constitute a s p e c i a l problem i n that we belong to a culture whose conception of r a t i o n a l i t y i s deeply affected by the concepts and methods of the natural sciences. As a r e s u l t , we tend to t r e a t such things as a b e l i e f i n magic, witchcraft, or the power of oracles as a paradigm of the -58- i r r a t i o n a l . Peter Winch points out the implications of t h i s : The s t r a i n s inherent i n t h i s s i t u a - t i o n are very l i k e l y to lead the an- thropologist to adopt the following posture: We know that Zande b e l i e f s i n the influence of witchcraft, the e f f i c a c y of magic medicines, the r o l e of oracles i n revealing what i s going on and what i s going to happen, are mistaken, i l l u s o r y . S c i e n t i f i c methods of i n v e s t i g a t i o n have shown conc l u s i v e l y that there are no such r e l a t i o n s of cause and e f f e c t such as are implied by these b e l i e f s and p r a c t i c e s . A l l we can do then i s to show how such a system of mistaken b e l i e f s and i n e f f i c a c i o u s p r a c t i c e s can maintain i t s e l f i n the face of objections that seem to us so ob- vious .12 One does not have to search f a r to f i n d evidence which confirms Winch's statement. From the time of Tylor and Frazer u n t i l the present, most anthropologists have seen one of the key questions to which they must address themselves as being that of explaining why such erroneous b e l i e f s should continue to p e r s i s t . In Marwick's words, "Anthropologists have long been preoccupied with the prob- lem why b e l i e f s i n magic, w i t c h c r a f t and sorcery, though 1 palpably f a l s e , nevertheless continue to have in f l u e n c e . " For Marwick himself, w i t c h c r a f t and sorcery b e l i e f s are 14 "standardized delusions", while f o r Monica Hunter Wilson 15 they are "the standardized nightmare of a group". In the same vein, V i c t o r Turner describes w i t c h c r a f t and sor- -59- 16 eery as "ugly and i r r a t i o n a l b e l i e f s " , while Kluckhohn s i m i l a r l y opposes w i t c h c r a f t b e l i e f s to "more r a t i o n a l 17 modes of explanation". Por h i s part, Evans-Pritchard asks why the Azande "do not perceive the f u t i l i t y of t h e i r 18 magic", and why "common sense does not triumph over 19 s u p e r s t i t i o n " . In thus viewing magico-religious systems, anthropolo- g i s t s have i m p l i c i t l y accepted a hierarchy of types of thought, with western science placed i n a p o s i t i o n of su p e r i o r i t y to a l l other modes, and serving as a touch- stone against which to judge them. Hence the long- standing controversy over the question of the extent to which the magico-religious b e l i e f s of p r i m i t i v e peoples can be accomodated to models of s c i e n t i f i c thought and be- haviour. This, i n i t s e l f , i s a p e r f e c t l y j u s t i f i e d i n - t e r e s t . The trouble i s , as Barnes remarks, that "Often, i n such material, one finds a det a i l e d and sophisticated treatment of anthropological material r e l a t e d to sketchy and often i m p l i c i t notions of what i s r a t i o n a l or s c i e n t i - f i o " . 2 0 D. Their Ways of Thinking and Ours Perhaps one of the c l e a r e s t examples of t h i s tendency to operate with l a r g e l y i m p l i c i t notions of the nature of western thought and of s c i e n t i f i c discourse i s that of Le*vy-Bruhl. Thus, despite h i s e x p l i c i t l y declared i n t e n - t i o n to make a comparative study of p r i m i t i v e and western thought, L^vy-Bruhl did not attempt any serious examina- tio n of the l a t t e r , contenting himself with the statement -60- that i t was already s u f f i c i e n t l y well defined i n the works of philosophers, l o g i c i a n s and psychologists, and therefore 21 not i n need of further elaboration. Other anthropolo- g i s t s have assumed as much, i f they have not been quite as e x p l i c i t i n saying so. Such an attitude i s insupportable. No anthropologist would accept the conscious model of another society as an accurate d e s c r i p t i o n of r e a l i t y , and there would seem to be no more j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r doing t h i s with the conscious models of our own society. The important point i s that, on the basis of these sketchy and i m p l i c i t notions, a series of oppositions have been postulated between Western science and other cosmological systems. We may indicate some of these i n tabular form: THEORIST MAGIC SCIENCE Tylor, Frazer subjective objective Ldvy-Bruhl p r e l o g i c a l & mystical l o g i c a l & empirical Malinowski emotive i n t e l l e c t u a l Evans-Pritchard mystical empirical Kluckhohn fantasy-oriented r e a l i t y - o r i e n t e d Diagram 3: Oppositions Between Science and Magic In discussing another aspect of human thought - the manner i n which the i n t e r r e l a t i o n between nature and c u l - ture i s conceptualized - Levi-Strauss has noted that the -61- mind of the anthropologist has played as large a part as have the ideas of the people being studied, i n determining what the anthropologist has w r i t t e n : "... i t i s as though he were seeking consciously or unconsciously, and under the guise of s c i e n t i f i c o b j e c t i v i t y , to make the l a t t e r 22 ... more d i f f e r e n t than they r e a l l y are". He suggests i n explanation of t h i s that: In order to place the modes of thought of the normal, white adult man on a f i r m foundation and simul- taneously to maintain them i n t h e i r i n t e g r i t y , nothing could be more convenient than f o r him to separate from himself those customs and be- l i e f s , a c t u a l l y extremely hetero- geneous and d i f f i c u l t to i s o l a t e , around which had c r y s t a l l i z e d an i n e r t mass of ideas which would have been l e s s offensive i f i t had been necessary to recognize t h e i r presence and t h e i r action i n a l l cultures, i n c l u d i n g our own. Totemism i s f i r s t l y the p r o j e c t i o n outside our own universe, as though by a kind of exorcism, of mental att i t u d e s incom- p a t i b l e with the exigency of a d i s - c o n t i n u i t y between man and nature which C h r i s t i a n thought has held to be e s s e n t i a l . I t was thus thought possible to validate t h i s b e l i e f by making the u n i v e r s a l exigency an a t - t r i b u t e of t h i s "second nature" j which c i v i l i z e d man, i n the vain hope of escaping from himself as well as from nature, concocts from the " p r i m i t i v e " or "archaic" stages of h i s own development.^3 In t h i s way, "totemism" has been invented, and a s i m i l a r -62- process has operated i n r e l a t i o n to the concepts of " s a c r i - f i c e " and of "ignorance of p h y s i o l o g i c a l p a t e r n i t y " , both of which concepts have, s i g n i f i c a n t l y , been a s s i m i l a t e d to 24 that of "totemism". The n o t i o n of "ignorance of p h y s i o l o g i c a l p a t e r n i t y " , widely a s c r i b e d to the Trobriand I s l a n d e r s and the Aborigines of A u s t r a l i a , has r e c e n t l y been examined i n de- t a i l by Edmund Leach. Reviewing the evidence on t h i s p o i n t , Leach concludes that the great bulk of ethnographic data i n d i c a t e s that these peoples are not i n f a c t ignorant of p h y s i o l o g i c a l p a t e r n i t y and, moreover, has always i n d i c a t e d t h i s . T h i s , of course, r a i s e s the r a t h e r i n t e r e s t i n g question of why i t i s that a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s have clung so t e n a c i o u s l y to the opposite c o n c l u s i o n . Leach notes that the emphasis on t h i s point f o r p r i m i t i v e peoples has been coupled w i t h a complete f a i l u r e to attempt any form of comparative a n a l y s i s which would embrace the theology of Judaism or C h r i s t i a n i t y . Instead of seeking f o r r e l a t i o n - ships between p r i m i t i v e and c i v i l i z e d modes of thought, a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s have been content to e s t a b l i s h a simple dichotomy between p r i m i t i v e ignorance and c i v i l i z e d theo- logy, i m p l i c i t l y denying that there i s any a f f i n i t y be- tween accounts of conception among p r i m i t i v e peoples and, 25 f o r example, the C h r i s t i a n myth of the V i r g i n B i r t h . Again we encounter "... the f a c t that the quest f o r the u l t i m a t e p r i m i t i v e who i s q u i t e d i f f e r e n t from c i v i l i z e d 26 man appeals very s t r o n g l y to c e r t a i n a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s , " thus c o r r o b o r a t i n g L e v i - S t r a u s s * a n a l y s i s of the "totemic i l l u s i o n " . -63- Uhdoubtedly, t h i s process i s also part of the ten- dency on the par t of every c i v i l i z a t i o n "... to over- 27 estimate the objective o r i e n t a t i o n of i t s own thought." Yet how i s such a tendency to be countered? I t i s u s e f u l at t h i s point to turn to Lucien Goldmann's discussion of the Marxian th e s i s of the class determina- t i o n of consciousness. In discussing the problem posed f o r o b j e c t i v i t y i n the s o c i a l sciences by t h i s t h e s i s , Goldmann has suggested that i t i s necessary to recognize that c e r t a i n aspects of r e a l i t y may be v i s i b l e from a reactionary standpoint, and yet incomprehensible within the context of the p o t e n t i a l consciousness of a more pro- gressive c l a s s . Recognition of t h i s i s the f i r s t r e q u i r e - ment of the i n d i v i d u a l researcher, i n order f o r him to be able to transcend the actual consciousness of any e x i s t i n g c l a s s . He can do t h i s by: (a) e f f e c t i n g a synthesis of the elements of tr u t h provided by the perspectives of the d i f f e r i n g s o c i a l classes; and (b) by preserving the elements of under- standing already expressed e a r l i e r by t h i s or that thinker but l a t e r abandoned under the influence of s o c i a l , economic and p o l i t i c a l changes.28 Of course, no such synthesis could claim f i n a l i t y i n any sense. A l l syntheses must n e c e s s a r i l y proceed from a given perspective and, as constructions, n e c e s s a r i l y r e s t on c e r t a i n preconceptions and underlying assumptions. Yet a g e n e r a l i z a t i o n of Goldmann's programme contains a very important suggestion f o r the present study. P r i m i t i v e -64- modes of thought and notions of c a u s a l i t y and r e a l i t y are no,t only i n t e r e s t i n g i n the l i g h t of our own world-views. These conceptions may themselves be used i n order to un- derstand better our own ways of thought, i n c l u d i n g the most advanced and sophisticated of s c i e n t i f i c t heories. A 29 few writers have seen t h i s , but they are exceptional i n t h i s respect. The majority of anthropologists, i f they have sought i n s i g h t i n t o t h e i r own cultures from the data of p r i m i t i v e magic and witch c r a f t , have l i m i t e d t h e i r generalizations to a few scattered remarks on such un- savoury phenomena as racism, Fascism, Sta l i n i s m or McCarthyism. In t h i s respect, they have not r e a l l y ad- vanced beyond the l e v e l of i n s i g h t achieved by l i t e r a r y f i g u r e s l i k e Arthur M i l l e r . ^ By r e s t r i c t i n g t h e i r com- parisons to phenomena from t h e i r own culture which they themselves evaluate negatively, perhaps with the conscious or unconscious i n t e n t i o n of d i s c r e d i t i n g these phenomena, contemporary anthropologists are engaged i n the same kind of pur s u i t as Tylor and Frazer. They continue to empha- size the g u l f between p r i m i t i v e and western modes of thought, and r e s t r i c t an analysis of s i m i l a r i t i e s between the two to those elements of t h e i r own culture which they regard as fo r e i g n to t h e i r own outlook. E. The Importance of History G-oldmann's suggested method of transcending socio- centrism implies the necessity of a constant examination and re-examination of received ideas. An h i s t o r i c a l ap- proach i s therefore required f o r the s o c i a l sciences. -65- This i s more than a matter of antiquarianism or l i t e r a r y adornment. As Pocock explains f o r anthropology, The d i s c i p l i n e as i t i s today con- tains i t s h i s t o r y to a remarkable degree. To put i t i n another way, the subject i s s t i l l young, i s s t i l l i n the process of working out a con- sensus of ideas, and divergences of assumption are perhaps more marked than they are i n the longer estab- l i s h e d sciences.31 History therefore holds a c e n t r a l place i n discus- sions of anthropological theory. Perhaps many anthropolo- g i s t s would dispute t h i s . Even as h i s t o r i c a l l y aware a writer as E.E. Evans-Pritchard, f o r example, i s prepared to dismiss many of the theoreticians discussed i n the f o l - lowing pages - Tylor, Frazer, Rivers, Malinowski and Le"vy- Bruhl - as being i n t r i n s i c a l l y unimportant i n contemporary t h e o r e t i c a l discussions and mainly of i n t e r e s t as s p e c i - 32 mens of the thought of t h e i r time. In the face of such a r e j e c t i o n , one might wonder at Evans-Pritchard 1s own propensity to adopt an approach to t h e o r e t i c a l matters so t y p i c a l l y of the "his t o r y of anthropology" type. Moreover, even i f most contemporary anthropologists r e j e c t (or think they r e j e c t ) the theories of t h e i r predecessors, i t i s not d i f f i c u l t to demonstrate the continuing influence of such theories i n r e l a t e d d i s c i p l i n e s and among laymen. The abridged e d i t i o n of The Golden Bough continues to enjoy wide sales i n paperback form, and numerous of the ideas of Frazer and Robertson-Smith continue to f i n d acceptance on the part of students of the Old Testament and of C l a s s i c s , - 6 6 - not to mention auch i n f l u e n t i a l modern writers as Mircea Eliade and Ernst C a s s i r e r . ^ In any case, how profound i s t h i s r e j e c t i o n ? Probably, to take a simple example, no contemporary anthropologist would accept Prazer*s model of an evolutionary progression from magic, through r e l i g i o n , to science, without serious reservations. Yet almost as many might accept Prazer's view that the i n t e r e s t i n g ques- tio n concerning p r i m i t i v e magico-religious systems centres on the persistence of f a l s e b e l i e f s i n magical e f f i c a c y . Moreover, even i f contemporary anthropologists r e j e c t a theory, does t h i s mean that we may dismiss i t as dead wood? Not even the progress of the natural sciences, s t i l l l e s s of the s o c i a l sciences, can be adequately de- p i c t e d i n terms of a l o g i c a l progression i n the course of which tr u t h u n f a i l i n g l y comes to replace falsehood. Thus, when two philosophers of the s o c i a l sciences declare them- selves to be "Prazerians" and set out to defend Prazer's general methodology, while at the same time c r i t i c i z i n g a prominent contemporary anthropologist (John Beattie) f o r i m p l i c i t l y accepting "one of the weakest points of 34 Prazer's theory", i t becomes p l a i n that the old issues are f a r from having been s e t t l e d once and f o r a l l . In- deed, one might wonder i f they have even been understood. An h i s t o r i c a l examination of these issues may therefore be of considerable value, and i t i s i n f a c t only by means of such an examination that we can hope to render e x p l i c i t our preconceptions and attempt to r e l a t i v i z e our cate- gories . F. The Development of Anthropological Theory Anthropology had i t s roots i n the humanistic p h i l o - sophical speculation of the Enlightenment, and c r y s t a l - l i z e d as an academic d i s c i p l i n e i n the l a t t e r part of the nineteenth century. Prom the philosophes of the Enlightenment i t derived a strong a n t i - c l e r i c a l i s m , and a mission to free men's minds from the bonds of ignorance and s u p e r s t i t i o n . This a n t i - r e l i g i o u s bias was further strengthened by the b i t t e r struggles occasioned by the theory of natural evolution, and also by the strong h e r i - tage derived from Comtian p o s i t i v i s m . The l a t t e r part of the nineteenth century was also, of course, the l a s t period of fre n z i e d empire-building on the part of the European powers: the age of the "scramble f o r A f r i c a " and the "white man's burden". I f the philosophes spun i d e a l i z e d images of Chinese c i v i l i z a t i o n and of the good l i f e i n Polynesia, the generation of Tylor and Prazer encountered the r e a l i t y of a weak and decadent China and the undisputed technological and m i l i t a r y supre- macy of the nations of Western Europe and North America. Most anthropologists of t h i s period did not question the s u p e r i o r i t y of Western European c i v i l i z a t i o n to any other s o c i a l type e x i s t i n g on earth up to and i n c l u d i n g that point i n time. Many also accepted the notion of the i n - nate s u p e r i o r i t y of the white race to a l l other ethnic groups. This conviction of s u p e r i o r i t y , whether r a c i a l or c u l t u r a l , was r e f l e c t e d i n the grand evolutionary schemes then so fashionable. Always these schemes culminated i n -68- some i n s t i t u t i o n selected from nineteenth century indus- t r i a l s o c i e t y : the monogamous family, private property, monotheism, or s c i e n t i f i c thought. In r e l a t i o n to such i n s t i t u t i o n s , a l l the customs, i n s t i t u t i o n s and b e l i e f s of "savages" and "barbarians" were to be regarded as so many f o s s i l i z e d antecedents, retarded i n t h e i r development and preserved by some freak of h i s t o r y . Nineteenth century anthropologists therefore shared two important c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s : f i r s t l y , the assumption of the s u p e r i o r i t y of t h e i r s o c i e t y to a l l others and, second- l y , a profound antipathy towards r e l i g i o n . This antipathy was p a r t l y expressed i n the tendency to elevate s c i e n t i f i c methodology to a p o s i t i o n of supreme judgement i n r e l a t i o n to a l l other epistemological systems. Often these ten- dencies merged, as i n the writings of S i r James Prazer. In Prazer*s eyes, r e l i g i o n came to be seen as an h i s t o r i - c a l s u r v i v a l i n nineteenth century European society, a product of f a l l a c i o u s reasoning, and a phenomenon to be replaced i n the course of s o c i a l evolution by the gradual expansion of s c i e n t i f i c knowledge. Comte had asserted much the same thing when he outlined h i s "Law of the Three Stages", according to which human thought had undergone an evolution from r e l i g i o n , through metaphysics, to i t s f i n a l " p o s i t i v e " form. Such a perspective n a t u r a l l y implied that the anthro- p o l o g i s t was looking upon p r i m i t i v e society from the out- s i d e . There was f o r him nothing to be l e a r n t from the way of l i f e of p r i m i t i v e peoples which might be relevant to h i s own way of l i f e , nor any i m p l i c a t i o n of the v a l i d i t y -69- of attempting to understand these s o c i e t i e s i n t h e i r own terms: l e a s t of a l l with respect to t h e i r pernicious and delusory magico-religious b e l i e f s . These constituted only b i z a r r e departures from r a t i o n a l thought, departures standing i n need of some form of explanation. Such an explanation was provided, i n the f i r s t instance, by the t h e o r e t i c a l schema of a s s o c i a t i o n a l psychology, L£vy-Bruhl did not b a s i c a l l y modify t h i s opposition between p r i m i t i v e and c i v i l i z e d , nor t h i s denigration of native modes of thought. Nor did he challenge the ten- dency to elevate Western science to a p o s i t i o n of absolute a r b i t e r or touchstone against which to measure the accept- a b i l i t y of other ways of conceptualizing r e a l i t y . Indeed, h i s d e f i n i t i o n of mystic thought, as thought presupposing the existence of e n t i t i e s and r e l a t i o n s not e x i s t i n g i n r e a l i t y , assumes p r e c i s e l y t h i s conception of science. Furthermore, i f L£vy-Bruhl, i n comparison to Tylor and Frazer, marks a forward step i n beginning to appreciate the v a r i a b i l i t y of meaning i n d i f f e r i n g c u l t u r a l contexts, i n other respects he may be considered to mark a r e t r o - grade step. Both Tylor and Frazer, although tending to view the p r i m i t i v e as a credulous f o o l and slave to cus- tom, nevertheless strongly emphasized that the thought processes of p r i m i t i v e s were to be understood i n b a s i c a l l y the same terms as our own. L£vy-Bruhl denied t h i s com- p l e t e l y . However coherent native thought i s , i t cannot be understood by Western c i v i l i z e d man. Thus the anthropolo- g i s t may describe what p r i m i t i v e s say, but he cannot hope to grasp t h e i r concepts. Por p r i m i t i v e s do not possess concepts proper i n the sense of recognizing that some uses conform to, and others break, rules f o r the use of expressions. Hence the i n d i f f e r e n c e of p r i m i t i v e thought to l o g i c a l c o n t r a d i c t i o n . Of course the Westerner might imagine himself a p r i m i t i v e and obtain some so r t of under- standing of p r i m i t i v e ideas by means of a process of em- pathy. Equally w e l l , however, he might imagine what i t i s to be a bear or a s q u i r r e l by means of some process of em- pathy. With Malinowski, a dramatic s h i f t occurred i n anthro- p o l o g i c a l emphasis. Writers now became l e s s i n t e r e s t e d i n t r y i n g to understand p r i m i t i v e thought as such, and more inte r e s t e d i n the thought of p a r t i c u l a r p r i m i t i v e s . P i e l d - work suddenly assumed a c r u c i a l importance f o r a l l anthro- p o l o g i s t s : a marked difference from the a t t i t u d e towards t h i s of, f o r example, Prazer. Yet, obviously, t h i s f i e l d - work did not proceed i n a t h e o r e t i c a l vacuum, but was car- r i e d out under the constraining influence of p r e - e x i s t i n g ideas. The vast majority of anthropologists, f o r instance, continued to accept the imperial s i t u a t i o n : i f f o r no other reason than that there did.not seem to be any prac- t i c a l way of dismantling the empires at t h i s time. This i s not to suggest that they acted as c y n i c a l advisers to rapacious i m p e r i a l i s t administrators. Rather, t h e i r a t t i - tudes are more accurately described by G-ough: ... anthropologists i n those days seem to have commonly played ro l e s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of white l i b e r a l s , sometimes of white l i b e r a l reformers -71- ... Anthropologists were of higher s o c i a l status than t h e i r informants; they were usually of the dominant race, and they were protected by im- p e r i a l law; yet, l i v i n g c l o s e l y with native peoples, they tended to take t h e i r part and protect them against the worst forms of i m p e r i a l i s t ex- p l o i t a t i o n . Customary r e l a t i o n s de- veloped between anthropologists and the people whose i n s t i t u t i o n s they studied. Applied anthropology came into being as a kind of s o c i a l work and community development e f f o r t f o r non-white peoples, whose future was seen i n terms of gradual education and amelioration of conditions many of which had a c t u a l l y been imposed by t h e i r Western conquerors i n the f i r s t place. 36 Thus Malinowski was to describe anthropology as having not only a s c i e n t i f i c and c u l t u r a l value, but as having a d i r e c t p r a c t i c a l a p p l i c a t i o n i n helping the white man to "... govern, e x p l o i t , and 'improve 1 the native with l e s s 37 pernicious r e s u l t s to the l a t t e r . " This new anthropological r o l e induced a change to- wards native conceptual systems. E a r l i e r anthropologists had tended to regard p r i m i t i v e b e l i e f s i n magic and witch- c r a f t as u n q u a l i f i e d l y pernicious, and as better destroyed than perpetuated. Malinowski, on the other hand, argued that such b e l i e f s , even i f f a l l a c i o u s , should be tampered with as l i t t l e as possible by administrators, missionaries and traders, since they f u l f i l l e d a pragmatically useful function i n p r i m i t i v e s o c i e t y . Hence Malinowski's empha- s i s on the r o l e played by sorcery i n upholding the p o l i t i - -72- c a l authority of the Trobriand c h i e f . In a s i m i l a r vein, Rbgbin and Fortune sought to demonstrate that, while the eradication of the b e l i e f i n sorcery was a worthwhile goal to pursue, the welfare of native society was not best served by the d i r e c t interference on the part of govern- ment o f f i c i a l s with these b e l i e f s . This view was, of course, associated with the func- t i o n a l i s t a n a l y s i s of s o c i a l l i f e , according to which every item belonging to a c u l t u r a l complex n e c e s s a r i l y made a contribution to the continuation of the s o c i a l group considered as a perduring u n i t . This approach was dominant i n B r i t i s h anthropology from the 1920's u n t i l r e - cent times, and also had some impact on American c u l t u r a l anthropological studies. Thus i t was that Kluckhohn un- dertook an analysis of the wi t c h c r a f t b e l i e f s of the colo- n i a l i z e d Navaho from a perspective i n many respects iden- t i c a l to that of the functionalism of Malinowski and Radcliffe-Brown. Indeed, h i s ch i e f difference from the l a t t e r writers l i e s i n h i s f a r greater emphasis, e s p e c i a l - l y when compared with Radcliffe-Brown, on the importance of the i n d i v i d u a l as the fundamental u n i t of f u n c t i o n a l i s t a n a l y s i s : an emphasis perhaps relateable to the greater d i s i n t e g r a t i o n of the native cultures of the United States compared to the r e l a t i v e l y more i n t a c t cultures studied by B r i t i s h anthropologists. Coupled with t h i s emphasis, was Kluckhohn's f a r greater s o p h i s t i c a t i o n of psychological theory compared with Malinowski. A further change of emphasis i s marked by the p u b l i - cation of E.E. Evans-Pritchard's Witchcraft, Oracles and - 7 3 - Magic among the Azande: probably the most important single study of p r i m i t i v e b e l i e f i n magic and w i t c h c r a f t to date. In t h i s work, there i s l i t t l e t a l k of the functions of s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s , and the phenomena under examination are not explained by the extent to which they make for sentiments r e i n f o r c i n g the s o l i d a r i t y of Zande so c i e t y . The concern i s rather to show how Zande b e l i e f s and ac- tions are i n t e r r e l a t e d and how, given the premises on which they are based, they form a l o g i c a l system. Nowhere i n the book i s there anything resembling a law of human society, or even anything approaching a statement about witch c r a f t i n general. The analysis i s concerned rather with presenting the meaning of Zande b e l i e f s and actions, and some understanding of how these b e l i e f s accord with the formal s o c i a l organization of the Azande. There emerges an i m p l i c i t comparison between t h e i r w i t c h c r a f t and our no- tions of b e l i e f , c a u s a l i t y , and moral system, and also a heightened consciousness of what we ourselves mean by these terms.... I t i s impor- tant to note that by t h i s stage the i n d i v i d u a l i n s t i t u t i o n - i n t h i s case, w i t c h c r a f t - i s only the point of entry to the perception of sets of r e l a t i o n s . In short, one can be- gin to speak of the s t r u c t u r a l ana- l y s i s of s o c i a l l i f e as opposed to the f u n c t i o n a l analysis of s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e s . 39 G. Evans-Pritchard and Kluckhohn Kluckhohn*s work therefore represents the culmination of a t h e o r e t i c a l tendency i n i t i a t e d - f i r s t and foremost - -74- by Malinowski, while the approach of Evans-Pritchard r e - presents the i n i t i a t i o n of a new d i r e c t i o n of anthropolo- g i c a l a n a l y s i s , and one which has become i n c r e a s i n g l y s i g - n i f i c a n t i n recent years. Since these two studies were published within seven years of each other, and - somewhat curiously - written independently of each other, i t would seem a f r u i t f u l p r o j e c t to undertake a comparative analysis of these as models f o r the understanding of p r i m i t i v e ideas of w i t c h c r a f t . In Kluckhohn's work, we see the functionalism of Malinowski, g r e a t l y r e f i n e d , attempting to make sense of that f i e l d of data most d i f f i c u l t to un- derstand i n terms of Malinowski*s general theory of magic, and most problematic f o r h i s f u n c t i o n a l i s t approach as a whole: i . e . , witch b e l i e f s . In Evans-Pritchard*s work, we see Malinowski*s perspective already i m p l i c i t l y rejected (hence the h o s t i l i t y of the l a t t e r towards i t * ^ ) , and the i n i t i a t i o n of a new approach to the understanding of p r i m i t i v e magic and wit c h c r a f t b e l i e f s . I t i s possible to contrast the work of Evans-Pritchard and of Kluckhohn on a number of dimensions. Thus the f o r - mer i s concerned with meaning, the l a t t e r with function; Evans-Pritchard i s attempting to understand the Zande world-view, while Kluckhohn i s t r y i n g to explain that of 41 the Navaho; Evans-Pritchard places h i s main emphasis on the r a t i o n a l i t y and l o g i c a l coherence of Zande b e l i e f s , even although he considers these to be o b j e c t i v e l y f a l s e , while Kluckhohn treats Navaho witch b e l i e f s as fundamen- t a l l y i r r a t i o n a l and e s s e n t i a l l y to be understood as the -75- resultants of the unconscious processes of the human psyche. To a l l these differences, one must add the overriding difference between KLuckhohn's psychologism and Evans- P r i t c h a r d ' s sociologism. This, to be sure, i s nothing new i n terms of an a n t i t h e s i s i n the s o c i a l sciences: nor i s i t an a n t i t h e s i s that has by any means been resolved. Pocock notes that the question of the p r i o r i t y of psyche or society was already an issue of debate between Macaulay 43 and James M i l l i n 1829; i t continues to be a point of contention i n the most recent of discussions i n the s o c i a l 44 sciences. I t seems u n l i k e l y that t h i s question should ever be resolved, since i t cannot be decided by arguments on an abstract methodological l e v e l . The question of the p r i o r i t y of psyche or society i s c l o s e l y bound to one's p r i o r conception of the type of question the s o c i a l sciences should attempt to answer, which i n turn hinges on one's actual ideas concerning the nature of human society and p e r s o n a l i t y . Prom the standpoint of t h i s t h e s i s , what i s i n t e r e s t - i n g i n the psychological model i s the substantive theory and the i m p l i c i t assumptions with which i t i s associated. Por the psychological model has not been invoked i n order to explain r a t i o n a l thought processes, but only those which are considered to depart from our c r i t e r i a of r a - t i o n a l i t y . The s o c i o l o g i c a l approach, on the other hand, has tended to look f o r c r i t e r i a of r a t i o n a l i t y within each culture, and not to assume that what would be i r r a t i o n a l -76- i n our society need n e c e s s a r i l y be so i n another c u l t u r a l context (and vice versa). I t follows that the s o c i o l o g i - c a l approach - at l e a s t i n i t s s t r u c t u r a l i s t variant - i s much more concerned with seeing a culture i n i t s own terms. The psychological approach, i n contrast, d e f i n i t e l y involves the analysis of other cultures i n terms extra- neous to them. Notes and References 1. Ch. I, P. 3. 2. The meaning of the statement that a l l s p e c i f i c a l l y human behaviour i s rule-governed i s explicated i n Winch, P., The Idea of a S o c i a l Science. (Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1958), espc. Pp. 24-33, 40-65. Winch suggests that an action may be spoken of as i n - volving the a p p l i c a t i o n of a rul e i f i t i s possible to d i s t i n g u i s h between a r i g h t and a wrong way of per- forming the a c t i o n . In h i s c r i t i q u e of Winch, D.R. B e l l argues that there are c e r t a i n o b s c u r i t i e s i n - herent i n t h i s formulation of Winch's, and contends that i t i s necessary to d i s t i n g u i s h a t l e a s t two senses i n which an a c t i v i t y may be rule-governed: ( i ) i n the sense that an a c t i v i t y i s conceptualized, t h i s p a r t i c u l a r conceptualization f i t t i n g i n with other concepts of the language; and ( i i ) i n the sense i n which a rule applies f o r b i d d i n g or enjoining an a c t i v i t y f o r some reason. B e l l , D.R., "The Idea of a So c i a l Science", A r i s t o t e l i a n Society Supplement. V o l . XLI, (1967), P. 119. See also the c r i t i q u e by Maclntyre of Winch's p o s i t i o n : Maclntyre, A., "The Idea of a S o c i a l Science", A r i s t o t e l i a n Society Supplement. V o l . XLI, (1967), Pp. 95-114. 3. Recognition of t h i s point i s , of course, widespread i n the s o c i a l sciences, i m p l i c i t l y or e x p l i c i t l y forming i n part the t h e o r e t i c a l base of such divergent metho- dol o g i c a l approaches as those of Preudianism, Marxism, functionalism and st r u c t u r a l i s m . I t i s expressed i n such notions as those of f a l s e consciousness, manifest function, r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n , conscious model and ideo- logy. 4. Winch, P., The Idea.... op. c i t . . P. 23. 5. I b i d . . 6. The concept of technocracy i s developed i n Roszak, T., -78- The Making of a Counter Culture, (Doubleday & Co., Inc., Garden C i t y , New York, 1969). 7. Pocock, D.F., S o c i a l Anthropology, (Sheed & Ward, London, 1961), P. 90. 8. Cardan, P., History and Revolution, ( S o l i d a r i t y , London, 1971), P. 28. 9. Cardan, P., The Fate of Marxism, ( S o l i d a r i t y , Clydeside, n.d.), P. 4. 10. Pocock, D.F., S o c i a l Anthropology, op. c i t . , Pp. 88-9. 11. Kluckhohn, C , Navaho Witchcraft, (Beacon Press, Boston, 1967), Pp. 26-7, 61, 138-48, 150 note 7. 12. Winch, P., "Understanding a P r i m i t i v e Society", American P h i l o s o p h i c a l Quarterly, V o l . I, No. 4, (Oct. 1964), P. 307. Emphasis i n o r i g i n a l . 13. Marwick, M. (ed.), Witchcraft and Sorcery, (Penguin Books Ltd., Harmondsworth, 1970), P. 319. 14. Marwick, M., "The Study of Witchcraft", i n Epstein, A.L. (ed.), The Cr a f t of S o c i a l Anthropology, (Tavistock Publications Ltd., London, 1967), P. 238. 15. Wilson, M.H., "Witch B e l i e f s and S o c i a l Structure", American Journal of Sociology, V o l . LVT, No. 4, (Jan. 1951), P. 313- 16. Turner, V., "Witchcraft and Sorcery: Taxonomy versus Dynamics", A f r i c a , V o l . XXXIV, No. 4, (1964), P. 316. 17. Kluckhohn, C , Navaho Witchcraft, op. c i t . , P. 83. 18. Evans-Pritchard, E.E., Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic among the Azande, (Oxford University Press, London, 1937), P. 475. 19. I b i d . , P. 193. -79- 20. Barnes, S.B., "Paradigms - S c i e n t i f i c and S o c i a l " , Man (n.s.), Vol. IV, No. 1, (1968), P. 94. 21. LeVy-Bruhl, L., How Natives Think, (Washington Square Press, New York, 1966), P. 19. 22. Levi-Strauss, C , Totemiam, (Merlin Press, London, 1962), P. 1. Emphasis i n o r i g i n a l . 23. I b i d . . P. 3. 24. I b i d . , Pp. 2-3. 25. Leach, E.R., " V i r g i n B i r t h % i n Leach, E.R., Genesis as Myth and Other Essays, (Jonathan Cape, London, 1969), Pp. 109-10. 26. I b i d . . P. 97. Emphasis i n o r i g i n a l . 27. Levi-Strauss, C , The Savage Mind, (Weidenfeld & Nicholson, London, 1966), P. 10. 28. Goldmann, L., The Human Sciences and Philosophy, (Jonathan Cape, London, 1969), P* 58. 29. See Polanyi, M., Personal Knowledge, (Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1958), P. 58; Barnes, S.B., "Paradigms...", op. c i t . , espc. Pp. 99-101. 30. M i l l e r , A., The Crucible. (Bantam Books, New York, 1959). Of course I am not here intending to denigrate M i l l e r ' s remarkable play, nor h i s purposes. The point I wish to emphasize i s that we don't need anthropolo- g i s t s to t e l l us what a "witch-hunt" i s . 31. Pocock, D.P., S o c i a l Anthropology, op. c i t . . P. 3. Emphasis i n o r i g i n a l . 32. Evans-Pritchard, E.E., Theories of Primitive Religion, (Oxford University Press, London, 1965), P. 100. -80- 33. See Douglas, M., P u r i t y and Danger, (Penguin Books Ltd., Harmondsworth, 1970), Pp. 16-40. 34. J a r v i e , I.C. and Agassi, J . , "The Problem of the R a t i o n a l i t y of Magic", B r i t i s h Journal of Sociology, V o l . XVIII, (1967), P. 68. 35. I t i s important to note that Levy-Bruhl's contention that p r i m i t i v e thought i s ul t i m a t e l y incomprehensible was not simply a l o g i c a l deduction on the part of an armchair anthropologist, but was based upon the t e s t i - mony of pioneer field-workers, l i k e Cushing and Best, who had a c t u a l l y l i v e d among pr i m i t i v e peoples and l e a r n t t h e i r languages. See Levy-Bruhl, L., How Natives Think, op. c i t . , Pp. 55-6. 36. Gough, K., "New Proposals f o r Anthropologists", Current Anthropology, V o l . IX, (Dec. 1968), P. 403. 37. Malinowski, B., Crime and Custom i n Savage Society, (Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1926), P. x i . 38. Hogbin, H.I., "Sorcery and Administration", Oceania, V o l . VI, No. 1, (Sept. 1935), Pp. 1-32; Fortune, R., Sorcerers of Dobu, (Routledge and Kegan Paul, London, 1963), Appendix I I I , "Administration and Sorcery". 39. Pocock, D.F., S o c i a l Anthropology, op. c i t . , P. 73. 40. Malinowski i n f a c t even went so f a r as to attempt to prevent Evans-Pritchard from publ i s h i n g Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic among the Azande. Dr. K. Burridge, pers. comm.. 41. Understanding involves rendering the actions of an i n - d i v i d u a l i n t e l l i g i b l e by reference to the thoughts, goals or intentions of the actor. Explanation, on the other hand, involves rendering a series of actions i n - t e l l i g i b l e by reference to a theory extraneous to the behaviour observed. The difference between these two might be likened to the d i s t i n c t i o n Winch draws be- tween applying one's knowledge of a language i n order -81- to make sense of a conversation and applying one's knowledge of the laws of mechanics i n order to compre- hend the workings of a watch. Winch, P., The Idea..., op. c i t . , P. 133. 42. Kluckhohn does acknowledge that Navaho witch b e l i e f s possess a c e r t a i n coherence and l o g i c a l s t r u c t u r e . He does not, however, elucidate t h i s l o g i c which he treats somewhat i n the manner of the l o g i c of the i n - sane . 43. Pocock, D.P., S o c i a l Anthropology, op. c i t . , Pp. 34-5. 44. See the discussion of the theories of Herbert Marcuse and Norman Brown i n Roszak, T., The Making..., op. c i t . , Ch. I I I . CHAPTER THREE THE PROGRESSIONISTS A. Introduotion To understand the views of Tylor and Frazer on magic and w i t c h c r a f t , i t i s necessary to locate these views i n two contexts. The f i r s t i s that of the intense V i c t o r i a n concern with r e l i g i o n , and i n p a r t i c u l a r the h i t t e r con- f l i c t between some of the nascent natural and human sciences and a l i t e r a l i s t theology. The second i s that of the general suppositions of t h e i r * p r o g r e s s i o n i s t methodo- logy. Between these, of course, was a very close r e l a t i o n . The V i c t o r i a n s experienced a tremendous r e l i g i o u s c r i s i s , which was rooted i n a number of d i f f e r e n t develop- ments. The growth of geology and archaeology, and the formulation of the theory of na t u r a l evolution, undermined the v a l i d i t y of a l i t e r a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of Scripture from a s c i e n t i f i c point of view. In addition to t h i s , there was the impact of the L e f t Hegelians and of Renan, who subjected the Bi b l e to an exacting textual s c r u t i n y that was often devastating and was too s c h o l a r l y to be l i g h t l y 1 dismissed. F i n a l l y , the development of comparative mythology and comparative r e l i g i o n began to t r e a t a l l r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s and r i t u a l s as phenomena of the same 2 order and, by i m p l i c a t i o n , of the same v a l i d i t y . These developments occasioned deep and intense con- f l i c t s . The denunciation of L y e l l because h i s geology -83- seemed to c o n f l i c t with s c r i p t u r a l accounts of the Creation and Deluge, the b i t t e r struggles between the Darwinians and the a n t i - e v o l u t i o n i s t s , the censure of Jowett f o r suggesting that the Old Testament must be i n - terpreted l i k e any other book: i n many ways, events such as these were t y p i c a l of the age. In consequence of t h i s , anthropologists f e l t that they were l i v i n g i n the midst of an immense c r i s i s i n the h i s t o r y of thought. This i s r e f l e c t e d i n Muller's remark of 1878: Every day, every week, every month, every quarter, the most widely read journals seem j u s t now to vie with each other i n t e l l i n g us that the time f o r r e l i g i o n i s past, that f a i t h i s a h a l l u c i n a t i o n or an i n - f a n t i l e disease, that the gods have , at l a s t been found out and exploded. In t h i s c r i s i s , and the c o n f l i c t s i t generated, an- thropologists played an important p a r t . Some, l i k e Muller (a devout Lutheran) and Robertson-Smith (who never wavered i n h i s f a i t h i n the Bible as a d i v i n e l y - i n s p i r e d r e v e l a - t i o n ) , were r e l a t i v e l y cautious i n t h e i r comments on 4 C h r i s t i a n i t y . Not so the i n t e l l e c t u a l tendency which was to culminate i n Prazer*s work. Most of the important nineteenth century anthropolo- g i s t s derived from Dissenting backgrounds, and i n addition to t h i s were strongly influenced by such a n t i - r e l i g i o u s i n t e l l e c t u a l t r a d i t i o n s as Enlightenment scepticism and rationalism, U t i l i t a r i a n i s m and Comtian p o s i t i v i s m . Spencer, Morgan, McLennan, Lubbock, Tylor and Prazer, were a l l a t h e i s t s or agnostics and h o s t i l e to r e l i g i o n . Thus one of Frazer's purposes i n w r i t i n g The Golden Bough seems to have been to d i s c r e d i t revealed r e l i g i o n by- showing how one or other of i t s e s s e n t i a l features (the re s u r r e c t i o n of the man-god, f o r example) i s analogous to what may be found i n pagan r e l i g i o n s . ^ As J.W. Burrow 7 points out, i n doing t h i s he was i n essence following i n Tylor*s footsteps, f o r Tylor e x p l i c i t l y stated that he saw anthropology as having two main functions: "to impress men*s minds with the idea of development", and "to expose the remains of the crude old culture which have passed i n - g to s u p e r s t i t i o n , and to mark these out f o r destruction." Tylor*s method i n attempting t h i s task consisted i n o u t l i n i n g a s e r i e s of stages of progress, culminating i n V i c t o r i a n s o c i e t y . I t has sometimes been asserted that t h i s construction of stages of progress derived from the a p p l i c a t i o n of Darwin's ideas from the b i o l o g i c a l to the q c u l t u r a l realm. Such a view ignores the very r e a l d i f - ferences between the b i o l o g i c a l and c u l t u r a l models. Por Darwin, i n the course of evolution, natural forms d i f - f e r e n t i a t e . Por the p r o g r e s s i o n i s t s - Spencer, Morgan, Tylor and Frazer - a l l s o c i a l forms tend to evolve i n the same d i r e c t i o n , although at d i f f e r e n t r a t e s . Despite the enormous impact of Darwin on nineteenth and twentieth century thought, the methodology of Tylor and Prazer probably owed more to Herbert Spencer. As e a r l y as 1850, nine years before the p u b l i c a t i o n of On the Origi n of the Species, Spencer drew an analogy between soci e t y and organism, an analogy he was to elaborate i n -85- The P r i n c i p l e s of Sociology. As organisms grow, so do s o c i e t i e s , although the f a c t o r s c o n t r o l l i n g growth i n each case are d i f f e r e n t . E x i s t i n g "savage 1 1 or "barbarous" s o c i e t i e s have been arrested i n t h e i r growth, and repre- sent e a r l y stages i n the growth of abstract "Society". Contemporary p r i m i t i v e s o c i e t i e s could therefore be used to i l l u s t r a t e stages i n the temporal process of s o c i a l e volution. This argument, that e x i s t i n g p r i m i t i v e s o c i e t i e s r e - present stages through which our own c i v i l i z a t i o n has passed, was taken up by Prazer and Tylor, who coupled i t with the doctrine of the "psychic unity" of mankind. The main axioms of the re s u l t a n t methodology may be summarized as follows: i . Human i n s t i t u t i o n s , shaped by a s i m i l a r human nature, succeed each other i n a se r i e s s u b s t a n t i a l l y uniform over the earth. i i . By u t i l i z i n g the comparative method, and ignoring d i f - ferences r e s u l t i n g from environmental and h i s t o r i c a l con- tingencies, i t i s possible to abstract t h i s common human nature and determine the evolutionary sequence of human i n s t i t u t i o n s . i i i . The operations of the human mind, which are mani- fested i n t h i s evolution, are governed by laws "as de- f i n i t e as those which govern the motion of the waves, the combination of acids and bases, and the growth of plants and animals." 1 1 - 8 6 - B. Magic and the Association of Ideas In accordance with t h i s methodology, both Tylor and Frazer considered magic to constitute an h i s t o r i c a l sur- v i v a l of a once un i v e r s a l mode of conceptualization: a mode of conceptualization that remained, however, amenable to analysis i n b a s i c a l l y the same terms as our own. The model f o r t h i s a n a lysis was derived from the a s s o c i a t i o n a l psychology then dominant. Both Tylor and Frazer considered magic to be founded on an i n t e l l e c t u a l confusion, representing a mistaken ap- p l i c a t i o n of the association of ideas. In Tylor's formu- l a t i o n , p r i m i t i v e man was incapable of seeing that the symbolization of an object was a purely subjective pheno- menon and that manipulation of symbolic representations does not e n t a i l any modification of the object symbolized. Because of t h i s , a s s ociation of an o b j e c t 1 i n thought was believed to e n t a i l a s s o c i a t i o n i n the objective world. Man, as yet i n a low i n t e l l e c t u a l condition, having come to associate i n thought those things that he found by experience to be connected i n f a c t , proceeded erroneously to i n v e r t t h i s action, and to conclude that association i n thought must i n - volve s i m i l a r connexion i n r e a l i t y . He thus attempted to discover, to f o r e t e l l , and to cause events by means of processes which we can now see to have only an i d e a l s i g n i f i c - ance. By a vast mass of evidence from savage, barbaric, and c i v i l i z e d l i f e , magic a r t s which must have thus r e s u l t e d from mistaking an i d e a l f o r a r e a l connexion, may be -87- c l e a r l y traced from the lower c u l - ture which they are of, to the ^ higher culture which they are i n . In support of t h i s contention, Tylor c i t e d a number of ethnographic examples, which Frazer was l a t e r to c l a s - s i f y as examples of the operation of a supposed Law of Sympathy: ... among the Dayaks, young men sometimes abstain from the f l e s h of the deer, l e s t i t should make them timid, and before a pig-hunt they avoid o i l , l e s t the game should s l i p through t h e i r fingers, and i n the same way the f l e s h of slow-going and cowardly animals i s not to be eaten by the warriors of South America; but they love the meat of t i g e r s , stags, and boars, f o r courage and speed. *«* Prazer considered these examples to t y p i f y the opera- t i o n of an imagined Law of Sympathy which, i f never analysed as such by the "unreflective magician", could nevertheless be abstracted by the "philosophic student"• The i m p l i c i t assumption underlying the imagined law was: ... that things act on each other at a distance through a secret sympathy, the impulse being transmitted from one to the other by means of what we may conceive as a kind of i n v i s i b l e ether, not unlike that which i s pos- tulated by modern science f o r a pre- c i s e l y s i m i l a r purpose, namely, to explain how things can p h y s i c a l l y a f f e c t each other through a space which appears to be empty.1 * This assumed Law of Sympathy was considered by Frazer -88- to have two applications: i . Homeopathic (imitative) Magic, based on the association of ideas by s i m i l a r i t y and i m p l i c i t l y assuming the opera- t i o n i n nature of a Law of S i m i l a r i t y . i i . Contagious Magic, based on the association of ideas by contiguity and i m p l i c i t l y assuming the operation i n nature 15 of a Law of Contagion. The r e l a t i o n s h i p between these two types of magic i s shown i n the following diagram: SYMPATHETIC MAGIC (Law of Sympathy) HOMEOPATHIC MAGIC (Law of S i m i l a r i t y ) CONTAGIOUS MAGIC (Law of Contagion) Diagram 4: Homeopathic and Contagious Magic Homeopathic magic i s based on the mistaken assumption that things which resemble each other may exercise an i n - fluence on each other. An example would be the e v i l - wishing sand-paintings made by Navaho Witches and Sorcerers, or the pr a c t i c e of the same Sorcerers of making an image i n clay or wood of an intended victim which i s then t o r - tured by being stuck with a pointed object, or by having -89- p r o j e c t i l e s shot i n t o i t . Navahos believe that by thus t r e a t i n g the likeness of a person, Sorcerers can cause 16 i l l n e s s or death to b e f a l l the person himself. Contagious magic i s based on the error of assuming that things which have been i n contact with each other may continue to exercise an influence on each other a f t e r they have been p h y s i c a l l y separated. Por instance, a r e l a t i o n - ship i s sometimes thought to e x i s t between a man and some severed p a r t of h i s person: h a i r , n a i l s , s p i t t l e , blood, teeth, excreta or s o i l e d c l o t h i n g . Thus a sorcerer who succeeds i n securing these objects i s believed to hold a power over t h e i r o r i g i n a l possessor. Hence the Prussian b e l i e f that i f you beat the garment of a t h i e f , he w i l l 17 f a l l i l l . Hence al s o , Navaho secrecy about u r i n a t i o n and defecation and care i n the disposal of h a i r - c l i p p i n g s , 18 the placenta and menstrual blood. Of course, Prazer did not consider these p r i n c i p l e s to be operative only i n the case of destructive magic but considered them to be equally c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of, f o r example, love, hunting and rain-making magic. Indeed, Prazer used the terms "sorcerer" and "magician" i n t e r - changeably and nowhere attempted to define a theory s p e c i - f i c to destructive magic, as d i s t i n c t from a theory of magic i n general. I t i s also important to note that these u n i v e r s a l p r i n c i p l e s of magic were not thought of as nec- c e s s a r i l y e x i s t i n g i n "pure" form: ... i n p r a c t i c e the two branches are often combined: or, to be more exact, while homeopathic or i m i t a t i v e magic -90- may be practised by i t s e l f , con- tagious magic w i l l generally be found to involve an application of the homeopathic or imi t a t i v e p r i n - c i p l e . 1 9 Por Prazer, these p r i n c i p l e s of homeopathic and con- tagious magic were operative not only p o s i t i v e l y , but also i n the case of r i t u a l p r ohibitions. Cross-cutting the broad d i v i s i o n between homeopathic and contagious magic, therefore, Prazer established a second dichotomy along another axis: that between sorcery and taboo, or the posi- t i v e and negative precepts of magic. The resultant theo- r e t i c a l scheme i s shown below: MAGIC THEORETICAL PRACTICAL (Pseudo-Science) (Pseudo-Art) SORCERY TABOO (+ Magic) (- Magic) Diagram 5: Magic, Sorcery and Taboo -91- C, Magic, Science and R e l i g i o n Tylor did not attempt to draw a f i r m d i s t i n c t i o n be- tween magic and r e l i g i o n , being content to o f f e r as a "minimum d e f i n i t i o n " of the l a t t e r , "the b e l i e f i n S p i r i - t u a l Beings", assigning the remainder of the supernatural 20 to the domain of magic. S i m i l a r l y , he did not attempt to discuss the question of the r e l a t i o n s h i p of magic to science, although i m p l i c i t i n h i s p o s i t i o n i s a d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n between a subjective, f a l l a c i o u s a s s o c i a t i o n of phenomena (magic) and an as- s o c i a t i o n of phenomena between which there e x i s t s a r e a l or objective l i n k (science). Both these ideas were developed by Prazer, who may, perhaps, be cre d i t e d with having i n i t i a t e d systematic d i s - cussion of the r e l a t i o n of magic to science and r e l i g i o n . According to Prazer, the e s s e n t i a l difference between magic and r e l i g i o n was that the former i m p l i c i t l y assumed the operation of mechanical laws of c a u s a l i t y i n nature, whereas r e l i g i o n postulated that nature i s subject to the d i r e c t i o n of some "superhuman being(s)", p o s s i b l y c a p r i - cious, who must be p r o p i t i a t e d . Magic and r e l i g i o n , therefore, represent two cosmological systems, two a t - tempts to reduce the universe to order, although (as with homeopathic and contagious magic) these two systems r a r e l y e x i s t i n pure form, being u s u a l l y fused i n ethnographic 21 r e a l i t y . The d i s t i n c t i o n between magic and science i n Prazer's scheme i s f a r l e s s c l e a r , though he argued the close k i n - -92- ship of these two modes of thought on the grounds that both r e s t on the assumption that nature i s governed by im- mutable mechanical laws. The only c l e a r difference be- tween the two that he seems to have drawn i s that i n the case of magic t h i s b e l i e f i n the operation of immutable laws throughout nature remains i m p l i c i t , whereas with 22 science t h i s assumption i s rendered e x p l i c i t . In addi- t i o n to t h i s , however, Prazer seems to have thought of science, as did Tylor, as formulating laws which correspond to objective r e a l i t y , i n contrast to the i l l u s o r y presup- 23 po s i t i o n s of the magician.. The d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n of three such modes of thought immediately poses the question of how they are i n t e r r e l a t e d . The nineteenth century was, of course, the period i n which most s o c i a l science was cast i n the mould of progres- s i o n i s t models of the succession of h i s t o r i c a l stages. To h i s c r e d i t , however, Tylor did not seek to i n t e r r e l a t e magic, science and r e l i g i o n i n t h i s manner, despite h i s general commitment to the p r o g r e s s i o n i s t methodology. In- stead, he argued that magic, science and r e l i g i o n are to be found i n a l l s o c i e t i e s , although i n the more advanced cultures a n i m i s t i c and magical ideas come to play a l e s s e r r o l e i n human thought than i n e a r l i e r stages of develop- ment and l i n g e r on mainly as s u r v i v a l s . His scheme may therefore be represented as i n Diagram 6 on the following page. Prazer went a step f u r t h e r than t h i s . Magic, science and r e l i g i o n are not only of varying importance from one -93- Higher Stages of Culture MAGIC Lower Stages of Culture Diagram 6: Tylor*s View of Magic, Science and Religion society to another, but could a c t u a l l y be arranged i n a hierarchy of stages. According to t h i s hierarchy, i n the course of human s o c i a l evolution magic i s gradually r e- placed by r e l i g i o n , which i n turn i s replaced by science. This scheme may be i l l u s t r a t e d as follows: Higher Stages of Culture S C I E N C E R E L I G I O N M A G I C Lower Stages of Culture Diagram 7: Frazer's View of Magic. Science and Religion -94- In Prazer's view, since i t was i n e v i t a b l e that the f i r s t attempts to understand r e a l i t y should be l a r g e l y mistaken, i t was a reasonable assumption that magical ( f a l s e ) notions would have preceded s c i e n t i f i c (true) ones i n the course of i n t e l l e c t u a l evolution. R e l i g i o n he placed between magic and science, on the grounds that i t represents a l e s s p r i m i t i v e mode of thought than magic, despite the l a t t e r ' s close k i n s h i p to science. This argu- ment he j u s t i f i e d on three grounds: i . The ass o c i a t i o n of ideas underlying magic i s an e l e - mentary mental process, c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of even animal i n - t e l l i g e n c e . The notion that nature i s c o n t r o l l e d by i n - v i s i b l e beings, on the other hand, i s i n d i c a t i v e of a much more complex way of thinking and must be reserved to human 24 i n t e l l i g e n c e . i i . R eligious b e l i e f may be d i f f e r e n t i a t e d into an enor- mous number of v a r i e t i e s , l a r g e l y a f f e c t i n g the more thoughtful members of the communi"fcy. Magic, i n contrast to t h i s , constitutes a "universal substratum of uniformity", 25 c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the du l l - w i t t e d and s u p e r s t i t i o u s . i i i . The A u s t r a l i a n Aborigines, according to Prazer the most p r i m i t i v e of e x i s t i n g peoples, p r a c t i s e magic u n i - v e r s a l l y . On the other hand r e l i g i o n , i n the sense of the p r o p i t i a t i o n of higher powers, i s almost unknown among them: "... nobody dreams of p r o p i t i a t i n g gods by prayer and s a c r i f i c e . " ^ Magic therefore represented the primordial mode of thought, transcended only when some of the more i n t e l l i - gent members of humanity became conscious of i t s i n e f - -95- f i c a c y . Confronted by the f a i l u r e of t h e i r magic, these i n d i v i d u a l s proceeded to postulate that nature was not governed by immutable mechanical laws, but was subject to the d i r e c t i o n of some mightier power(s) whose favour must be secured. In t h i s way magical thought gave way to r e - l i g i o u s , although the t r a n s i t i o n was not pure and traces of magic continue to p e r s i s t i n most r e l i g i o n s : i n the b e l i e f s of the French Catholic peasantry concerning the Mass of the Holy S p i r i t and the Mass of St. Secaire, f o r 27 example. Yet i n the course of time t h i s r e l i g i o u s mode of thought also proves unsat i s f a c t o r y , f o r i t assumes that the succession of natural events i s not i n v a r i a b l e but i s subject to a l t e r a t i o n . The keener-minded perceive that order a c t u a l l y does e x i s t , and as t h e i r comprehension of t h i s order gradually extends they come to r e j e c t the r e - l i g i o u s mode of thought and r e v e r t to the postulate of an i n f l e x i b l e r e g u l a r i t y i n the order of nature. In t h i s 28 way, s c i e n t i f i c thought comes to replace r e l i g i o u s . D. The S t a b i l i t y of Magical B e l i e f The fundamental c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of p r i m i t i v e magic being defined by Tylor and Frazer as objective falsehood, the question at once a r i s e s as to why t h i s falsehood should not be immediately perceived, i n view of i t s d i s - crepancy with empirical r e a l i t y . Why, i n other words, should p r i m i t i v e peoples continue to c l i n g to magical no- tions when these are so obviously f a l l a c i o u s ? In answer to t h i s question, Tylor suggested s i x main reasons: -96- i . Some of the r e s u l t s aimed at by magicians are a c t u a l l y achieved, although f o r d i f f e r e n t reasons than the p r a c t i - tioners of magic b e l i e v e . The power of suggestion, f o r example, might slay a victim, or a n a t u r a l l y curative agent be incorporated in t o a r i t u a l healing process. A l t e r n a t i v e l y , a magical r i t e might coincide with the r e s u l t i t was designed to achieve by sheer chance. i i . "Conjurers' t r i c k s " are sometimes used to maintain the prestige of the magician, although magic i s not simply a matter of fraud but also "a sincere but f a l l a c i o u s system of philosophy". i i i . Successes always outweigh f a i l u r e s i n the eyes of those who believe i n magic. i v . The p l a s t i c i t y of p r i m i t i v e notions of success and f a i l u r e makes i t d i f f i c u l t to specify when a magical r i t u a l has d e f i n i t e l y f a i l e d . v. Magical performances are t y p i c a l l y associated with so many r i t u a l p r o h i b i t i o n s and requirements that the f a i l u r e of a r i t e can always be explained by arguing that one of the d i f f i c u l t preconditions necessary f o r success was not met. v i . I t i s always possible to claim that the e f f e c t of magic has been n u l l i f i e d or reduced by the operation of 29 counter-magic. . E. A C r i t i q u e of Tylor and Frazer We cannot deny the possible operation of a l l these f a c t o r s , although we might wonder what sort of explanation i t i s of a supposedly once-universal conceptual system, to -97- say that i t o r i g i n a t e d i n an er r o r i n l o g i c and i s main- tained by a combination of secondary elaborations, i n - c i d e n t a l successes, c r e d u l i t y and f r a u d . ^ Moreover, r e - l a t e d to t h i s i s a fundamental problem i n e v i t a b l y encoun- tered by the methodology of Tylor and Prazer. I f a common mental process i s postulated to underlie a v a r i e t y of c u l - t u r a l forms, then one i s faced with the problem of ex- p l a i n i n g t h i s v a r i e t y . Or, to put t h i s i n the terms i n which Tylor and Prazer would have seen i t , the hypothesis of the psychic u n i t y of mankind must be recon c i l e d with the f a c t of progress. This problem i s not i n f a c t i n s o l u b l e . One might, f o r example, resolve i t i n terms of the d i f f e r e n t i a l ex- perience organized by the common mental functions, and from here be l e d i n t o an examination of the s o c i a l s t r u c - t u r i n g of ideas. Tylor, however, did not choose t h i s path but resorted instead to the theories of r a c i a l determina- t i o n so common i n h i s day. Thus, although i n P r i m i t i v e Culture Tylor resolved to "... eliminate considerations of hereditary v a r i e t i e s or races of man, and to t r e a t mankind as homogenous i n nature, 31 though placed i n d i f f e r e n t grades of c i v i l i z a t i o n " , he nevertheless went on i n the same work to compare the men- t a l c a p a c i t i e s and morality of "savages" to those of c h i l - dren, while i n Anthropology he s p e c i f i c a l l y a t t r i b u t e d t h i s moral and i n t e l l e c t u a l " i n f e r i o r i t y " to the supposedly l e s s e r degree of development of the brain of non-white 32 peoples. -98- Such a view accords p e r f e c t l y with Tylor's explana- t i o n of magical p r a c t i s e s as r e s u l t i n g from mere i n t e l l e c - t u a l confusion, as also with the nineteenth century stereotype of the "savage": as credulous, incapable of ge n e r a l i z a t i o n , speaking rudimentary languages and com- 33 municating by grimaces, e t c . . Tylor's view of p r i m i t i v e peoples therefore reveals the smug ce r t a i n t y of i n t e l l e c - 34 t u a l and moral s u p e r i o r i t y t y p i c a l of h i s era, and also i n d i c a t e s h i s antipathy to h i s object of study: indeed, he sought i t s o b l i t e r a t i o n . He therefore appears i n a dual, though fused, guise. On the one hand, he c l e a r l y repre- sents an i n t e l l e c t u a l j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r nineteenth century imperialism. On the other, he seeks to eradicate the l a s t vestiges of those "most pernicious i l l u s i o n s that have 35 ever vexed mankind" which have continued to p e r s i s t i n the "highest" c i v i l i z a t i o n , by showing t h e i r o r i g i n s . Such a task was made a l l the more important f o r Tylor i n that he considered that the progress of c i v i l i z a t i o n d i d not constitute a s i n g l e , unbroken advance. He noted the " r e v i v a l " of witch b e l i e f i n Europe i n the period be- tween the t h i r t e e n t h and seventeenth centuries, and con- sidered the development of S p i r i t u a l i s m i n h i s own time to be a s i m i l a r l y dangerous example of " r e v i v a l i n c u l t u r e " . A great p h i l o s o p h i c - r e l i g i o u s doc- t r i n e , f l o u r i s h i n g i n the lower c u l - ture but dwindling i n the higher, has re-established i t s e l f i n f u l l vigour. The world i s again swarming with powerful disembodied s p i r i t u a l beings, whose d i r e c t action on -99- th ought and matter i s again con- f i d e n t l y asserted, as i n those times and countries where phy s i c a l science had not as yet so f a r succeeded i n extruding those s p i r i t s and t h e i r i n - fluences from the system of nature. 36 Yet such " r e v i v a l s " i n c u l t u r e , Tylor was merely to describe. They are not systematically integrated in t o h i s p r o g r e s s i o n i s t model, and therefore remain unaccounted f o r . A very s i m i l a r c r i t i c i s m may he l e v e l l e d at Prazer, who was not i n any s a t i s f a c t o r y manner able to account f o r the evolutionary progression which he argued l e d from magic, through r e l i g i o n , to science. Prazer's suggestion, of course, was that the whole process could be explained i n terms of the i n t e l l i g e n c e of some of the more p e r s p i - cacious members of each s o c i e t y . These, confronted by the f a i l u r e of t h e i r magical or r e l i g i o u s r i t e s , would even- t u a l l y see through the confusion of ideas underlying t h e i r b e l i e f s and come to the conclusion that the universe i s governed by p r i n c i p l e s d i f f e r e n t from those they assumed operative. Yet why t h i s should have happened i n d i f f e r e n t s o c i e t i e s at d i f f e r e n t times; why the Arunta, f o r example, unlike those i n c e r t a i n other s o c i e t i e s , should not have been able to perceive the f a l l a c y of t h e i r magical b e l i e f s : questions such as these are met with a blank within the context of Prazer*s system. In addition to t h i s , i t i s necessary to add that none of Prazer's grounds f o r regarding magic as a more p r i m i - t i v e mode of thought than r e l i g i o n can be accepted. As -100- Robert Lowie argued: i . I t may be true that animals engage i n the a s s o c i a t i o n of ideas: but i t i s as surely untrue that they carry out magical r i t e s as i t i s that they postulate the existence of r e l i g i o u s essences. As soon as one passes from the association of ideas underlying magic to the magical pro- cesses themselves, "the extreme s i m p l i c i t y alleged by 37 Prazer vanishes i n t h i n a i r . " i i . I t i s equally untrue that, considered c r o s s - c u l t u r a l l y , magic constitutes a substratum of i n t e l l e c t u a l uniformity, whereas r e l i g i o u s ideas may be d i f f e r e n t i a t e d into a large number of v a r i e t i e s . Magic shows f a r fewer u n i f o r m i t i e s than Prazer a l l e g e d . The Arunta, f o r example, lacked con- tagious magic; d i v i n a t i o n was f a r more pronounced i n the Old World than the New; the use of the s p e l l was highly elaborated i n Oceania, but unimportant i n most of North America. In other words, Prazer did not base h i s gene- r a l i z a t i o n on an objective a p p r a i s a l of a v a i l a b l e data: I f r e l i g i o n s are compared i n t h e i r s p e c i f i c c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and magical f a i t h s only as regards t h e i r abstract common t r a i t s , the former w i l l of course appear diverse and the l a t t e r uniform. A f a i r survey, on the other hand, w i l l b ring out frequent recurrences of r e l i g i o u s no l e s s than of magical practice.3 8 i i i . Prazer's contention that the A u s t r a l i a n Aborigines lacked any form of r e l i g i o n i s untenable. In f a c t , a l - though Prazer retained t h i s a s s e r t i o n i n h i s 1922 e d i t i o n of The Golden Bough, i t had already been refuted by the -101- work of Mrs. K. Langloh Parker on the Euahlayi t r i b e as 30, e a r l y as 1905. I t i s necessary, however, to balance the force of a l l these c r i t i c i s m s of Tylor and Prazer against the f a c t that both sought to explain magico-religious phenomena as e s s e n t i a l l y r a t i o n a l , i f mistaken, phenomena. Magic, f o r them, constituted a coherent mode of thought, f u l l y com- prehensible once the basic p r i n c i p l e s on which i t i s founded are understood. Thus, despite Prazer*s tendency to view the b e l i e v e r i n magic as a credulous f o o l , and T y l o r 1 s racism, neither postulated a gap between p r i m i t i v e and c i v i l i z e d m e n t a l i t i e s comparable to that postulated by L€vy-Bruhl. -102- Notes and References 1. Evans-Pritchard, E.E., "Religion and the Anthropo- lo g i s t " , in Evans-Pritchard, E.E.j Essays i n Social Anthropology, (Faber & Faber, London, 1962), P. 34. 2. Thus inducing the Bishop of Gloucester to condemn at- tempts "to put into competition the sacred books of India and the Holy Scriptures". Ibid., P. 35. 3. Quoted in Evans-Pritchard, E.E., Theories of Primitive Religion, (Oxford University Press, London,1965), P. 100. 4. This circumspection did not save them from running afoul of ecclesiastical authority. Muller was denied the Chair of Sanskrit at Oxford because his teaching was considered subversive of the Christian f a i t h , while Robertson-Smith was removed from the Chair of Hebrew at the University of Aberdeen for publishing certain c r i t i c a l remarks on the dating, order and com- position of the Books of the Old Testament. 5. Evans-Pritchard, E.E., "Religion...", op. c i t . , P. 35. As Evans-Pritchard points out, this tradition of agnosticism and atheism has continued to prevail, both in B r i t i s h and in American anthropology, u n t i l the present day. 6. Ibid., Pp. 35-6. I follow here the interpretation of Evans-Pritchard. Leach has recently contested this, mainly on the grounds of Frazer*s caution i n his direct comments on Christianity. See Leach, E.R., "Frazer and Malinowski", Encounter, Vol. XXV, (Nov. 1965), Pp. 24-36. See also Jarvie's critique of Leach:-Jarvie, I.C., "Academic Fashions and Grandfather K i l l i n g - In Defence of Frazer", Encounter, Vol. XXVI, (April 1966), Pp. 53-5. 7. Burrow, J.W., Evolution and Society, (Cambridge University Press, London, 1966), P. 250. -103- 8. Tylor, E.B., P r i m i t i v e Culture. (John Murray, London, 1920), V o l . I I , P. 410. Quoted i n Burrow, J.W., Evolution..., op. c i t . , P. 258. 9. Cf. J a r v i e , I . e . , The Revolution i n Anthropology. (Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1967), P. 9. 10. Childe, V.G., S o c i a l Evolution. (Watts & Co., London, 1951), Pp. 2-5. 11. Tylor, E.B., P r i m i t i v e Culture, op. c i t . , V o l . I, P. 2. 1 2 « I b i d . . V o l . I, P. 133. 13. Tylor E.B., Researches Into the Ea r l y H i s tory of Mankind. (John Murray, London, 1870), P. 133. 14. Prazer, J.G., The Golden Bough, abridged ed., (Macmillan & Co. Ltd., London, 1960), V o l . I, P. 16. 15. Jakobson has suggested that a l l i n t e r s u b j e c t i v e sym- b o l i c acts may be placed i n r e l a t i o n to one of two axes: metaphoric and metonymic. The f i r s t of these involves the s e l e c t i o n and s u b s t i t u t i o n of symbols and i s dependent on the perception of s i m i l a r i t y ; the second combines symbols i n a p a r t i c u l a r context ac- cording to the perception of c o n t i g u i t y . The f i r s t axis i s therefore paradigmatic, and the second syntag- matic. Jakobson further suggests that the d i f f e r e n - t i a t i o n of these two axes corresponds to Prazer*s d i s - t i n c t i o n between homeopathic magic (metaphoric axis) and contagious magic (metonymic a x i s ) . In l i g h t of t h i s correspondence Prazer*s d i s t i n c t i o n , although un- developed, becomes a l l the more s i g n i f i c a n t , and the p o s s i b i l i t y of an a n a l y s i s of magical b e l i e f s and p r a c t i c e s modelled on the methods of s t r u c t u r a l l i n g u i s t i c s may be envisaged. Cf. Jakobson, R., "Deux aspects du langage et deux types d'aphasies", i n Jakobson, R., Essais de U n g u i s t i q u e generals, (Les Editions de Minuit, P a r i s , 1963), espc. Pp. 61-7. 16. Kluckhohn, C , Navaho Witchcraft, (Beacon Press, Boston, 1967), P. 32. -104- 17. Frazer, J.G., The Golden Bough, op. c i t . , V o l . I, * P. 57. 18. Kluckhohn, C , Navaho Witchcraft, op. c i t . , P. 54. 19. Frazer, J.G., The Golden Bough, op. c i t . , V o l . I, 20. Tylor, E.B., P r i m i t i v e Culture, op. c i t . . V o l . I I , P. 424. 21. Frazer, J.G., The Golden Bough, op. c i t . , V o l . I, - P. 67. 22. I b i d . . 23. I b i d . , V o l . I, P. 65. See Ch. IX of t h i s thesis f o r a f u l l e r discussion of Frazer*s view of science. 24. Frazer, J.G., The Golden Bough, op. c i t . , V o l . I, P. 71. 25. I b i d . , V o l . I, Pp. 72-3. 26. I b i d . . 27. I b i d . , V o l . I, Pp. 68-77. 28. I t i s necessary to remark at t h i s point, however, that there i s a c e r t a i n ambiguity to Frazer*s thought on t h i s matter. Thus, towards the close of The Golden Bough, he a c t u a l l y suggests the co-existence of magic and science from the e a r l i e s t times. Adoption of such a point-of-view, however, poses s p e c i a l problems f o r Frazer*s progressional sequence. For i f science and magic are co-extensive, how can one e s t a b l i s h an evolutionary succession between them? Cf. I b i d . , V o l . I I , P. 933. 29. Tylor, E.B., P r i m i t i v e Culture, op. c i t . , V o l . I, Pp. 133-5. Tylor*s a n a l y s i s of the secondary protec- t i v e mechanisms of magical b e l i e f has become c l a s s i c , and Prazer was unable to improve on i t i n any way. -105- Malinowski was to add the further reason, for the per- petuation of magical beliefs, that a sorcerer w i l l often frankly admit his responsibility for an i l l n e s s , whether true or not, in order to enhance his reputa- tion. Apart from this new suggestion, however, Malinowski was to repeat Tylor's arguments. Cf. Malinowski, B., Argonauts of the Western Pa c i f i c , (E.P. Dutton & Co., Inc., New York, 1961), P. 76. Tylor's arguments are also repeated in Firth, R., Human Types, (Mentor, New York, 1958), P. 128. Probably the f u l - l e s t analysis of the secondary protective mechanisms of magical belief i s that of Evans-Pritchard, E.E., Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic among the Azande, (Oxford University Press, London, 1937), Pp. 314-44, 475-8. Even here the debt to Tylor i s obvious* 30. Hence Durkheim's criticism of the approach of Tylor and Prazer: "Quand les philosophes du XvTII e siecle faisaient de l a religion une vaste erreur imaginee par les prStres, i l s pouvaient du moins en expliquer l a persistance par 1'inters*t que l a caste sacerdotale avait a tromper les foules. Mais s i les peuples eux- mSmes ont 6t6 les inventeurs de ces systemes d*id£es erronndes en meme temps qu'ils en Staient les dupes, comment cette duperie extraordinaire a-t-elle pu se perpStuer tout l e long de l ' h i s t o i r e ? " Durkheim, E., "Examen critique des systemes classiques sur les origines de l a pensie religieuse", Revue philosophique de l a Prance et de 1'Stranger, Vol. LXVII, (Jan. 1909), P. 28. 31. Tylor, E.B., Primitive Culture, op. c i t . , Vol. I, - P. 7. Quoted in Harris, M., The Rise of Anthropo- l o g i c a l Theory, (Thomas Y. Crowell, New York, 1968), P. 140. 32. Tylor, E.B., Anthropology, (D. Appleton & Co., New York, 1898), Pp. 74-5. 33. See the examples given by Evans-Pritchard, E.E., Theories..., op. c i t . , Pp. 105-6. -106- 34. Frazer i s often castigated for his "complacency and undisguised contempt of primitive society". Douglas, M., Purity and Danger, (Penguin Books l t d . , Harmondsworth, 1970), P. 36. But i t was Tylor, who i s usually accorded much more sympathetic treatment, who wrote that: "... there i s this plain difference be- tween low and high races of men, that the dull-minded barbarian has not power of thought enough to come up to the c i v i l i z e d man's best moral standard. The wild man of the forest, forgetful of yesterday and careless of tomorrow, l o l l i n g i n his hammock when his wants are satisfied, has l i t t l e of the play of memory and fore- sight which i s ever unrolling before our minds the panorama of our own past and future l i f e . . . " . Tylor, E.B., Anthropology, op. c i t . , P. 407. Further, "... a Londoner who should attempt to lead the atrocious l i f e which the real savage may lead with im- punity and even respect, would be a criminal and only allowed to follow his savage models during his short intervals out of gaol. Savage morals are real enough, but they are far looser and weaker than ours. We may, I think, apply the oft-repeated comparison of savages to children as f a i r l y to their moral as to their i n - tellectual condition." Tylor, E.B., Primitive Culture, op. c i t . , Vol. I, P. 31. 35. Ibid., Vol. I, P. 112. 36. Ibid., Vol. I, Pp. 142-3. 37. Lowie, R.H., Primitive Religion, (Boni & Liveright, New York, 1924), Pp. 143-4. 38. Ibid., P. 146. 39. Ibid., P. 145. That the Australian Aborigines lacked any form of religion was, of course, a common assump- tion i n Frazer's time. Cf. Evans-Pritchard, E.E., Theories..., op. c i t . , P. 197. CHAPTER FOUR LUCIEN LEVY-BRUHL A. Introduction The work of Lucien Levy-Bruhl has r a r e l y been accorded a sympathetic treatment by B r i t i s h or American anthropo- l o g i s t s . As Mary Douglas points out, most textbooks on comparative r e l i g i o n are emphatic about the mistakes that he made, but say nothing of the value of the questions he r a i s e d . 1 Some have not even provided an accurate presen- 2 t a t i o n of h i s ideas. I t i s undeniable that a f o r c e f u l c r i t i q u e may be made of Levy-Bruhl's theories, but f o r a f a i r evaluation i t i s necessary to view hi s work within i t s h i s t o r i c a l context. Only then may we form an accurate idea of h i s contributions. Levy-Bruhl's theory of primitive mentality ( f o r he wrote on t h i s i n general, rather than about r e l i g i o n , magic or witchcraft s p e c i f i c a l l y ) has two sides. On i t s c r i t i c a l side, i t i s an attack on the " i n t e l l e c t u a l i s t " i n t e r p r e t a - tions of magic and r e l i g i o n offered by "the English school", e s p e c i a l l y Tylor and Frazer. In i t s essentials, t h i s attack accords with the views of Durkheim and the other writers of the Ann£e sociologique. On i t s construc- t i v e side, however, i t has a markedly d i s t i n c t i v e and o r i - g i n a l character. The c r i t i q u e by Levy-Bruhl of Tylor and Frazer was on two l e v e l s . F i r s t l y , he attacked the as s o c i a t i o n a l psycho- -1 Oo- logy which was the basis of t h e i r t h e o r i e s . This; he c r i t i - c i zed as being inadequate as psychology, i n that i t d i d not take proper account of the importance of the emotional and motor elements i n mental l i f e and of t h e i r influence on i n t e l l e c t u a l l i f e properly s o - c a l l e d . ^ This c r i t i c i s m was s i m i l a r to that made by a number of post-Prazerian anthropologists - Marett and Malinowski, f o r example - who made of i t the s t a r t i n g point of an a n a l y s i s o f magic and r e l i g i o n as " a f f e c t i v e " phenomena, thus r e t a i n i n g a psy- c h o l o g i c a l frame of reference. Levy-Bruhl, however - with Durkheim - went a step f u r t h e r than t h i s , i n repudiating the very idea of attempting an explanation of what are e s s e n t i a l l y s o c i a l phenomena i n psychological terms. The methodology of Tylor and Prazer rested on two im- portant and c l o s e l y r e l a t e d presuppositions. F i r s t l y , i t assumed the v a l i d i t y of i n t r o s p e c t i o n as a mode of a t t a i n - ing c u l t u r a l knowledge. Both Tylor and Frazer assumed that t h e i r modes of thought were e s s e n t i a l l y the same as those of p r i m i t i v e peoples, and both considered that i n order to deduce how p r i m i t i v e man must think and f e e l i n p a r t i c u l a r circumstances i t was s u f f i c i e n t to imagine what t h e i r own thoughts and f e e l i n g s would be i n such circumstances. Secondly, i t assumed that formally s i m i l a r customs from d i f f e r i n g c u l t u r a l contexts could be ascribed the same meaning. The idea was not yet current that such customs were connected with others i n a p a r t i c u l a r i n s t i t u t i o n a l context and formed a complex of meaning. Explanation i n terms of i n d i v i d u a l psychology- had l e d away from an -109- appreciation of t h i s i n s i g h t . As a r e s u l t , the approach of Tylor and Frazer was a t - tended by serious dangers, often leading the anthropologist to read erroneous, or f a c t u a l l y u n j u s t i f i a b l e , meanings into p r a c t i c e s . This i s w e l l i l l u s t r a t e d by an example taken from Frazer and c i t e d by Levy-Bruhl i n order to show the shortcomings of the En g l i s h school of anthropology. Frazer had interpreted the b u r i a l custom of p l a c i n g a gold coin i n the mouth of the deceased as an attempt to provide the dead with a means of purchasing food i n t h e i r a f t e r - l i f e . As such, he interpreted t h i s custom as an h i s t o r i c a l s u b s t i t u t i o n f o r an e a r l i e r p r a c t i c e of p l a c i n g food i n the mouth of the dead. On the face of i t , such an explanation seems p l a u s i b l e , as do so many of those of Tylor and Frazer. But, as Levy-Bruhl pointed out, i n the; one case where t h i s theory can a c t u a l l y be checked, i s i s i n c o r r e c t . For among the Ancient Chinese, the p l a c i n g o f gold, jade and pearls i n the mouth of the deceased was; not done with the aim of providing the departed with the means of purchasing food i n the next world. In Chinese thought, these substances were conceived: of as substances of the c e l e s t i a l sphere, composed of Yang matter, and as powerful counter-agents of corruption and decay. Among the Chinese, therefore, t h i s custom represented an attempt to preserve the corpse from decomposition and thus render possible the 4 continued use of the body a f t e r death. The trouble with the Tylor-Frazer method of i n t r o - spection, i n assuming that what would be reasonable i n f e r - - l i c - ences and l o g i c a l conclusions f o r us would also be so f o r the members of other s o c i e t i e s , i s that i t leaves out of account the d i f f e r i n g s o c i a l experience of the members of each s o c i e t y . Ultimately, therefore, i t r e s t s on the pos- t u l a t e of an u n s o c i a l i z e d mental l i f e : We might just as w e l l hope to make: a c i e n t i f i c use of the idea of a hu- man i n d i v i d u a l mind imagined to be devoid of a l l experience whatever. Would i t be worth while to try/ and reconstruct the method i n which such a mind would represent the n a t u r a l phenomena which occurred within and! around, him? As a matter of f a c t we have no means of knowing what such a mind would be l i k e . As f a r back as we can go, however primitive; the races we may study, we s h a l l never f i n d any minds which are not s o c i a l - ized, i f we may put i t thus, not a l - ready concerned with an i n f i n i t e number of c o l l e c t i v e representations: which have been transmitted by t r a d i t i o n , the o r i g i n of which i s l o s t i n obscurity.5 P r i m i t i v e b e l i e f s should not, therefore, be viewed as i n d i v i d u a l responses to a presumed u n i v e r s a l need f o r ex- planatory devices, nor as i n d i v i d u a l deductions rendering i n t e l l i g i b l e personal experiences. Rather, these b e l i e f s must be taken as primary, as patterns of thought which de- termine the t h i n k i n g of the p a r t i c u l a r i n d i v i d u a l . Thought processes are s o c i a l f a c t s , determined by c o l l e c t i v e rep- resentations . These Levy-Bruhl defined as: ... common to the members: of a given s o c i a l group; they are transmitted -111- from one generation to another; they impress themselves upon i t s i n d i - v i d u a l members, and awaken i n them sentiments of respect, fear, adora- t i o n , and so on, according to the circumstances of the case. Their existence does not depend upon the i n d i v i d u a l ; not that they imply a c o l l e c t i v e u nity d i s t i n c t from the i n d i v i d u a l s composing the s o c i a l group, but because they present them- selves i n aspects which cannot be accounted f o r by considering i n d i - v i d u a l s merely as such. Thus i t i s that a language, although, properly speaking, i t e x i s t s only i n the minds of the i n d i v i d u a l s who speak i t , i s none the l e s s an incontest- able s o c i a l r e a l i t y , founded upon an ensemble of c o l l e c t i v e representa- t i o n s , f o r i t imposes i t s claims on each one of these i n d i v i d u a l s ; i t i s i n existence before h i s day, and i t survives him.6 Patterns of thought, being i n t h i s way s o c i a l pheno- mena, must n e c e s s a r i l y vary from one society to another, the various aspects of society being interdependent. This was not to deny a c e r t a i n basis of homogeneity to the thought patterns of a l l s o c i e t i e s . Obviously, L^vy-Bruhl considered, t h i s must e x i s t , i n s o f a r as i n a l l societies/ languages are spoken, t r a d i t i o n s transmitted and i n s t i t u - t i o n s maintained. But since s o c i e t i e s also vary profoundly i n t h e i r organization, we must expect patterns of thought to vary concomitantly. Accordingly, the idea of reducing a l l mental operations to a sing l e type, explicable i n terms of the mental f u n c t i o n i n g of the "adult c i v i l i z e d white -112- 7 man", must be rejected. What Levy-Bruhl should have attempted at t h i s point, as Evans-Pritchard was to remark, i s a study of how par- t i c u l a r thought patterns are r e l a t e d to p a r t i c u l a r modes of g s o c i a l organization. But he made no attempt to demonstrate i n d e t a i l the s o c i a l determination of thought, and argued i n f a c t that the state of knowledge of h i s time made such a de t a i l e d comparative study impossible. He therefore pro- posed instead, by way of a preliminary i n v e s t i g a t i o n , to analyse only "the most general laws" governing the c o l l e c - t i v e representations of p r i m i t i v e peoples. I s h a l l endeavour to construct, i f not a type, at any rate an ensemble of c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s which are common to a group of neighbouring types, andi i n t h i s way to define the e s s e n t i a l features of the mentality p e c u l i a r to undeveloped peoples.9 In order to d i f f e r e n t i a t e these features; as c l e a r l y as possible, he proposed to compare t h i s mentality with "our own": ... i . e . with that of the races which are the product of "Mediterranean" c i v i l i z a t i o n , i n which a r a t i o n a l i s - t i c philosophy and p o s i t i v e science have been developed.10 By undertaking t h i s comparison of these two types of men- t a l i t y - the two types between which, he believed, d i f - ferences were most strongly marked - Levy-Bruhl believed he would h i g h l i g h t the d i s t i n c t i v e features of both, making i t easier to analyse l a t e r t r a n s i t i o n a l and intermediate types. -113- The c i v i l i z e d mental type, however, he sought to: use merely as a base f o r comparative purposes and d i d not examine i n depth i n any way. He such an examination un- necessary, since the c i v i l i z e d mode of thought was already " s u f f i c i e n t l y w e l l defined i n the works of philosophers:, l o g i c i a n s and psychologists", and not i n need of f u r t h e r elaboration. B. The Nature of P r i m i t i v e Mentality Por the purposes of describing p r i m i t i v e mentality, Levy-Bruhl f e l t compelled to devise a new terminology. It was obvious, he thought, that i f t h i s mentality was govern- ed by p r i n c i p l e s d i f f e r e n t from our own, then i t could not be understood by means of the terminology devised, by l o g i c i a n s and psychologists, f o r the purpose of analysing the l a t t e r . The d i s t i n c t i o n drawn by psychologists between emotional and i n t e l l e c t u a l phenomena, f o r example, could not be applied to the a n a l y s i s of the c o l l e c t i v e represen- t a t i o n s of p r i m i t i v e s . Por the c o l l e c t i v e representations of p r i m i t i v e s are suffused with f e e l i n g s of hope and fear, and include emotional and motor elements as i n t e g r a l 12 p a r t s . L^vy-Bruhl therefore suggested three s p e c i a l terms i n order to designate the a t t r i b u t e s of p r i m i t i v e thought: p r e l o g i c a l i t y , mysticism, and the law of p a r t i c i - pation. The use of these terms has been undeniably respon- s i b l e f o r many of the misunderstandings of, and much of the h o s t i l i t y towards, Levy-Bruhl*s work. 1^ What, then, did he use them to r e f e r to? When he spoke of p r i m i t i v e thought as being p r e l o g i c a l , -114- Levy-Bruhl did not mean to imply that p r i m i t i v e s are un- i n t e l l i g e n t , that they are incapable of coherent thought, or even that t h e i r modes of reasoning n e c e s s a r i l y v i o l a t e the r u l e s of l o g i c . Nor did he intend to imply an evolu- t i o n a r y sequence by h i s terminology/:^ By P r e l o g i c a l we do not mean to assert that such a mentality constitutes a kind of antecedent stage, i n point of time, to the b i r t h of l o g i c a l thought. Have there ever existed groups of hu- man or prehuman beings whose c o l l e c - t i v e representations have not yet been subject to the laws of l o g i c ? We do not know, and i n any case1, i t seems to be very improbable. At any rate, the mentality of these unde- veloped peoples which, f o r want of a bett e r term, I c a l l p r e l o g i c a l , does not partake of that nature. It i s not a n t i l o g i c a l ; i t is; not a l o g i c a l e i t h e r . By designating i t "pre- l o g i c a l " I merely wish to state t h a t i t does not bind i t s e l f down;, as our thought does, to avoiding contradic- t i o n . It obeys the law of p a r t i c i p a - t i o n f i r s t and foremost. Thus oriented, i t does not expressly de- l i g h t i n what i s contradictory (which would, make i t merely absurd i n our eyes), but ne i t h e r does i t take pains to avoid, i t . It i s often wholly i n - d i f f e r e n t to i t , and that makes i t so hard to follow/. 15 Perhaps, as Evans-Pritchard says, Levy-Bruhl was being a l i t t l e too subtle here, f o r he meant only that p r i m i t i v e thought does not always present the same l o g i c a l r e q uire- ments, and that i t i s therefore u n c r i t i c a l . " ^ -115- Passing from t h i s c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n , of the way i n which the elements comprising the content of p r i m i t i v e thought are i n t e r r e l a t e d , to an a n a l y s i s of that content i t s e l f , Levy-Bruhl suggested that the d i s t i n g u i s h i n g c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of t h i s could be described as mystic. In adopting t h i s term, he d i d not intend to imply any r e - ference to any form of transcendental r e l i g i o u s experience. Rather, he employed i t , ... i n the s t r i c t l y defined sense i n which "mystic" implies b e l i e f i n forces and: influences and actions which, though imperceptible to senses, are nevertheless real.17 Evans-Pritchard states that when Levy-Bruhl spoke of the mystic character of p r i m i t i v e mentality, he meant no more than what other anthropologists have meant when they have spoken of the p r i m i t i v e ' s " b e l i e f i n the super- 18 n a t u r a l " . I t i s important, however, to understand Levy- Bruhl's:; preference f o r one term rather than the other. In h i s view, there i s no "natural" f o r the savage, and hence no "supernatural". This i s a d i s t i n c t i o n that we make, not one i n t r i n s i c to p r i m i t i v e thought, which does not operate i n terms of such a d u a l i s t i c conceptualization of r e a l i t y . The superstitious- man, and frequently also the r e l i g i o u s man, among us, be- l i e v e s i n a twofold order of r e a l i t y , the one v i s i b l e , i n t a n g i b l e , " s p i r i - t u a l " , forming a mystic sphere which encompasses the f i r s t . But the p r i - mitive's mentality does not recognize two d i s t i n c t worlds i n contact with each other, and more or l e s s i n t e r - -116- penetrating. To him there i s but one. Every r e a l i t y , l i k e every influence, i s mystic, and consequently every perception i s also mystic.19 What exactly Levy-Bruhl meant by d e s c r i b i n g the per- ceptions of p r i m i t i v e s as mystic i s not e n t i r e l y c l e a r , but need not detain us here as i t i s i n c i d e n t a l to h i s main argument. There is* however, a valuable suggestion contain- ed i n h i s w r i t i n g s on t h i s point. This i s that the atten- t i o n paid to phenomena i s i n large measure determined by the c o l l e c t i v e representations of society, and must there- fore be expected to vary concomitantly with v a r i a t i o n s i n s o c i a l organization. Educated Europeans, f o r example, normally pay l i t t l e a t t e n t i o n to t h e i r shadows, because f o r them the shadow s i g n i f i e s : merely a negation of l i g h t . The Bakwiri of West A f r i c a , on the other hand, a t t r i b u t e great s i g n i f i c a n c e to t h e i r shadows and are c a r e f u l to avoid " l o s i n g " them under the mid-day sun. Their c o l l e c t i v e rep- resentations d i r e c t t h e i r a t t e n t i o n more strongly towards t h i s aspect of p h y s i c a l r e a l i t y . 2 0 According to Levy-Bruhl, these mystic c o l l e c t i v e rep- resentations are connected i n a network of p a r t i c i p a t i o n s , so that one exercises an influence on the others. This: law of p a r t i c i p a t i o n he considered to be the p r i n c i p l e p e c u l i a r to p r i m i t i v e mentality par excellence. The opposition be- tween some/other, or one/many, does not impose on t h i s thought the necessity of a f f i r m i n g one term i f the other i s denied, or v i c e versa. In t h i s way, the Bororo may declare themselves parakeets, and i n doing so claim more than a -117- mere re l a t i o n s h i p i s claimed: an actual i d e n t i t y i s aff i r m - ed. Such an i d e n t i t y i s affirmed by a l l communities of the totemic type, and i s an example of the law of p a r t i c i p a t i o n . P a r t i c i p a t i o n may also be manifested through such i n - fluences as homeopathic and contagious magic, or t e l e - k i n e s i s . Thus, what a wife does or does not do i n camp may, f o r example, a f f e c t her husband's hunting a c t i v i t i e s . A l l the f a c t s that Tylor and Prazer grouped under the rubric of sympathetic magic, were ascribed by LeVy-Bruhl to the p r i n - 21 c i p l e of p a r t i c i p a t i o n . I t i s important, however, to appreciate h i s advance on t h e i r p o s i t i o n : His analysis i s not l i k e that of the just-so s t o r i e s we have e a r l i e r con- sidered, f o r he does not t r y to ex- p l a i n primitive magic and r e l i g i o n by a theory purporting to show how they might have come about. He takes them as given, and seeks only to show t h e i r structure and the way i n which they are evidence of a d i s t i n c t i v e men- t a l i t y common to a l l s o c i e t i e s of a op c e r t a i n type, C. A Criti q u e of Levy-Bruhl How successful may we adjudge Levy-Bruhl ' S enter- • «23 prise? We may begin with what i s perhaps the most obvious c r i t i c i s m to be l e v e l l e d against him: that h i s dichotomy between primitive and c i v i l i z e d i s too crude to be of much use. We cannot treat Azande, Bororo, Chinese, Iroquois, Maori and Zuni cultures as a l l c o n s t i t u t i n g a single type, f o r they have l i t t l e i n common, even when placed i n opposi- -118- t i o n to European c u l t u r e . Secondly, t h i s same "European cu l t u r e " was treated by Levy-Bruhl i n vague terms. When he spoke of the mentality of t h i s culture being the product of Mediterranean c i v i l i - z a tion, of a p o s i t i v e science and a r a t i o n a l i s t i c p h i l o - sophy, who was he i n c l u d i n g i n h i s designation? Por there are obvious d i f f e r e n c e s between the dominant ideas of, say, Russian peasants, Welsh miners, Breton fishermen, I t a l i a n p r i e s t s , Swiss bankers or func t i o n a r i e s of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union: to suggest only a few of the countless d i v i s i o n s and subdivisions one could make on the basis of n a t i o n a l , educational, p o l i t i c a l , r e l i g i o u s or oc- cupational categories. Moreover, who i n the fol l o w i n g example i s reasoning m y s t i c a l l y , i n d i c a t i n g a b e l i e f i n the operation of i n - v i s i b l e f o r c e s : the South A f r i c a n missionaries, or the natives who "only believe what they see", and of whom i t i s recorded that, ... i n the midst of the laughter and applause of the populace, the heathen enquirer i s heard saying "Can the God of the white men he seen with our eyes?.....and i f Morimo (God) i s ab- s o l u t e l y i n v i s i b l e how. can a reason- able being worship a hidden thing? 24 Whatever t h e i r other f a i l i n g s , T y l o r and Prazer at l e a s t d i d not allow a simple dichotomy between an undif- f e r e n t i a t e d p r i m i t i v e and an u n d i f f e r e n t i a t e d c i v i l i z e d mentality to obscure f o r them some of the v a r i a t i o n s within the l a t t e r , or b l i n d them to some of the s i m i l a r i t i e s -119- between c e r t a i n European b e l i e f s and customs and cor- responding b e l i e f s and customs i n various p r i m i t i v e so- c i e t i e s . 2 " * This f a i l u r e of Levy-Bruhl*s was compounded by h i s f u r t h e r f a i l u r e to analyse the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the c i v i - l i z e d mentality which he considered already adequately described i n the writings of philosophers, psychologists and l o g i c i a n s . Por, on the basis of p r e c i s e l y these w r i t - ings, ViIfredo Pareto was to make an ana l y s i s of European mentality i n which l o g i c a l i t y played about as important a ro l e as i t d i d i n the ana l y s i s of p r i m i t i v e mentality made 26 by Levy-Bruhl. Many of Levy-Bruhl*s inadequacies stem from the f a c t that he was: unaware that what he termed "mystic thought" is; a f u n c t i o n of p a r t i c u l a r s i t u a t i o n s . D i f f e r e n t ideas a r e evoked by d i f f e r e n t objects i n d i f f e r e n t s i t u a t i o n s , and mystic q u a l i t i e s are therefore not n e c e s s a r i l y a t t r i b u t e d to objects outside t h e i r r i t u a l context. The Azande, f o r example, place stones i n the forks of trees i n order to delay the s e t t i n g of the sun. But the stones used f o r t h i s purpose are casually picked up and have a mystical s i g n i - ficance only during the r i t e i n which they are used. The sight of such a stone i n any other s i t u a t i o n does not ne c e s s a r i l y evoke the idea of the s e t t i n g sun. S i m i l a r l y , the Azande often use t h e i r a n c e s t r a l shrines as; convenient posts on which to lean t h e i r spears or hang t h e i r baskests;, and at such times have no i n t e r e s t i n t h e i r shrines except as convenient posts. At r e l i g i o u s ceremonies, however, -120- t h e i r a t t i t u d e s are very d i f f e r e n t . Again, no necessary c o n t r a d i c t i o n i s involved i n such a f f i r m a t i o n s as that a man i s a parakeet, that the sun i s a white cockatoo, or that t»in S are b i r d s . 2 8 Perhaps many of Levy-Bruhl*s errors i n conceptualizing p r i m i t i v e mentality were i n e v i t a b l e , considering the nature of many of the sources he was compelled to draw on f o r h i s basic data. As Evans-Pritchard explains, His; a u t h o r i t i e s had c o l l e c t e d a l l the information they could get about the mystical b e l i e f s held by a community of savages about some phenomenon and pieced them: together i n t o a c o o r d i - nated i d e o l o g i c a l s t r u c t u r e . These b e l i e f s , l i k e the myths which Europeans also record, may have been c o l l e c t e d over a long period of time and from dozens of: informants. The r e s u l t i n g pattern of b e l i e f may be a f i c t i o n since i t may never be a c t u a l - l y present i n a man's consciousness and may not even be known to him i n i t s e n t i r e t y . This f a c t would have emergedl i f records of everything a savage does and says throughout a s i n g l e day were recorded f o r then we would be able to compare our own thoughts more adequately with the r e a l thoughts of savages instead o f with an abstraction: pieced together from persistent enquiries conducted i n an atmosphere quite unlike that of the savage*s ordinary m i l i e u and i n which i t i s the European who evokes the b e l i e f s by h i s questions rather than the objects with which they are associated. It would also have emerged had Levy-Bruhl attempted to -121- contrast the formalised b e l i e f s of Europe with those of savages, had he, f o r instance, attempted to contrast the formal doctrine of C h r i s t i a n i t y with the formal doctrines of savage r e l i g i o n . What he has done, i n f a c t , i s to take the formalised doctrines of savage r e l i g i o n s as though they were i d e n t i c a l with the a c t u a l mental experience of i n d i v i d u a l s . I t i s easy to see that i t would never do to regard as; i d e n t i c a l the thoughts of a C h r i s t i a n with C h r i s t i a n thought. Moreover, p r i m i t i v e thought as pieced together i n t h i s manner by European observers i s f u l l of contradictions which do not a r i s e i n r e a l l i f e be- cause the b i t s of b e l i e f are evoked i n d i f f e r e n t s i t u a t i o n s . 2 9 L^vy-Bruhl's posthumously published Notebooks shows that he was himself keenly aware> of many of the inade- quacies of h i s e a r l i e r writings."* 0 Thus he abandoned the term " p r e l o g i c a l " as inappropriately suggesting a sequen- t i a l development from p r e l o g i c a l to l o g i c a l thought, where- as, i n r e a l i t y , these two types of thought have co-existed. He therefore extended the concept of the mystical to cover types of thought not governed by the r u l e s of A r i s t o t e l i a n l o g i c , and q u a l i f i e d the simple dichotomy he had e s t a b l i s h - ed between c i v i l i z e d and p r i m i t i v e m e n t a l i t i e s . Thus he wrote: Let me expressly correct what I be- l i e v e d to be true i n 1910: there i s no p r i m i t i v e mentality which i s d i s - t i n c t from the other.... There i s mystical mentality more marked and more e a s i l y observed among p r i m i t i v e s -122- than i n our own society, but present everywhere i n the human mind."31 We must not, however, allow these c r i t i c i s m s - and Levy-Bruhl*s own acknowledgement of t h e i r v a l i d i t y - to b l i n d us to the importance of h i s contributions. Por LeVy- Bruhl was among the f i r s t to emphasize that p r i m i t i v e be- l i e f s are integrated systematically, that p a r t i c u l a r be- l i e f s must be understood i n terms of the t o t a l conceptual structure of which they form a part, and that these con- ceptual structures must be r e l a t e d back to the l e v e l of s o c i a l organization. Yet he himself, i n h i s l a t e r works, was not to extend these i n s i g h t s . This was to be l e f t to those anthropologists who had the advantage of carryi n g out the field-work he was unable t o . This was to safeguard them from the d i s t o r t e d accounts of p r i m i t i v e b e l i e f s and customs on which LeVy-Bruhl, l i k e Tylor and Prazer before him, had had to r e l y . -123- Notes and References 1. Douglas, M., Purity and Danger. (Penguin Books Ltd., Harmondsworth, 1970), P. 82. 2. Malinowski provides an example of the misrepresentation of Levy-Bruhl*s ideas: "Professor L^vy-Bruhl t e l l s us, to put i t i n a nut s h e l l , that primitive man has no sober moods at a l l , that he i s hopelessly and com- p l e t e l y immersed i n a mystical frame of mind. In- capable of dispassionate and consistent observation, devoid of the power of abstraction, hampered by *a decided aversion towards reasoning,' he i s unable to draw any benefit from experience, to construct or com- prehend even the most elementary laws of nature. 'For minds thus orientated there i s no fac t purely physical.* Nor can there exist f o r them any c l e a r idea of sub- stance and attribut e , cause and e f f e c t , i d e n t i t y and contradiction. Their outlook i s that of confused s u p e r s t i t i o n , • p r e l o g i c a l , • made of mystic • p a r t i c i p a - tions* and •exclusions.»" Malinowski, B., Magic. Science and Religion and Other Essays. (Doubleday & Co. Inc., Garden C i t y , New York, 1954), P. 25. On the next page of the same work, Malinowski asks, " F i r s t , has the savage any r a t i o n a l outlook, any r a t i o n a l mastery of hi s surroundings, or i s he, as M. L^vy-Bruhl and h i s school maintain, e n t i r e l y •mystical •? The answer w i l l be that every p r i m i t i v e community i s i n possession of a considerable store of knowledge, based on experience and fashioned by reason." Ibid.. P. 26. Malinowski i s here making no allowance f o r the fac t that L^vy-Bruhl was constructing an i d e a l type of p r i m i t i v e thought, not attempting a d e s c r i p t i o n of the actual content of pri m i t i v e s * minds. He i s , moreover, postulating an opposition between mystic thought and r a t i o n a l i t y which was quite contrary to Levy-Bruhl*s intentions. I t i s worth noting Levy-Bruhl*s own words: "... these charac- t e r i s t i c s (of p r e l o g i c a l i t y ) apply only to the c o l l e c - t i v e representations and t h e i r connections. Considered as an i n d i v i d u a l , the pri m i t i v e , i n so f a r as he thinks and acts independently of these c o l l e c t i v e representa- -124- tions where possible, w i l l usually f e e l , argue and act as we should expect him to. The inferences he draws w i l l be just those which would seem reasonable to us i n l i k e circumstances." Levy-Bruhl, L., How Natives Think, (Washington Square Press Inc., New York, 1966), P. 63. 3. Ibid . , Pp. 4-5. 4. I b i d . . P. 12. 5. Ibid . , Pp. 13—14- This p a r a l l e l s Durkheim's c r i t i c i s m of the method employed by Muller, Tylor and Prazer: " e l l e suppose une v e r i t a b l e creation ex n i h i l o . " Durkheim, E., "Examen c r i t i q u e des systemes classiques sur l e s origines de l a pensSe r e l i g i e u s e " , Revue p h i l o - sophique de l a France et de 1'Stranger, Vol. LXVII, (Feb. 1909), P. 162. 6. LeVy-Bruhl, L., How Natives Think, op. c i t . , P. 3« 7. I b i d . . P. 18. 8. Evans-Pritchard, E.E., "LeVy-Bruhl's Theory of Primitive Mentality", B u l l e t i n of the Faculty of Arts, University of Egypt, V o l . I I , Part I, (May 1934), Pp. 3-4, 11-12. 9. Levy-Bruhl, L., How Natives Think, op. c i t . , Pp. 18-19. 10. Ibid . , P. 19. 11. I b i d . . 12. Ibid . , Pp. 22-6. See also P. 324, where the "most pr i m i t i v e " c o l l e c t i v e representations are equated with " c o l l e c t i v e mental states of extreme emotional tension." 13. See Bunzel, R.L., "Introduction" to Levy-Bruhl, L., How Natives Think, op. c i t . , P. v i ; also Evans-Pritchard, E.E., "Levy-Bruhl^ Theory ...", op. c i t . , P. 2. 14. An h i s t o r i c a l p r i o r i t y of primitive to c i v i l i z e d men- t a l i t y i s , however, implied. See LeVy-Bruhl, L., How Natives Think, op. c i t . , Ch. IX. -125- 15. I b i d . , P. 6 3 . Emphasis i n o r i g i n a l . 16. Evans-Pritchard, E.E., Theories of Primi t i v e Religion. (Oxford University Press, London, 1965), P. 82. 17. Levy-Bruhl, L., How Natives Think, op. c i t . . P. 25. 18. Evans-Pritchard, E.E., Theories .... op. c i t . , P. 83. 1 9 . Levy-Bruhl, L., How Natives Think, op. c i t . , P. 54. See also P. 2 3 4 . 20. Ibid . , Pp. 40-1. The psycho-philosophical theory un- derlyi n g Levy-Bruhl *.s assertion that the perceptions of primitives d i f f e r from our own, i s well expressed by Cantoni: "L*esperienza non h una passiva registrazione, i n chiave umana, d i una r e a l t a i n se" g i a data e pre- c o s t i t u i t a . Essa presuppone e implica una so g g e t t i v i t a r i c c a d i i n i z i a t i v e c u l t u r a l i che integrano l*uomo n e i suo mondo ambientale. L'esperienza s i viene costruendo i n base a strutture c a t e g o r i a l i , a f i n a l i t a c u l t u r a l i che l e conferiscono un senso, un ordine, un valore..•• Ricostruire i l mondo dell'esperienza p r i m i t i v a equivale a descriverer i l sistema dei s i g n i f i c a t i , dei v a l o r i , d e l l e f i n a l i t a , d e l l e emozioni, d e l l e immagini, dei simboli che dominano l a mens e i l comportamento d e g l i uomini p r i m i t i v i . " ("Experience i s not a passive r e g i s t r a t i o n , i n human key, of a r e a l i t y already given and preconstituted. I t presupposes and implies a human su b j e c t i v i t y , r i c h i n c u l t u r a l i n i t i a t i v e s which i n - tegrate man into h i s world. Experience comes to one bu i l d i n g i t s e l f on a base of category structures and c u l t u r a l purposes that confer on i t a sense, order and value.... Reconstructing the world of primitive ex- perience i s equivalent to describing the system of meanings, values, purposes, emotions, images and sym- bols which dominate the mind and behaviour of primitive man.") Cantoni, R., I I Pensiero dei p r i m i t i v i , ( I I Saggiatore, Milan, 1963), P. 54. The following un- doubtedly provides a c l e a r example of what Le>y-Bruhl meant when he wrote of the mystic perception of r e a l i t y , and i l l u s t r a t e s the " c u l t u r a l i n i t i a t i v e s which i n - tegrate man into h i s world" referred to by Cantoni: "An -126- informant t o l d me that many years before he was s i t t i n g i n a tent one afternoon during a storm, together with an old man and his wife. There was one clap of thunder a f t e r another. Suddenly the old man turned to h i s wife and asked, 'Did you hear what was said?' 'No,' she r e - p l i e d , 'I didn't catch i t . ' My informant, an accul- turated Indian, t o l d me that he d i d not at f i r s t know what the old man and h i s wife referred to. It was, of course, the thunder. The old man thought that one of the Thunder Birds had sai d something to him. He was r e a c t i n g to t h i s sound i n the same way he would respond to a human being, whose words he d i d not understand. The casualness of the remark and even the t r i v i a l character of the anecdote demonstrate the 'psychological depth' of the ' s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s ' with other-than-human beings that become e x p l i c i t i n the behaviour of the Ojibwa as a consequence of the cognitive 'set* induced by t h e i r culture." Hallowell, I.A., quoted by Hymes, D., "Toward Ethnographies of Communication: The Analysis of Communicative Events", i n G i g l i o l i , P.P. (ed.), Language and S o c i a l Context. (Penguin Books Ltd., Harmondsworth, 1972), Pp. 26-7. LeVy-Bruhl and Cantoni were undoubtedly correct to affirm that the perceptions of p r i m i t i v e s are governed by c u l t u r a l imperatives, and that the primitive therefore l i v e s i n a d i f f e r e n t ex- p e r i e n t i a l world from our own. They erred, however, i n f a i l i n g to recognize that our own perceptions are also governed by c u l t u r a l imperatives. Thus Cantoni argues that our experience of natural r e a l i t y i s governed by logico-experimental structures which are ordered accord- ing to the ideals of "pure reason". This he contrasts with p r i m i t i v e experience, i n which emotional factors predominate. Cantoni, R., H pensiero..., op. c i t . , Pp. 54-5. I t would, however, surely be d i f f i c u l t to sustain that, i n the Ojibwa case quoted above, emo- t i o n a l factors predominate over r a t i o n a l . Moreover, the logico-experimental structures r e f e r r e d to by Cantoni do not exist i n vacuo, but are the product of a d e f i n i t e evolution hardly explicable by reference to logico-experimental c r i t e r i a alone. Prom Kuhn's d i s - cussion of s c i e n t i f i c method, i t i s p l a i n that scien- t i s t s do not merely perceive, but to an important ex- -127- tent perceive according to t h e i r p r i o r expectations. Thus a change i n theory may lead to the reporting of a wide range of "new" phenomena. Kuhn c i t e s the example of the new astronomical discoveries - many of them made with t r a d i t i o n a l instruments - which followed on the triumph of the Copernican paradigm: "Using t r a d i t i o n a l instruments, some as simple as a piece of thread, l a t e sixteenth-century astronomers repeatedly discovered that comets wandered at w i l l through the space pre- v i o u s l y reserved f o r the immutable planets and star s . The very ease and r a p i d i t y with which astronomers saw new things when looking at old objects with old i n s t r u - ments may make us wish to say that, a f t e r Copernicus, astronomers l i v e d i n a d i f f e r e n t world. In any case, t h e i r research responded as though that were the case." Kuhn, T.S., The Structure of S c i e n t i f i c Revolutions, (University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1962), Pp. 115-6. 21. Levy-Bruhl, L., How Natives Think, op. c i t . , Pp. 21-2. 22. Evans-Pritchard, E.E., Theories .... op. c i t . , P. 86. 23. In the following evaluation, I have drawn heavily on Evans-Pritchard, E.E., "Le>y-Bruhl»s Theory ..."; on. c i t . ; Theories ..., op. c i t . . 24. Evans-Pritchard, E.E., "Levy-Bruhl's Theory ...", op. c i t . , P. 8. 25. Bunzel states, on the basis of private discussions, that Levy-Bruhl was prepared to consider the Mass as an example of p r e l o g i c a l thought. Bunzel, R., "Introduc- t i o n " , op. c i t . , P. v i . Evans-Pritchard, also on the basis of private conversations, declares that Levy- Bruhl considered C h r i s t i a n i t y and Judaism to be ex- amples of p r e l o g i c a l and mystic mentality. He suggests that Levy-Bruhl made no al l u s i o n s to these r e l i g i o n s i n hi s writings, i n order to avoid g i v i n g offence. Evans- Pritchard, E.E., Theories...., op. c i t . . P. 91- 26. Pareto, V., The Mind and Society, (Harcourt Brace, New York, 1935). See also, Evans-Pritchard, E.E., "Science -128- and Sentiment: An Exposition and C r i t i c i s m of the Writings of Pareto", B u l l e t i n of the Faculty of Arts, University of Egypt, V o l . I l l , Part I I , (Dee. 1935), Pp. 163-92; Theories..., op. c i t . . Pp. 92-9; Winch, P., The Idea of a S o c i a l Science, (Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1958), Pp. 95-111. 27. Evans-Pritchard, E.E., "Levy-Bruhl's Theory...", op. c i t . , P. 28. 28. See, f o r example, Levi-Strauss• analysis of the Nuer affirmation that twins are bir d s . Levi-Strauss, C., Totemism, (Merlin Press, London, 1962), P. 80. 29. Evans-Pritchard, E.E., "Levy-Bruhl 1s Theory...", op. c i t . , Pp. 28-9. 30. LeVy-Bruhl, L., Les carnets de Lucien Levy-Bruhl, (Presses U n i v e r s i t a i r e s de France, P a r i s , 1949)* 31. I b i d . , P. 131. Quoted i n Bunzel, R.L., "Introduction", op. c i t . , P . - x v i i . CHAPTER FIVE W.H.R. RIVERS A. Introduction The work of W.H.R. Rivers i s frequently neglected t o - day, although Claude Levi-Strauss has seen f i t to honour him 1 as the " G a l i l e o " of anthropology. Probably few other an- thropologists would accept such a generous assessment of 2 Rivers* importance i n the development of the d i s c i p l i n e , but i t i s nevertheless undeniable that i n the opening chap- ters of h i s Medicine, Magic and R e l i g i o n . Rivers b r i l l i a n t l y a n t i c i p a t e d l a t e r i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of w i t c h c r a f t and sorcery as c o n s t i t u t i n g r a t i o n a l and l o g i c a l l y coherent systems of thought. Unlike Prazer, Rivers did not set out to analyse magic as an a p r i o r i category which he himself constructed and f o r which he then had to f i n d some so r t of explanation. Rather, he undertook to examine the way i n which p r i m i t i v e peoples (and i n p a r t i c u l a r , those of Melanesia and New Guinea) think about disease and other misfortunes, and to study how t h e i r theories concerning these are applied i n concrete s i t u a - t i o n s . In doing so, he made an important advance on Tylor, Prazer and LSvy-Bruhl, and h i s work may even,be considered to have been p o t e n t i a l l y more f r u i t f u l than that of Malinowski. B. Medicine, Magic and R e l i g i o n Rivers began by noting that the d i s t i n c t i o n s drawn i n 130- Western s o c i e t y between magic, medicine and r e l i g i o n , have k i t t l e a p p l i c a b i l i t y outside t h i s context, the r o l e s of sor- cerer (a term that he, l i k e Frazer, used to r e f e r to the p r a c t i t i o n e r of any form of magic), p r i e s t and leech (medi- c a l p r a c t i t i o n e r ) frequently being fused i n other c u l t u r a l contexts.^ This observation, however, did not lead Rivers i n t o attempting a p o l a r i z a t i o n of p r i m i t i v e and modern men- t a l i t i e s , nor even to attempt a p o l a r i z a t i o n of respective curative techniques. On the contrary, Rivers stressed that p r i m i t i v e methods of curing could be understood i n b a s i c a l l y the same terms as European medicine: that i s to say, as con- s t i t u t i n g a l o g i c a l , coherent system, which attempts to cope r a t i o n a l l y with diseases and i l l n e s s e s , and comprehensible once i t s basic presuppositions are understood. One element of the concept of disease, and perhaps the most impor- tant, i s that i t includes within i t s scope the f a c t o r of causation. There are u s u a l l y c l e a r - c u t ideas concern- i n g the immediate conditions which lea d to the appearence of disease. One happy r e s u l t of t h i s f a c t i s that we are able to approach our subject by way of e t i o l o g y , and are thus l e d to deal with the medicine of savage peoples from the same standpoint as that of modern medi- cine, which r e s t s , or should r e s t , e n t i r e l y upon the foundation of e t i o - logy. By s t a r t i n g from e t i o l o g y we s h a l l f i n d ourselves l e d on as natu- r a l l y to diagnosis and treatment, as i s the case i n our own system of medicine.* Thus, even where the r o l e s of leech, p r i e s t and sorcerer are fused, there are s t i l l theories of the causation of i l l - -131- ness and other misfortunes, procedures corresponding to diag- nosis and prognosis, and modes of treatment which may he r e - 5 garded as equivalent to a system of therapeutics. But, granted t h i s , where l i e s the difference between European and p r i m i t i v e medicine, or, to pose t h i s question i n only a s l i g h t l y d i f f e r e n t form, what did Rivers r e a l l y mean when he stated that the p r i m i t i v e l e e c h i s not d i f f e r e n t i a t e d from the p r i e s t and the sorcerer? R i v e r s 1 answer to t h i s question, perhaps the obvious an- swer, was that the basic difference l i e s i n the a s c r i p t i o n of the causes of disease. In accordance with t h i s , he suggested three broad classes of et i o l o g y : i . where disease i s a t t r i b u t e d to what we would c a l l "natural causes"; i i . where disease i s a t t r i b u t e d to the actions of a human agent; i i i . where disease i s a t t r i b u t e d to the actions of some non- human, s p i r i t u a l or supernatural being, who tends to be per- s o n i f i e d . ^ In Europe and North America, i t i s no longer common to ascribe human causes to the o r i g i n s of disease, except i n cases l i k e that of murder. Moreover, even with the l a t t e r case, the human agent i s seen as being merely a means per- m i t t i n g the operation of natural causes. In contrast to t h i s , p r i m i t i v e peoples ascribe the causes of disease mainly 7 to the actions of human agents or non-human beings. P r i m i t i v e e t i o l o g i e s , i n other words, tend to be magico- r e l i g i o u s . Diseases and i n j u r i e s are ascribed to human and non-human agencies, and not only i n those cases where there -132- i s no obvious antecedent which would explain the disease or misfortune i n terms of natural causes, but also i n those cases where the natural cause i s obvious: Thus, i f a man i s k i l l e d or i n j u r e d by f a l l i n g from a tree i n the Island of Ambrim i n the New Hebrides, the f a l l i s not ascribed to a loose branch, or to some f a i l u r e of co- ordination of the movements of the climber, but the accident, as we l o o s e l y c a l l i t , i s put to the ac- count of the sorcerer. I t i s prob- able that the sequence of ideas i n the Melanesian mind i s that, i n a business so f a m i l i a r as that of climbing trees, accidents would not happen unless someone has i n t e r f e r e d with the normal course of events. I f a sorcerer had not loosened a branch, or produced an i l l u s i o n whereby the v i c t i m had seen a branch where there was none, he would not have f a l l e n to the ground." From t h i s e t i o l o g i c a l base, are derived processes of 9 treatment and acts of revenge. I f a disease, f o r example, i s believed to have res u l t e d from some morbific substance or essence having been projected i n t o the victim's body, the treatment which w i l l follow from the e t i o l o g y w i l l be to r e - move the morbific objects or essences from the body of the v i c t i m . In some cases, i t may be necessary to discover the agent, who alone can remove what he has implanted i n the body. In such cases, some method of d i v i n a t i o n may have to be employed i n order to discover by whom the disease has been 10 i n f l i c t e d . In other words, once native theories of the causation of disease are understood, i t w i l l be possible to -133- understand modes of treatment of i t . The main point, then, i s the e s s e n t i a l r a t i o n a l i t y of the medical procedures of such peoples as the Melanesians and Papuans. The p r a c t i c e s of these peoples i n r e l a t i o n to disease are not a medley of disconnected and meaningless cus- toms, but are i n s p i r e d by d e f i n i t e ideas concerning the causation of disease. Their modes of treatment foll o w d i r e c t l y from t h e i r ideas concerning e t i o l o g y and pathology. Prom our modern standpoint we are able to see that these ideas are wrong. But the important point i s that, however wrong may be the be- l i e f s of the Papuans and Melanesians concerning the causation of disease, t h e i r p r a c t i c e s are the l o g i c a l con- sequence of those b e l i e f s . We may even say that these people p r a c t i s e an a r t of medicine which i s i n some respects more r a t i o n a l than our own, i n that i t s modes of diagnosis and treatment foll o w more d i r e c t l y from t h e i r ideas concerning the causation of disease. According to the opinion of the c i v i l i z e d world, these ideas of causation are wrong, or contain but grains of t r u t h here and there; but once grant these ideas, and the body of medical p r a c t i c e follows therefrom with a l o g i c a l consistency which i t may take us long to emulate i n our p u r s u i t of a medicine founded upon the sciences of physiology and psychology.^ 1 C. A C r i t i q u e of Rivers E s s e n t i a l l y a t r a n s i t i o n a l f i g u r e , however, i t would be wrong to over-emphasize the modernity of Rivers* views. In 134- many respects h i s trichotomy between leech, sorcerer and pr i e s t i s l i t t l e more than a restatement of Frazer's d i f - f e r e n t i a t i o n between magic, science and r e l i g i o n . The d i f - ference between leech and sorcerer, moreover, i s not made any c l e a r e r than Frazer*s rather obscure d i s t i n c t i o n between magic and science, except that the leech i s concerned with a narrowly s p e c i f i c range of phenomena ( i . e . , disease), the 12 sorcerer with a broader range. But how i s such a d i f - f e r e n t i a t i o n to be sustained when, as Rivers himself makes cl e a r , leech and sorcerer may be merged i n a single role? Yet, despite the s i m i l a r i t y of h i s trichotomy to Frazer's, and despite h i s e x p l i c i t restatement of Frazer's d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n between magic and r e l i g i o n , 1 ^ Rivers never- theless attacked Frazer f o r implying that the basis of ma- g i c a l action rested on an abstract or even mystical body of ideas, "... opposed to the concrete nature of the mental 14 processes of peoples of rude culture." Thus the contagious magic of the Kai r e s t s , not on some mystical b e l i e f i n ac- t i o n at a distance, but on the b e l i e f that the sorcerer has i n h i s possession a part of the soul or v i t a l essence of the person whom he wishes to destroy. Such po s i t i v e knowledge as we pos- sess concerning the psychological processes underlying the blend of medicine and magic leads us into no mystical dawn of the human mind, but introduces us to concepts and b e l i e f s of the same order as those which d i r e c t our own s o c i a l a c t i v i - t i e s . 1 5 This view, of course, was t o t a l l y opposed to that of Levy-Bruhl. Hence, while recognizing that a given corpus -135- of b e l i e f s and p r a c t i c e s might not always form a s t r i c t l y l o g i c a l system (our own b e l i e f s and p r a c t i c e s included), Rivers strongly attacked LSvy-Bruhl's notion of p r e l o g i c a l mentality: ... i n the department of h i s a c t i - v i t y i n which he endeavours to cope with disease, savage man i s no i l - l o g i c a l or p r e l o g i c a l creature ... h i s actions are guided by reasoning as d e f i n i t e as that which we can claim f o r our own medical prac-t i c e s . ^ Stated b r i e f l y , Rivers' strength i n r e l a t i o n to pre- ceding and contemporaneous t h e o r i s t s may be s a i d to hinge on four main f a c t s . F i r s t l y , as against Tylor and Frazer, he placed a strong emphasis on the r e l a t i v e unimportance of charlatanism i n the magical treatment of disease: t h i s was an important point since, so long as the magical s p e c i a l i s t was regarded as l i t t l e more than a wiley t r i c k s t e r cashing- i n on the naive s u p e r s t i t i o n s of h i s credulous f e l l o w - tribesmen, the understanding of the i n t e l l e c t u a l structure of magical b e l i e f s , together with t h e i r r o l e i n a given way of l i f e , was almost by d e f i n i t i o n ruled out. Secondly, again i n contrast to Tylor and Frazer, Rivers d i d not regard magic as based upon a simple mistake i n l o g i c , but rather i n s i s t e d that magic was governed by a l o g i c quite as r i g o u r - ous as that governing our own p r a c t i c a l a c t i v i t i e s . A con- comitant of t h i s point i s that, i n contrast to Malinowski, Rivers d i d not assign magic to the a f f e c t i v e antechamber of l o g i c . F i n a l l y , unlike LSvy-Bruhl, Rivers did not oppose p r i m i t i v e and c i v i l i z e d m e n t a l i t i e s . -136- Yet Rivers nowhere developed h i s ideas on t h i s subject i n d e t a i l . Medicine. Magic and R e l i g i o n was published pos- thumously, and i s today l a r g e l y unknown. Moreover, the l a t e r chapters of t h i s work are given over to studies of the evolution and d i f f u s i o n patterns of medicine, magic and r e - l i g i o n , and not to an elaboration of the ideas contained i n the e a r l i e r s e c t i o n s . We are l e f t , therefore, with a b r i l - l i a n t and suggestive short sketch - nothing more. -137- Notes and References 1. Lgvi-Strauss, C , S t r u c t u r a l Anthropology, (Basic Books, - New York, 1963), P. 162. 2. A more t y p i c a l assessment of Rivers' importance i n the h i s t o r y of anthropology would seem to he that of Pocock: "To Rivers i s owed the encouragement of field-work and the s t r e s s on i t s c a p i t a l importance f o r the anthropolo- g i s t . His t h e o r e t i c a l p o s i t i o n represents l i t t l e ad- vance i n the subject." Rivers i s thus grouped together with such f i g u r e s as A.C. Haddon and C.G. Seligman. Cf. Pocock, D.P., S o c i a l Anthropology. (Sheed & Ward, London, 1961), P* 48. 3. Rivers, W.H.R., Medicine, Magic and R e l i g i o n . (Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co. Ltd., London, 1927), P. 1. 4. I b i d . , P. 7. 5. I b i d . , P. 6. 6. Ib i d . , P. 7. 7. Ib i d . , PP . 7-8. 8. Ib i d . , Pp . 9-10. 9. Ib i d . , P. 10. 10. I b i d . , P. 14. 11. I b i d . . P. 52. 12. I b i d . , P. 4. 13. I b i d . . 14. I b i d . , P. 27. 15. I b i d . , P. 28. 16. I b i d . , P. 53. CHAPTER SIX AN AFFECTIVE THEORY OF MAGIO A. I n t r o d u c t i o n I f any one f i g u r e was to be s i n g l e d out as the "foun- der" or " f a t h e r " of modern ( B r i t i s h ) s o c i a l anthropology, t h a t f i g u r e would undoubtedly be Br o n i s l a w M a l i n o w s k i . I t was Malinowski more than any other s i n g l e person, who was r e s p o n s i b l e f o r d i s s o c i a t i n g anthropology from i t s n i n e - te e n t h and e a r l y t w e n t i e t h century e v o l u t i o n a r y and d i f - f u s i o n i s t concerns, who i n s i s t e d on the c r u c i a l importance of s eeing every c u l t u r e as a u n i f i e d , i n t e g r a l whole, and who emphasized t h a t each c u l t u r a l p a t t e r n could o n l y be un- derstood by l o c a t i n g i t w i t h i n the context of t h i s whole. I t was a l s o Malinowski who i n i t i a t e d i n t e n s i v e f i e l d - w o r k based upon the i d e a of the " p a r t i c i p a n t observer", thus f r e e i n g anthropology from i t s former dependence on the second-hand r e p o r t s f u r n i s h e d by m i s s i o n a r i e s , t r a d e r s , and a d m i n i s t r a t o r s , and the s u p e r f i c i a l o b s e r v a t i o n s which were the outcome of o n l y a few weeks i n the f i e l d , l i k e those of the Torres S t r a i t s e x p e d i t i o n . Pre-Malinowskian anthropology was e x p l i c i t l y compara- t i v e , and was concerned w i t h what we might c a l l the " b i g " qu e s t i o n s : what are the o r i g i n s of totemism, what i s the nature of r e l i g i o n , how i s magic d i s t i n g u i s h e d from s c i e n c e , f o r example. Under Malinowski*s i n f l u e n c e , anthropology abandoned such concerns. As E v a n s - P r i t c h a r d e x p l a i n s , -139- Whereas the nineteenth-century anthro- polo g i s t sought to answer such ques- ti o n s as "What i s the s o c i o l o g i c a l s i g n i f i c a n c e of r e l i g i o n ? " , no anthro- po l o g i s t , or at any rate no sensible anthropologist, would ask such a ques- t i o n today. Rather he seeks- t a deter- mine, f o r instance, the part played by the ancestor c u l t i n the s o c i a l system of the type we c a l l segmentary lineage system among c e r t a i n A f r i c a n peoples.... The viewpoint i n s o c i a l anthropology today may be summed up by saying that we now think we can l e a r n more about the nature of human society by r e a l l y detailed, intensive and observational studies, conducted i n a s e r i e s of a few selected societies: with the aim of so l v i n g l i m i t e d problems, than by a t - tempting generalizations on a wider scale from, literature.-*- In retrospect, however, most " r e v o l u t i o n a r i e s " u s u a l l y appear l e s s r a d i c a l than they d i d i n t h e i r own time. . More- over, as a number of authors have pointed out, Malinowski*s meticulous field-work was not matched: by any comparable capacity f o r systematic t h e o r e t i c a l a n a l y s i s . His thought may therefore be said to move on two l e v e l s : that of h i s field-work reports (which s t i l l stand a® models; of t h e i r kindl), and that of c u l t u r o l o g i c a l g e n e r a l i z a t i o n . The q u a l i t y of these i s very unequal. As Pocock remarks, "today nocbody reads Malinowski f o r h i s theories; h i s f i e l d , monographs, on the other hand ... remain as masterpieces of fieldi-work and provide an account of one people which f o r 2 i t s d e t a i l has not been equalled". As a t h e o r e t i c i a n , Malinowski was among the l a s t to -140- ask the "big" questions. As a field-worker, he showed anthropologists some of the more f r u i t f u l and r e s t r i c t e d tasks of empirical research and concern with the p a r t i c u l a r rather than the u n i v e r s a l . Obviously there must be a con- nection between these l e v e l s - someone must ask the "big" questions i f empirical work i s to proceed systematically and f r u i t f u l l y . But the r e l a t i o n between the two i s com- plex, and the problems of t r a n s i t i o n from one l e v e l to the other never presented themselves to Malinowski. He was, i n t h i s respect, an e s s e n t i a l l y t r a n s i t i o n a l f i g u r e . As Nadel writes, Putting i t somewhat crudely, Malinowski's thought moved on two l e v e l s only - on the l e v e l of the p a r t i c u l a r society, the Trobriands, where he did h i s fundamental and exemplary f i e l d research; and on the l e v e l of primitive man and society at large, and indeed of Man and Society at large. In h i s more general writ- ings Malinowski did r e f e r also to other primitive s o c i e t i e s ; but he did so i n the main only f o r the sake of supporting evidence, of secondary im- portance. He never thought s t r i c t l y i n comparative terms. His gene r a l i - zations jump straight from the Trobrianders to Humanity...3 B. Malinowski's Psychologism As Robert Redfield observes, however, the c r i t i c i s m that Malinowski made a t h e o r e t i c a l leap from the Trobriand Islanders to humanity i t s e l f loses much of i t s force once i t i s granted that a common human nature underlies a u n i - -141- v e r s a l culture pattern. I t was, of course, p r e c i s e l y t h i s assumption that was c e n t r a l to Malinowski 1s theore- t i c a l endeavour. He never accepted the methodology elabo- rated by writers l i k e Durkheim, Mauss, Hubert, Levy-Bruhl and Radcliffe-Brown, which asserted the autonomy of s o c i a l f a c t s . In h i s own words, The tendency represented l a r g e l y by the s o c i o l o g i c a l school of Durkheim, and c l e a r l y expressed i n Professor Radcliffe-Brown*s approach ... the tendency to ignore completely the i n d i v i d u a l and to eliminate the bio - l o g i c a l element from the functional analysis of culture, must i n my opin- ion be overcome.... the Durkheimian conception of society has to be sup- plemented i n order to be r e a l l y ser- viceable i n fieldwork, i n t h e o r e t i - c a l studies, and i n the p r a c t i c a l a p p l i c a t i o n of sociology. Malinowski did not, therefore, reject the psycho- l o g i c a l reductionism of Tylor and Prazer, and - perhaps i n consequence - did not develop any systematic s o c i o l o g i c a l -theory, other than the rather vague "functionalism" with which h i s name w i l l always be associated. Hence h i s gene- r a l i z a t i o n s about magic were formulated i n terms of assum- ed psychological universals, rather than s o c i o l o g i c a l l y . I t i s important to note, however, how d i f f e r e n t was Malinowski*s psychologism from that of Tylor and Prazer. The post-Victorian era, and e s p e c i a l l y the period follow- i n g the F i r s t World War, saw a deprecation i n the role reason was thought to play i n human a f f a i r s . Thus, i n place of the i n t e l l e c t u a l i s t i c i nterpretations of magic -142- and r e l i g i o n offered by Tylor and Frazer, we f i n d writers l i k e Freud, Marett, Malinowski and Lowie i n t e r p r e t i n g ma- gic and r e l i g i o n as e s s e n t i a l l y emotive phenomena. C. The Uniformity of P r i m i t i v e Magic We have already noted that Frazer considered magic - i n comparison to r e l i g i o n - to constitute a u n i v e r s a l sub- stratum of i n t e l l e c t u a l uniformity. Much the same opin- ion was held by Malinowski, who considered magic: ... an e n t i r e l y sober, prosaic, even clumsy a r t ; enacted f o r purely prac- t i c a l reasons, governed by crude and shallow b e l i e f s , c a r r i e d out i n a simple and monotonous technique.... P r i m i t i v e magic - every f i e l d an- thropologist knows i t to h i s cost - i s extremely monotonous and unexcit- ing, s t r i c t l y l i m i t e d i n i t s means of action, circumscribed i n i t s be- l i e f s , stunted i n i t s fundamental assumptions. Follow one r i t e , study one s p e l l , grasp the p r i n c i p l e s of magical b e l i e f , a r t and sociology i n one case, and you w i l l know not only a l l the acts of the t r i b e , but, add- i n g a variant here and there, you w i l l be able to s e t t l e as a magical p r a c t i t i o n e r i n any part of the world yet fortunate enough to have f a i t h i n that desirable art.7 Hence the j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r g e n e r a l i z i n g from a sing l e case and f o r p o s t u l a t i n g a common psychological base underlying a l l magic. For Malinowski was not r e - f e r r i n g here to a set of shared basic features which might be used to e s t a b l i s h a "minimum d e f i n i t i o n " of ma- g i c and which must be uniform p r e c i s e l y because of t h i s . -143- Por Malinowski, magic was uniform and r e p e t i t i v e i n an en- t i r e array of features. Thus the " t y p i c a l act" of magic always involves "the dramatic expression of emotion" as g "the essence of the act", and most magic also bears a f i r m 9 l i n k with mythology. In addition to t h i s , there are a l - ways two t y p i c a l elements associated with the b e l i e f i n ma- g i c a l e f f i c i e n c y : i . phonetic e f f e c t s - i m i t a t i o n s of natural sounds l i k e the w h i s t l i n g of the wind, the roar of the sea and the noises of animals. These sounds symbolize c e r t a i n pheno- mena and are thus believed to produce them magically. Or else they express c e r t a i n emotional states associated with the desire which i s to be rea- l i z e d by the means of magic.^ i i . the use of words to state, evoke or command the desired aim. Thus the sorcerer w i l l mention a l l the symptoms of the disease which he i s i n f l i c t i n g , or i n the l e t h a l f o r - mula he w i l l describe the end of h i s v i c t i m . . . . Or again, the magician uses words and sentences which express the emotion under stress of which he works h i s magic, and the action which gives expression to h i s emotion. The sorcerer i n tones of fury w i l l have to repeat such verbs as "I break - I twist - I burn - I destroy," enume- r a t i n g with each of them the various parts of the body and i n t e r n a l organs of h i s v i c t i m . 1 1 Malinowski i n f a c t saw the use of words - embodied i n the t r a d i t i o n a l corpus of the s p e l l - as the most important -144- single c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of p r i m i t i v e magic: the most important element i n ma- gic i s the s p e l l . The s p e l l i s that part of magic which i s occult, handed over i n magical f i l i a t i o n , known only to the p r a c t i t i o n e r . To the natives knowledge of magic means knowledge of s p e l l , and i n an analysis of any act of w i t c h c r a f t i t w i l l always he found that the r i t u a l centers round the ut- terance of the s p e l l . The formula i s always the core of the magical per- formance .12 Unfortunately the f a c t s of ethnography u t t e r l y f a i l to hear out these ge n e r a l i z a t i o n s . In 1924, one year p r i o r to the p u b l i c a t i o n of Malinowski*s essay on "Magic, Science and Re l i g i o n " , Robert Lowie had already pointed out - i n c r i t i c i z i n g Frazer - how extensive the d i v e r s i t y i n magical 13 b e l i e f s and p r a c t i c e s appears when considered g l o b a l l y . Subsequent research has e n t i r e l y confirmed Lowie*s view- point and not Malinowski's. Thus Evans-Pritchard, i n an ea r l y comparative essay, drew attention to the marked d i f - ferences between Trobriand and Zande magic. In Zande ma- g i c , f o r example, the s p e l l i s r e l a t i v e l y unimportant and lacks the fixedness which i s so heavily stressed i n the Trobriand Islands, while on the other hand, the Azande place a much greater emphasis on the use of "medicines". Zande magic also lacks any developed mythological t r a d i - 14 t i o n . Indeed, even some of Malinowski's own data from the Trobriand Islands i s hard to square with h i s broad generalizations about the nature of magic - the heavy em- phasis he placed on emotional involvement during magical performances, f o r example, does not seem to be consistent -145- with some of the data he himself reported. However, as Nadel says, i t i s l e s s important that we concern ourselves with these generalizations than that we attempt to understand the assumptions which underlie them. These, he suggests, are two: i . Malinowski's emphasis on the strong l i n k between magic and mythology derives from h i s b e l i e f that magic i s essen- t i a l l y a t r a d i t i o n a l i s t i c and conservative force p r o t e c t i n g the established s o c i a l order, and from h i s conclusion that magical formulae must be thought to be timeless and never to have been tampered with (even i f a c t u a l l y changing and adapting a l l the time), f o r credence i n t h e i r effectiveness to be maintained. Thus i t was that Malinowski wrote that: ... the essence of a l l magic i s i t s t r a d i t i o n a l i n t e g r i t y . Magic can on- l y be e f f i c i e n t i f i t has been trans- mitted without l o s s and without flaw from one generation to the other, t i l l i t has come down from primeval times to the present performer. Ma- g i c , therefore, requires a pedigree, a s o r t of t r a d i t i o n a l passport i n i t s t r a v e l across time. This i s supplied by the myth of magic.^ i i . the emphasis placed on the a f f e c t i v e nature of magic de- ri v e s from Malinowski's assumption that magic manifests an in e v i t a b l e human e f f o r t to achieve the f u l f i l l m e n t of 17 "strong, unrealizable d e s i r e s " . P. Anxiety and Magic According to Malinowski, i n every p r i m i t i v e community two c l e a r l y d i s c e r n i b l e domains may be distinguished - that of the sacred, and that of the profane. The former involves -146- a l l b e l i e f s and actions of a magical or r e l i g i o u s charac- t e r : ... t r a d i t i o n a l acts and obser- vances, c a r r i e d out i n reverence and awe, hedged around with p r o h i b i t i o n s and s p e c i a l behaviour. Such acts and observances are always a s s o c i a t - ed with b e l i e f s i n supernatural forces, e s p e c i a l l y those of magic, or with ideas about beings, s p i r i t s , ghosts, dead ancestors, or gods..."'" The domain of the profane, on the other hand, corres- ponds to the rudiments of science. No a r t , e r a f t , or me- thod of subsistence could be s u c c e s s f u l l y c a r r i e d out un- l e s s checked by c a r e f u l observation, a f i r m b e l i e f i n the r e g u l a r i t y of natural processes, and confidence i n the power of reason. The profane i s therefore based on empiri- c a l knowledge and an acceptance of l o g i c . Now, according to Malinowski, p r i m i t i v e man l i v e s i n conditions i n which the te c h n i c a l s k i l l s and p r a c t i c a l knowledge c o n s t i t u t i n g the realm of the profane, provide* him with only a l i m i t e d measure of control and mastery of h i s environment. Beyond t h i s realm, r a t i o n a l knowledge i s of no help, and i t i s here that magic operates as an e s s e n t i a l complement to empirical knowledge and s k i l l s . Thus the native: ... knows as well as you do that there are natural forces by mental and p h y s i c a l e f f o r t . His knowledge i s l i m i t e d , no doubt, but as f a r as i t goes i t i s sound and proof against mysticism. I f the fences are broken down, i f the seed i s destroyed or has been dried or washed away, he w i l l have recourse not to magic, but 1 -147- to work, guided by knowledge and reason. His experience has taught him also, on the other hand, that i n s p i t e of a l l h i s forethought and be- yond a l l h i s e f f o r t s there are agen- cie s and forces which one year be- stow unwonted and unearned benefits of f e r t i l i t y , making everything run smooth and w e l l , r a i n and sun appear at the r i g h t moment, noxious i n s e c t s remain i n abeyance, the harvest y i e l d s a superabundant crop; and an- other year again the same agencies b r i n g i l l - l u c k and bad chance, pur- sue him from beginning to end and thwart a l l h i s most strenuous e f - f o r t s and h i s best-founded knowl- edge. To control these influences and these only he employs magic.^ Por Malinowski there was between these two sets of conditions - and therefore i n the means f o r c o n t r o l l i n g them - a c l e a r - c u t d i v i s i o n . Hence, empirical knowledge must always be sharply distinguished i n the native mind from magic. As Leach remarks, i n a s s e r t i n g t h i s dichotomy between the o b j e c t i v e - r a t i o n a l and the subjective-meta- p h y s i c a l , Malinowski was f o l l o w i n g i n the t r a d i t i o n of 20 Tylor and Prazer s t r i c t l y . Yet Malinowski also departs r a d i c a l l y from the t r a d i t i o n of Tylor and Prazer. Por these w r i t e r s , p r i m i t i v e man was incapable of t h i s cate- gory d i s t i n c t i o n , which was given only i n more highly evolved s o c i e t i e s . Indeed, i t was c r u c i a l f o r Prazer's theory of magic as "bastard science" to assume that p r i m i - t i v e s did not d i f f e r e n t i a t e between the empirical and the magical. Malinowski, on the other hand, argued that the p r i m i t i v e was j u s t as capable as c i v i l i z e d man of making -148- such d i s t i n c t i o n s , though the force of h i s argument must surely he diminished by h i s own admission that he himself was not always able to judge "where r a t i o n a l procedure ended and which were the supergatory a c t i v i t i e s , whether magical or a e s t h e t i c " . 2 1 Leaving t h i s to one side, however, l e t us consider why i t was that Malinowski contended that p r i m i t i v e man invoked magic i n order to c o n t r o l those a c t i v i t i e s he r e - cognized he was incapable of c o n t r o l l i n g by means of empi- r i c a l knowledge and r a t i o n a l thought. In answering t h i s question, Malinowski argued that magic constitutes a sub- s t i t u t e a c t i v i t y , o r i g i n a t i n g i n a reaction of f e a r , hope and anxiety induced by the inadequacy of empirical knowl- edge and r a t i o n a l means: Let us r e a l i z e once more the type of s i t u a t i o n i n which we f i n d ma- g i c . Man engaged i n a s e r i e s of p r a c t i c a l a c t i v i t i e s comes to a gap; the hunter i s disappointed by h i s quarry, the s a i l o r misses pro- pitious, winds, the canoe b u i l d e r has to deal with some material of which he i s never c e r t a i n that i t w i l l stand the s t r a i n , or the healthy person suddenly f e e l s h i s strength f a i l i n g . What does man do n a t u r a l l y under such conditions, s e t t i n g aside a l l magic, b e l i e f and r i t u a l ? Forsaken by h i s knowledge, b a f f l e d by h i s past experience and by h i s technical s k i l l , he r e a l i z e s h i s impotence. Yet h i s desire grips him only the more strongly; h i s anxiety, h i s fears and hopes, induce a tension i n h i s organism which drives him to some sort of -149- a e t i v i t y . Whether he be savage or c i v i l i z e d , whether i n possession of magic or e n t i r e l y ignorant of i t s existence, passive i n a c t i o n , the only thing dictated by reason, i s the l a s t thing i n which he can ac- quiesce . His nervous system and hi s whole organism drive him to some substitute a c t i v i t y . Obsessed by the idea of the desired end, he sees i t and f e e l s i t . His organism reproduces the acts suggested by the a n t i c i p a t i o n s of hope, dictated by the emotion of passion so strongly f e l t . 2 2 Thus a man w i l l spontaneously clench h i s f i s t at the thought of an enemy whom he i s powerless to harm and h u r l words of hatred against him, a lover w i l l address en- t r e a t i e s to v i s i o n s of h i s unattainable or non-responsive beauty, an anxious fisherman or hunter w i l l imagine and describe i n words, v i s i o n s of a magnificent catch. According to Malinowski, these reactions to over- powering emotion or obsessive fear or desire "are natural responses based on a uni v e r s a l psycho-physiological me- 23 onanism". A l l the spontaneous actions of a man i n a s i t u a t i o n of f r u s t r a t i o n involve extended expression of emotions by fo r e c a s t i n g images of wished-for r e s u l t s or the expression of passion i n gestures or words. More- over, governing the entire a c t i o n , i s the image of the end: I t supplies the motive-force of the reac t i o n , i t apparently organizes and d i r e c t s words and acts towards a d e f i n i t e purpose. The substitute action i n which the passion fin d s -150- i t s vent, and which i s due to impo- . tence, has s u b j e c t i v e l y a l l the value of a r e a l action, to which emotion would, i f not impeded, n a t u r a l l y have l e d . As the tension spends i t s e l f i n these words and gestures the obsess- i n g v i s i o n s fade away, the desired end seems nearer s a t i s f a c t i o n , we r e - gain our balance, once more at har- mony with l i f e , 2 4 These spontaneous enactments are therefore c a t h a r t i c , i n providing a release f o r f r u s t r a t e d emotions. Moreover, i n thus a c t i n g out intense emotional states, a strong f e e l i n g i s obtained that the words and gestures have actu- a l l y done something towards achieving the desired goal, thus l e a v i n g a conviction of the r e a l i t y of these acts, ... as i f of something done by a i power revealed to man. This power, born of mental and p h y s i o l o g i c a l ob- session, seems to get hold of us from the outside, and to p r i m i t i v e man, or to the credulous and untutor- ed mind of a l l ages, the spontaneous s p e l l , the spontaneous r i t e , and the spontaneous b e l i e f i n t h e i r e f f i c i e n - cy must appear as a d i r e c t r e v e l a t i o n from some external and no doubt im- personal sources.25 As Malinowski himself emphasized, however, magic i s not a matter of "spontaneous s p e l l s " or of "spontaneous r i t e s " , but i s an a c t i v i t y i n which the words uttered and the r i t e s enacted are c o d i f i e d by t r a d i t i o n . One cannot simply invent magic - one must have a knowledge of the ap- propriate s p e l l s or medicines, and of the co r r e c t method of bringing s p e l l or medicine into contact with i t s 26 object. ' I t would seem then, that there i s a g u l f be- 151- tween the spontaneous a c t i v i t i e s described by Malinowski, and magical l o r e . Yet Malinowski argued a close kinship between these spontaneous reactions and the t r a d i t i o n s of magic. "Kin- ship", indeed, seems hardly a strong enough word to ex- press the strength of the r e l a t i o n s h i p as Malinowski saw i t : emotional reaction i s "not only one of the sources but 27 the very fountainhead of magical b e l i e f " . Magical r i t u a l , most of the p r i n c i - ples of magic, most of i t s s p e l l s and substances, have been revealed to man i n those passionate experi- ences which a s s a i l him i n the impas- ses of h i s i n s t i n c t i v e l i f e and of h i s p r a c t i c a l p u r s u i t s , i n those gaps and breaches l e f t i n the ever- imperfect wall of culture which he erects between himself and the be- s e t t i n g temptations and dangers of h i s destiny.... Thus the founda- tions of magical b e l i e f and p r a c t i s e are not taken from the a i r , but are due to a number of experiences actu- a l l y l i v e d through, i n which man re- ceives the r e v e l a t i o n of h i s power to a t t a i n the desired end.28 Magic therefore f i x e s upon these spontaneous r i t e s and s p e l l s , and standardizes them into t r a d i t i o n a l forms. By doing t h i s , i t supplies p r i m i t i v e man with a d e f i n i t e means of handling those s i t u a t i o n s he must deal with i n every important pursuit or a c t i v i t y where hi s empirical knowledge i s i n s u f f i c i e n t . In t h i s way, i t exercises an important pragmatic function, i n that i t enables man to carry out h i s important tasks with confidence, and to maintain h i s poise and mental i n t e g r i t y when subject to 152- s t r o n g emotional s t a t e s . Magic thus r i t u a l i z e s man's op- timism, and by doing so encourages confidence i n place of doubt, determination i n p l a c e of h e s i t a t i o n and optimism i n p l ace of pessimism. Thus, d e s p i t e " a l l the c r u d i t y and 29 i r r e l e v a n c e of magic", i t i s of fundamental importance w i t h i n p r i m i t i v e s o c i e t y : ... without i t s power and guidance e a r l y man could not have mastered h i s p r a c t i c a l d i f f i c u l t i e s as he has done, nor could man have advanced to the h i g h e r stages of c u l t u r e . Hence the u n i v e r s a l occurrence of magic i n p r i m i t i v e s o c i e t i e s and i t s enormous sway. Hence do we f i n d magic an i n - v a r i a b l e adjunct o f a l l important a c t i v i t i e s . 3 0 Magic t h e r e f o r e ... f u l f i l l s an i n d i s p e n s a b l e func- t i o n w i t h i n c u l t u r e . I t s a t i s f i e s a d e f i n i t e need which cannot be s a t i s - f i e d by any other f a c t o r s of p r i m i - t i v e c i v i l i z a t i o n . 3 1 E. Black Magic Malinowski's general theory of magic i s perhaps weak- es t of a l l when c a l l e d upon to e x p l a i n the f a c t s of w i t c h - c r a f t and s o r c e r y . Por, i f the f u n c t i o n of magic i s to master the r i s k s of the environment, why add to them by 32 i n v e n t i n g s o r c e r y and w i t c h c r a f t ? Malinowski h i m s e l f o f f e r e d two reasons f o r the e x i s t - ence of b l a c k magic. F i r s t l y , i t i s a n a t u r a l human r e - a c t i o n to f r u s t r a t e d hate and impotent anger, b e i n g i n t h i s way comparable to a s i m i l a r l y impassioned l o v e magic: ... such i s human nature t h a t a -153- man's desire i s as much s a t i s f i e d by the thwarting of others as by the advancement of himself. To the s o c i o l o g i c a l play of desire and counter-desire, of ambition and s p i t e , of success and envy, there corresponds the play of magic and counter-magic or of magic white and b l a c k . 3 3 Secondly, Malinowski contended that the b e l i e f i n magic must safeguard i t s e l f i n c e r t a i n ways against being weakened by the absence of success. One of the ways i n which i t does t h i s i s , as Tylor had argued long before, by invoking the b e l i e f i n black magic. Every magic has i t s counter-magic, of which the destructive magic prompted by 34 e v i l desires i s an example. But, as Nadel says, these explanations are i n c i d e n t a l rather than systematic and f a i l to treat the e v i l use of magic as a problem i n i t s own r i g h t . In borrowing from a common sense psychology, Malinowski ignored the fact that s o c i o l o g i c a l and e t h i c a l questions, no l e s s than psycho- l o g i c a l , are posed by the use of black magic: Por i f a society acknowledges the presence of occult destructive powers i n i t s midst, that i s , of agencies threatening i t s norms and s t a b i l i t y yet available to i t s mem- bers, t h i s must indicate that the structure of the society i t s e l f i n - v i t e s or even requires the presence of these agencies ...35 Malinowski's f a i l u r e to deal with t h i s problem i n a s a t i s f a c t o r y manner, not only s o c i o l o g i c a l l y but even psy- c h o l o g i c a l l y , i s borne out by his treatment of witchcraft -154- i n particular* In this respect, he stands in striking contrast to Evans-Pritchard and Kluckhohn. Thus, despite the fact that Malinowski based his general theory of magic directly on his Trobriand material, he wrote l i t t l e about the Trobriand yoyova except to emphasize that the beliefs concerning her do not form a consistent body of knowledge and that, being in this way confused in the minds of the Trobrianders, these beliefs provide another example of how, "The native feels and fears his belief rather than 36 formulates i t clearly to himself." This f a i l u r e of treatment i s also reflected i n Malinowski's f i n a l formulation of the u t i l i t a r i a n value of magic to the primitive community and in his conclusion that magic constituted a necessary step i n the course of human evolution. In this f i n a l formulation, the negative side of magic no longer finds any mention. Likewise, as Leach points out, "In Coral Gardens, where magical beliefs and practises are dealt with at length and treated as functionally positive practical working tools, the exis- tence of witchcraft beliefs i s completely ignored, the word 'witchcraft* being used merely as a synonym for sor- 37 eery, i n the sense of negative magic." P. The Politico-Legal Functions of Sorcery Malinowski's remarks on the Trobriand bwaga'u were somewhat more extensive than those he devoted to the yoyova. Doubtless, this was because he was able to recon- c i l e the corpus of beliefs concerning the bwaga'u more easily with his theoretical schema. In discussing sorcery, Malinowski emphasized i t s cha- -155- racter as a source of power, wealth and influence and, as such, how i t tends to function i n such a way as to perpe- tuate the traditional social order. I t i s chiefs and men of rank who have f i r s t claim on the services of the Trobriand sorcerer, and he would not lend himself to the unjust requests of lesser men. Too r i c h and powerful to do anything outside the law, i t i s mainly when i t i s a question of punishing the wrong-doing of another that he w i l l accept a fee and champion a cause. In many such cases, on learning that the sorcerer i s work- ing against him, the wrong-doer w i l l take fright and hasten to make amends. "Thus ordinarily, black magic acts as a genuine legal force, for i t i s used in carrying out the rules of t r i b a l law, i t prevents the use of violence and 38 restores equilibrium." Sorcery i s especially important in maintaining the authority of the chief. Before the coming of the whites, the chief was able to use direct physical violence against those guilty of a direct breach of etiquette or ceremony, or guilty of flagrant offenses l i k e adultery with one of his wives. Today, sorcery i s the main method of enforcing the exclusive rights and privileges of the chief. Sorcery i s therefore ranged on the side of the powerful and the wealthy as a support of vested interest and, i n the long run, of law and order. "It i s always a conservative force, and i t furnishes re a l l y the main source of punishment and 39 retribution indispensable i n any orderly society." More- over, while sometimes used to commit wrongs against a weak- er man on behalf of one more powerful, sorcery i s never em- -156- ployed i n d i r e c t opposition to the law. Rather, sorcery i s a way of emphasizing the status quo, of expressing old i n - e q u a l i t i e s and counter-acting the formation of new ones. Moreover, "... since conservatism i s the most important trend of primitive society, sorcery on the whole i s a bene- 40 f i c i e n t agency, of enormous value f o r early culture." Malinowski's account of the functional u t i l i t y of sor- cery to Trobriand society does not therefore c o n f l i c t with h i s general theory of magic. Sorcery i s "useful" to Trobriand society, and the attempts of white missionaries and administrators to stamp i t out are misguided. Yet the very brevity of these remarks i s an i n d i c a t i o n of the poverty of Malinowski's ideas on t h i s subject. C. A Critique of Malinowski Malinowski's f a i l u r e to deal s a t i s f a c t o r i l y with the phenomena of witchcraft and sorcery does not, of course, represent a simple t h e o r e t i c a l aberration, but derives from the imperfections of h i s general theory of magic. The foundation-stone of Malinowski's theory i s the view that magic represents a cathartic response to the psychological tensions which are generated i n situations of danger and uncertainty. I t i s a l o g i c a l deduction from t h i s theory that, since the r i s k s and dangers associated with d i f f e r e n t undertakings are not equally great i n a l l spheres of l i f e , l i t t l e or no magic should be associated with those a c t i v i t i e s which are attended by few r i s k s or dangers while, conversely, e s p e c i a l l y r i s k y a c t i v i t i e s ought to be permeated with magical b e l i e f s and practices. 157- This deduction i s i n f a c t consistent with the data we are presented on Trobriand f i s h i n g magic: While i n the v i l l a g e s on the inner lagoon f i s h i n g i s done i n an easy and absolutely r e l i a b l e manner by the method of poisoning, y i e l d i n g abundant r e s u l t s without danger and uncertainty, there are on the shores of the open sea dangerous modes of f i s h i n g and also c e r t a i n types i n which the y i e l d g r e a t l y v a r i e s according to whether shoals of f i s h appear beforehand or not. I t i s most s i g n i f i c a n t that i n the lagoon f i s h i n g , where man can r e l y completely upon h i s knowledge and s k i l l , magic does not e x i s t , while i n the open-sea f i s h i n g , f u l l of danger and uncertainty, there i s extensive magical r i t u a l to secure safety and good r e s u l t s . * 1 This example seems to c l i n c h Malinowski's argument, un- t i l we remember that the adequacy of a theory must be judged on the basis of f a r more than a s i n g l e case. And when we turn to consider other examples of magical b e l i e f and a c t i - v i t y , i t becomes p l a i n that Malinowski*s theory i s f a r l e s s s a t i s f a c t o r y than i t might seem at f i r s t s i g h t . To begin with, not a l l magic can be assigned with equal f a c i l i t y to the function of dealing with the r i s k s , dangers and otherwise uncontrollable events attending an undertak- i n g . So well-grounded a technology as gardening on a t r o p i - c a l i s l a n d , f o r example, faces few r i s k s and should there- fore stand i n l i t t l e need of magical support. There i s a l - ways, of course, the p o s s i b i l i t y of drought and crop f a i l - ure, but these r i s k s are remote when compared to those a t - -158- tending such a c t i v i t i e s as voyaging on an open sea to d i s - tant i s l a n d s . Yet there i s a r i c h magical l o r e associated with Trobriand gardening. One might, of course, t r y to salvage Malinowski's argu- ment by p o i n t i n g out that, i n the Trobriand Islands, the production of food enters deeply i n t o the context of i n t e r - personal r e l a t i o n s , and i s important i n the renewal of per- sonal bonds and the winning and maintenance of p r e s t i g e . In consequence of t h i s , gardening i s an a c t i v i t y which engages strong emotional involvement, and thus gives r i s e to pas- sions which g r e a t l y magnify the g r a v i t y of r i s k s and chance e f f e c t s . Advancing such an argument, however, requires the making of a rather important adjustment to Malinowski's theory. As Nadel comments, ... the r i s k s involved are i n a sense a r t i f i c i a l ones. This i s no longer a question of the t r a g i c shortcomings of human inventiveness i n the face of nature. Rather, ma- g i c serves to protect a p a r t i c u l a r people from f a i l u r e s which are f a i l - ures only because t h e i r own s o c i a l system has decreed them to be such and, i n a sense, invented them. D i f f e r e n t l y put, magic i s a t o o l used i n the r e a l i z a t i o n of the f o r - t u i t o u s l y given s o c i a l values, not only a weapon i n man's eternal f i g h t against f a t e . * 2 The same argument applies to another form of Trobriand magic which seems f r i v o l o u s , or even unwarranted, i n terms of Malinowski's theory. This i s the magic which i s used i n order to achieve excellence i n dancing, and to protect the dancer from the envy and black magic of h i s r i v a l s . As -159- Nadel again comments, I t i s c l e a r l y the society i t s e l f which decrees that t h i s excellence i s desirable and enviable; so that the s o c i e t y invents both the desire and the tragedy of i t s f r u s t r a t i o n , and then, i n ad d i t i o n , has to invent also the supernatural device to save people from a r i s k of t h e i r own mak- i n g . 4 3 This c r i t i c i s m stands close to that l e v e l l e d a t Malinowski's theory of magic by A.H. Radcliffe-Brown. Repud- 44 i a t i n g Malinowski*s d i s t i n c t i o n between magic and r e l i g i o n ? Radcliffe-Brown argued that one could equally v a l i d l y con- tend the opposite opinion to Malinowski with regard to some examples of r i t u a l enactment. That i s to say, r i t u a l s are not n e c e s s a r i l y the product of i n d i v i d u a l f e e l i n g s of i n s e - c u r i t y and danger but, on the contrary, may even create such f e e l i n g s i n the i n d i v i d u a l . Radcliffe-Brown supports t h i s argument by r e f e r i n g to the food taboos which are associated with c h i l d b i r t h i n the Andaman Islands. Here, when a woman i s expecting a c h i l d , and f o r some weeks f o l l o w i n g the b i r t h of the baby, both she and her husband must abstain from the eating of c e r t a i n foods which are permitted i n normal c i r - cumstances. These prohibited foods are the f l e s h of t u r t l e , dugong and p i g . Should the taboo be vi o l a t e d , i t i s be- l i e v e d that the person responsible, and perhaps also the c h i l d , w i l l f a l l i l l . Hence Radcliffe-Brown•s conclusion that, .•• while one anthropological theory i s that magic and r e l i g i o n give men confidence, comfort and a sense of se c u r i t y , i t could equally w e l l be -160- argued that they give men fears and anxi e t i e s from which they would otherwise he free . . . " 4 5 Eadcliffe-Brown would seem to have pin-pointed a f a t a l flaw i n Malinowski's theory but, as Homans has shown, by din t of f u r t h e r modification the theory can be salvaged and incorporate the objection to i t . Homans points out that im- p l i c i t i n Malinowski's theory (that magical r i t u a l provides an o u t l e t f o r tensions generated i n s i t u a t i o n s of uncertain- ty) i s the assumption that, provided a magical r i t u a l i s properly performed, anxiety w i l l remain l a t e n t . I t follows from t h i s that, should a s u i t a b l e r i t u a l not be properly performed, anxiety w i l l n e c e s s a r i l y be f e l t . Thus, with the Andamanese example, The anxiety has, so to speak, been displaced from the o r i g i n a l s i t u a - t i o n . But even granted that i t has been displaced, Malinowski's general theory i s confirmed by the existence of a secondary r i t u a l which has the function of d i s p e l l i n g the secondary anxiety which a r i s e s from a breach of r i t u a l and t r a d i t i o n . We c a l l t h i s the r i t u a l of p u r i f i c a t i o n , of ex p i a t i o n . 4 6 This leads Homans to an elaboration of the anxiety theory of r i t u a l , based on some conceptual d i s t i n c t i o n s not made, or not e x p l i c i t l y made, by Malinowski. Thus Homans distinguishes between: i . Primary anxiety, which a r i s e s when an i n d i v i d u a l i s seek- i n g to r e a l i z e a given end and does not possess a technique c e r t a i n of guaranteeing him or her the desired r e s u l t ; i i . Primary r i t u a l , which i s performed i n the above circum- -161- stances in accordance with definite social norms. Where the r i t u a l tradition i s weak, as i n our own society, individuals w i l l invent r i t u a l s i n situations of this type; i i i • Secondary (displaced) anxiety, which i s experienced when primary r i t u a l s are not properly performed. This a t t i - tude becomes generalized and i s experienced when any of the traditions of society i s not observed; i v . Secondary r i t u a l s , which are the ri t u a l s of purification and expiation which have the function of dispelling secon- dary anxiety* These w i l l be invented where not already 47 existing as a social tradition. Por Homans, therefore, as for Malinowski, magic and other r i t u a l forms are primarily responses to situations of anxiety. These responses secure no direct benefits, but are indirectly beneficial both to the individual and to society, since they i n s t i l l confidence i n the individual, dispelling anxieties and disciplining the social order. Yet despite his sophistication of Malinowski*s theory, Homans, by his own admission, does not provide us with a theory of r i t u a l , but with a theory applicable to certain r i t u a l occasions only. His argument, i n other words, concerns r i t u a l s only to the extent to which they do arise from anxiety, and "... there i s no implication that other sentiments besides 48 anxiety do not give rise to r i t u a l . n But which sentiments and on what occasions? Can different sentiments give r i s e to the same r i t u a l on different occasions? Can the same sentiments give rise to different r i t u a l s , i n the same c i r - cumstances, on the part of different actors? Is r i t u a l be- haviour subject to a unifying interpretation on the level of 162- sentiment at a l l ? Questions such as these are given no con- s i d e r a t i o n . How, moreover, are we to recognize " r i t u a l " be- haviour? According to Homans, any action which does not produce a d i r e c t p r a c t i c a l r e s u l t on the external world i s to be c l a s s i f i e d as r i t u a l , whatever the actor enacting i t 49 might happen to think. Native systems of c l a s s i f i c a t i o n are therefore to be ignored, and the actor's own explanation of h i s or her behaviour i s to be treated as merely a kind of 50 r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n which i s not to be taken at i t s face value. While Homans i s a t l e a s t consistent, h i s approach allows us no way of d i f f e r e n t i a t i n g genuinely r i t u a l from mistaken em- p i r i c a l notions. An i n e f f e c t i v e mode of medical treatment, f o r example, must l o g i c a l l y be equated with such other very d i f f e r e n t phenomena as Hopi r a i n dances, the Catholic Mass and the American Pledge of A l l e g i a n c e . Homans' consistency, then, i s achieved only at the cost of v i o l a t i n g the i n t e g - r i t y of other systems of thought, and he i s therefore open to much the same kind of c r i t i c i s m as that which we have a l - 51 ready made of Pareto. In comparison to Malinowski, there- f o r e , who always emphasized the importance of native cate- gories of thought, Homans' work represents a retrograde step. I t i s also worth-while noting another c r i t i c i s m which may be l e v e l l e d a t the a f f e c t i v e theory of magic: that i t i s unable to explain c u l t u r a l v a r i a t i o n s i n magical b e l i e f s and p r a c t i c e s , and therefore cannot account f o r those s i t u a t i o n s where human knowledge cannot p r e d i c t the issue yet where ma- g i c i s absent. For instance, the Tikopians, unlike the Trobrianders, have no love magic, while the Manus Islanders, -163- again unlike the Trobrianders, have no s a i l i n g magic. One way of meeting t h i s objection i s by invoking the notion of "fu n c t i o n a l s u b s t i t u t e s " . One might, i n other words, argue that the functions f u l f i l l e d i n one society by magic are f u l f i l l e d by some other c u l t u r a l element(s) i n another so- c i e t y . This i s , i n e f f e c t , the l i n e of reasoning adopted by F i r t h when he writes that magic represents only one of a number of possible c u l t u r a l responses to uncertainty, which may also take the form of "... a r e l i a n c e on a beneficent Sod, a r e l i a n c e upon the theory of p r o b a b i l i t y - which i s another name f o r science, or a simple f a t a l i s m which r e j e c t s 52 both science and God." So f a r as Malinowski himself i s concerned, however, t h i s l i n e of reasoning would seem ruled out by h i s own as s e r t i o n , quoted e a r l i e r i n t h i s chapter, that magic f u l f i l l s an indispensable function which cannot 53 be f u l f i l l e d by any other element of p r i m i t i v e c u l t u r e . Moreover, F i r t h ' s mode of argument merely s h i f t s the problem from "why do the Manus Islanders, unlike the Trobrianders, not p r a c t i s e magic i n the face of c e r t a i n forms of uncer- t a i n t y ? " to "why do the Manus Islanders adopt one rather than another c u l t u r a l response to c e r t a i n forms of uncer- t a i n t y ? " . This question, F i r t h himself confesses he i s un- 54 able to answer. Invoking the notion of f u n c t i o n a l s u b s t i t u t e s , there- f o r e , succeeds i n salvaging the a f f e c t i v e theory of magic only by rendering i t completely untestable i n terms of em- p i r i c a l evidence. Recognizing the l i m i t a t i o n s of Malinowski's theory as expressed i n i t s o r i g i n a l form, and attempting to safeguard i t from c r i t i c i s m by adopting the -164— m o d i f i c a t i o n s to i t suggested by Homans and F i r t h , can i n f a c t l e a d only to very vague g e n e r a l i z a t i o n s along the l i n e s o f : " a n x i e t y , and/or other sentiments, may give r i s e t o magical o r other r i t u a l procedures, o r , i n c e r t a i n un- s p e c i f i e d circumstances, may give r i s e t o a d i f f e r e n t c u l - t u r a l response." Expressed i n t h i s way, i t becomes c l e a r t h a t the a n x i e t y theory of magic, as f u r t h e r developed by F i r t h and Homans, may be r e c o n c i l e d w i t h any conceivable item of e m p i r i c a l i n f o r m a t i o n . I n other words, the theory can e x p l a i n e v e r y t h i n g - and no t h i n g . Yet, even although h i s general theory of magic u l - t i m a t e l y leads one i n t o a b l i n d a l l e y , Malinowski may never- t h e l e s s be c r e d i t e d w i t h having provided an important im- pulse t o the study of w i t c h c r a f t and sorcery. Both Navaho W i t c h c r a f t and W i t c h c r a f t , Oracles and Magic among the Azande owe an important debt to Malinowski. For example, Kluckhohn*s theory t h a t Navaho w i t c h c r a f t b e l i e f s provide an o u t l e t f o r the r e l e a s e of ten s i o n s a r i s i n g from the general and s p e c i f i c c o n d i t i o n s of Navaho l i f e , holds many p o i n t s i n common w i t h Malinowski's a n x i e t y theory of magic. S i m i l a r l y , even although Evans-Pritchard*s a n a l y s i s of Zande w i t c h c r a f t assumes methodological and t h e o r e t i c a l p r i n c i p l e s q u i t e d i f f e r e n t from those of Malinowski, i t was only by means of employing the techniques of meticulous f i e l d - w o r k , which Malinowski was f i r s t and foremost i n de- v e l o p i n g , t h a t the Zande study was made p o s s i b l e . Moreover, f o r h i s emphasis on the n e c e s s i t y of understanding n a t i v e c a t e g o r i e s of thought, and on the importance of seeing how p a r t i c u l a r p a tterns of b e l i e f are t r a n s l a t e d i n t o a c t i o n i n -165- s p e c i f i c behavioural contexts, the study of witchcraft and sorcery - indeed, the entire f i e l d of anthropology - w i l l always remain indebted to the genius of Malinowski. -166- Notes and References 1. Evans-Pritchard, E.E., Social Anthropology, (Cohen & West l t d . , London, 1951), Pp. 91-2. As a statement of anthropological attitudes, this probably holds true even today, although writings like those of Levi- Strauss, Leach, Horton and Douglas indicate a renewed interest i n some of the "bigger" questions and a return to broader theoretical concerns. 2. Pocock, D.P., Social Anthropology, (Sheed & Ward, London, 1961), P. 53. To some extent, this distinction between Malinowski's "theoretical" and his "ethno- graphic" writings i s misleading. Por Malinowski^ theory was deeply grounded i n his Trobriand material (of which i t was often l i t t l e more than a generaliza- tion) while, conversely, his ethnography was deeply influenced by his theoretical preconceptions. 3. Nadel, S.P., "Malinowski on Magic, Science and Religion", i n Firth, R. (ed.), Man and Culture, (Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1957), P. 190. 4. Redfield, R., "Introduction" to Malinowski, B., Magic. Science and Religion and Other Essays, (Doubleday & Co. Inc., Garden City, New York, 1954), P. 10. 5. Malinowski, B., "Introduction" to Hogbin, H.I., Law and Order i n Polynesia, (London, 1934), P. xxx v i i i . Quoted in Homans, G.C., "Anxiety and-Ritual: The Theories of Malinowski and Radcliffe-Brown", American Anthropologist, Vol. XLIII, (April-June 1941), P. 169. Bobbs-Merrill reprint, S-121. 6. See P. 94 of this thesis. 7. Malinowski, B., "Magic, Science and Religion", in Malinowski, B., Magic..., op. c i t . , P. 70. 8. Ibid., P. 71. 9. Ibid., P. 74. -167- 10. Ibid.. Pp. 73-4. 11. Ibid., P. 74. 12. Ibid.. P. 73. 13. Lowie, R.H., Primitive Religion, (Boni & Liveright, New York, 1924), Pp. 143-4. See P. 100 of this thesis. 14. Evans-Pritchard, E.E., "The Morphology and Function of Magic", American Anthropologist. Vol. XXXI, (1929), Pp. 619-41. Reprinted i n Middleton, J. (ed.), Magic. Witchcraft and Curing, (The Natural History Press, Garden City, New York, 1967), Pp. 1*22. Horton, however, argues that a l l African magic may be reduced to a ver- bal base, and suggests that the non-verbal symbols com- monly employed in African magic derive their powers from verbal designation. If correct, this suggests that Malinowski was right to emphasize the cross-cultural significance of the spell. Horton, R., "African Traditional Thought and Western Science", i n Marwick, M. (ed.), Witchcraft and Sorcery, (Penguin Books Ltd., Harmondsworth, 1970), P. 353. 15. See Malinowski, B., Argonauts of the Western Pacific, (E.P. Dutton & Co. Inc., New York, 1961), Pp. 424-5. 16. Malinowski, B., "Myth i n Primitive Psychology", i n Malinowski, B., Magic..., op. c i t . , P. 141. 17. Nadel, S.F., "Malinowski on Magic...", op. c i t . , P. 141. 18. Malinowski, B., "Magic...", op. c i t . , P. 17. 19. Ibid., Pp. 28-9. 20. Leach, E.R., "The Epistemological Background to Malinowski's Empiricism", i n Firth, R. (ed.), Man and Culture. op. c i t . , P. 128. 21. Malinowski, B., Coral Gardens and their Magic, (Allen & Unwin, London, 1966), Vol. I, P. 460. Quoted i n Leach, E.R., "The Epistemological...", op. c i t . . P. 128. -168- 22. Malinowski, B., "Magic...", op. c i t . , P. 7 9 . 23. Ibid., P. 80. 24. Ibid., Pp. 80-1. 25. Ibid., P. 81. 26. Ibid.. Pp. 74-6; "Myth...", op. c i t . , Pp. 138-43. 27. Malinowski, B., "Magic...", op. c i t . , P. 82. 28. Ibid., Pp. 81-2. 29. Ibid., P. 9 0 . 30. Ibid.. 31. Malinowski, B., "Anthropology", Encyclopaedia - Britannica, (London, 1926), 1st. Supplementary Volume, P. 132. Quoted i n Merton, R*, Social Theory and Social Structure, (The Free Press, Glencoe, 1949), 36. 3 2 . It i s worth noting that Homans' elaboration of the anxiety theory of magic, discussed on Pp. 160-2 of this thesis, also f a i l s to deal with the phenomena of witch- craft and sorcery. 33• Malinowski, B., "Magic...", op. c i t . , P. 8 5 . 34. Ibid., Pp. 85-6. 35. Nadel, S.F., "Malinowski on Magic...", op. c i t . . P. 194. 36. Malinowski, B., Argonauts..., op. c i t . , P. 2 3 9 . 3 7 . Leach, E.R., "The Epistemological Background...", op. c i t . , P. 1 2 9 . 3 8 . Malinowski, B., Crime and Custom in Savage Society, (Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1926), P. 86. 39* Ibid., P. 9 3 . 169- 40. I b i d . . P. 94. 41. Malinowski, B., "Magic...", op. c i t . , Pp. 30-1. 42. Nadel, S.P., "Malinowski on Magic...", op. c i t . , P. 193. 43. I b i d . . 44. According to Malinowski, magic employs l i m i t e d tech- niques to achieve li m i t e d goals, whereas r e l i g i o n con- s i s t s of a body of self-contained acts, complex and r i c h i n content, and i s expressed i n acts which have value but not u t i l i t y , the end of which being r e a l i z e d i n the acts themselves. Cf. Malinowski, B., "Magic...", op. c i t . . Pp. 88-9. 45. Radcliffe-Brown, A.R., Structure and Function i n Primitive Society, (Cohen & West Ltd., London, 1952), Pp. 148-9. 46. Homans, G.C., "Anxiety and R i t u a l . . . " , op. c i t . , P. 170. 47. I b i d . , P. 171. 48. I b i d . , P. 167. 49. I b i d . , P. 172. 50. I b i d . , Pp. 165-6, 171. 51. See Pp. 14-17, 50 ? of t h i s t h e s i s , 52. F i r t h , R., Human Types, (Mentor, New York, 1958), P. 130. 53. I b i d . . 54. I b i d . . CHAPTER SEVEN EVANS-PRITCHARD'S ANALYSIS OF ZANDE WITCHCRAFT A. Introduction Max Glucl—an reveals that i t was ea r l y noticed, by Europeans i n contact with A f r i c a n s , that the b e l i e f i n witchc r a f t involved the idea that Africans thought i t "... singular that they alone should be s i c k while a l l the 1 people around them were enjoying good health." This ob- servation contained an important clue to the understanding of w i t c h c r a f t b e l i e f s . Another was contained i n the obser- vation that people accused t h e i r personal enemies of be- witching them: an observation which l e d many to conclude that w i t c h c r a f t observations were obviously fraudulent. ... these separate clues were brought together by Professor Evans-Pritchard to explain the l o g i c , the i n t e l l e c - t u a l coherence, of wi t c h c r a f t b e l i e f s i n t h e i r r e l a t i o n to natural events and to s o c i e t y . He did t h i s i n h i s analysis of Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic among the Azande of the Anglo- Egyptian Sudan. Subsequent research i n other A f r i c a n t r i b e s has confirmed t h i s a n a lysis e n t i r e l y . 2 Evans-Pritchard's study may be described as the f i r s t systematic a n a l y s i s of the w i t c h c r a f t b e l i e f s of a p r i m i - t i v e people as c o n s t i t u t i n g a coherent system of c o l l e c t i v e representations, as well as the f i r s t c l e a r analysis of how these c o l l e c t i v e representations are invoked i n p a r t i c u l a r 171- action-contexts. As such, i t has had a tremendous impact on B r i t i s h s o c i a l anthropology and has served to define most of the problems to which anthropologists have directed t h e i r attention, i n studying witchcraft and sorcery, i n the period following the Second World War. But although deepest i n the f i e l d of anthropology, the influence of Evans-Pritchard 1 s work has by no means been l i m i t e d to the c i r c l e of h i s professional colleagues. Thus, h i s analysis has provided the s t a r t i n g point for an intensive v i l l a g e l e v e l study of witchcraft i n Tudor and Stuart Essex by a professional h i s t o r i a n , 3 and has even a t - 4 tracted attention i n the f i e l d of the philosophy of science. It i s necessary to view Evans-Pritchard's work i n r e l a t i o n to that of Levy-Bruhl. Already, i n a series of papers published at the Uni v e r s i t y of Egypt, Evans- Pritchard had shown himself unsympathetic to the psycho- l o g i s t i c reductionism then prevalent i n B r i t i s h anthropo- logy. He revealed his methodological standpoint as being much closer to that of L^vy-Bruhl, Durkheim and the con- 5 t r i b u t o r s to the Ane'e sociologique. He was p a r t i c u l a r l y concerned to defend Levy-Bruhl's writings, which he con- sidered extremely valuable t h e o r e t i c a l l y , against the mis- understandings and misrepresentations of them, widespread then as now.** It was L^vy-Bruhl who f i r s t stated with emphasis that primitive peoples hold d i s t i n c t i v e systems of b e l i e f s i n - herent i n t h e i r conceptual frameworks and r e f l e c t e d i n t h e i r languages. Because of t h i s , the mental structures of other peoples cannot be understood i n the same terms as our 172- own, and the methodological basis of Tylorian anthropology- was destroyed. S i m i l a r l y , i t was LSvy-Bruhl who i n s i s t e d strongly on seeing p a r t i c u l a r modes of thought as d e r i v i n g from p a r t i c u l a r types of s o c i a l organization. Thus, some of the most basic questions which Evans-Pritchard sought to deal with i n h i s study - how the Azande see the world, how t h e i r b e l i e f s form a coherent system, how these b e l i e f s are manifested behaviourally, what are the contexts of t h e i r mystic and non-mystic thought - could well have been posed 7 by LSvy-Bruhl himself. B. Evans-Pritchard 1s Viewpoint In contrast to writers l i k e Prazer, Malinowski and Kluckhohn, Evans-Pritchard was more int e r e s t e d i n providing us with an understanding o f how the Azande themselves think about w i t c h c r a f t and magic, and of how these ideas enter int o t h e i r way of l i f e , than i n attempting a causal or quasi-causal explanation of these phenomena. Hence, he took the thought patterns of the Azande as given (much as a l i n g u i s t would take a language as given), and sought to r e - veal t h e i r structure rather than determine t h e i r h i s t o r i c a l or psychological o r i g i n s . Indeed, t h i s analogy between Evans-Pritchard's endeavour and that of a l i n g u i s t i s par- t i c u l a r l y apt, since he r e f e r s i n more than one place to Azande b e l i e f s as c o n s t i t u t i n g an "idiom" and of h i s main aim as being that of rendering t h i s idiom i n t e l l i g i b l e to us. He therefore sought to resolve problems which he des- cribed ( i n a manner already suggesting where h i s d i f f e r - ences with I»e*vy-Bruhl would be found) as being of the f o l - lowing order: -173- Is Zande thought so d i f f e r e n t from ours that we can only describe t h e i r speech and actions without compre- hending them, or i s i t e s s e n t i a l l y l i k e our own though expressed i n an idiom to which we are unaccustomed? What are the motives of Zande be- haviour? What are t h e i r notions of r e a l i t y ? How are these motives and notions expressed i n custom?" He therefore eschewed "... current psychological and s o c i o l o g i c a l explanations of mystical notions and r i t u a l behaviour", and instead of seeking to answer the question of why i t i s that the Azande a t t r i b u t e p a r t i c u l a r events to the operation of magic and witch c r a f t , sought to elucidate 9 how they do t h i s . In other words, he was searching f o r information i n the reasons Azande themselves give f o r the occurrence of phenomena. Thus h i s method involved t r y i n g to "... explain a f a c t by c i t i n g other f a c t s from the same culture and by noting interdependencies between f a c t s . " 1 0 C. Witchcraft Explains Misfortune We have already, i n an e a r l i e r section of t h i s t h e s i s , noted the e s s e n t i a l f a c t s of Zande witchcraft (mangu) as an organic, i n h e r i t e d substance, and of Zande sorcery as a technique employing bad medicines. 1 1 The f i r s t major ques- tio n to which Evans-Pritchard addressed himself i n r e l a t i o n to these b e l i e f s was that of determining the contexts i n which they are invoked. The short answer to t h i s question i s that they are invoked i n s i t u a t i o n s of misfortune, how- ever t r i v i a l and petty, as a "... ready and stereotyped 12 means of reactkng to such events". ... there i s no niche or corner of -174- Zande culture i n t o which i t ( i . e . w i t c h c r a f t ) does not twist i t s e l f . I f b l i g h t seizes the ground-nut crop i t i s wi t c h c r a f t ; i f termites do not r i s e when t h e i r swarming i s due and a cold useless night i s spent waiting f o r t h e i r f l i g h t i t i s witchcraft; i f a wife i s sulky and unresponsive to her husband i t i s witchcraft; i f a prince i s cold and di s t a n t with h i s subject i t i s wit c h c r a f t ; i f a magi- c a l r i t e f a i l s to achieve i t s purpose i t i s wit c h c r a f t ; i f , i n f a c t , any f a i l u r e or misfortune f a l l s upon any one at any time and i n r e l a t i o n to any of the manifold a c t i v i t i e s of h i s l i f e i t may be due to w i t c h c r a f t . This i s not to suggest that the Azande believe witch- c r a f t to be the sole cause of phenomena, or even the sole cause of misfortune. They are well aware, f o r example, of the p h y s i c a l nature of elephants as huge beasts capable of throwing men into the a i r , p i e r c i n g them with t h e i r tusks, and crushing them under t h e i r knees. They are equally well aware that granaries collapse because termites eat away the supports which are holding them up, and that i f people are s i t t i n g under a granary at the moment when i t collapses they w i l l be in j u r e d by i t s heavy structure. The Azande, i n other words, are quite as capable of observing a se- quence of events within a chain of natural causation as we are. On the other hand, the Azande do not l i m i t themselves to asking how i t i s that such events take place, but also seek to account f o r why they take place. For example, i t may very well be true that a p a r t i c u l a r granary collapsed because i t s supports had been eaten away by termites. I t -175- may also be true that those who were s i t t i n g under i t at the moment of i t s collapse were injured because of i t s heavy s t r u c t u r e . But why, ask the Azande, should those p a r t i c u l a r people have been s i t t i n g under that p a r t i c u l a r granary r i g h t at the moment of i t s collapse? S i m i l a r l y , i t i s c e r t a i n l y true that elephants are p h y s i c a l l y capable of attacking and i n j u r i n g people. But t h i s i s not a common event. Why should one man, on one p a r t i c u l a r occasion, happen to come face-to-face with an elephant which attacks him? Why t h i s man and not some other man? Why on t h i s occasion and not on other occasions? Why t h i s elephant and not some other elephant? We would dismiss these questions as i l l e g i t i m a t e , at l e a s t i n our more s c i e n t i f i c moods. Such events are to be explained as coincidences, as contingent upon the chance i n t e r s e c t i o n of two chains of c a u s a l i t y between which there i s no i n t r i n s i c r e l a t i o n s h i p . The Azande, i n contrast, seek to go a step f u r t h e r than t h i s , i n providing an expla- natory framework which accounts f o r j u s t such random events on other than a chance b a s i s . This explanatory framework i s provided by the idiom of witch b e l i e f s . A boy knocked h i s f o o t against a small stump of wood i n the centre of a bush path, a frequent happening i n A f r i c a , and suffered pain and incon- venience i n consequence. Owing to i t s p o s i t i o n on h i s toe i t was impossible to keep the cut free from d i r t and i t began to f e s t e r . He declared that w i t c h c r a f t had made him knock h i s foot against the stump.... I t o l d the boy that he had knocked h i s foot against the stump of wood because he -176- had been careless, and that witch- c r a f t had not placed i t i n the path, f o r i t had grown there n a t u r a l l y . He agreed that w i t c h c r a f t had nothing to do with the stump of wood being i n h i s path but added that he had kept h i s eyes open f o r stumps, as indeed every Zande does most c a r e f u l l y , and that i f he had not been bewitched he would have seen the stump. As a con- c l u s i v e argument f o r h i s view, he r e - marked that a l l cuts do not take days to heal but, on the contrary, close quickly, f o r that i s the nature of cuts. Why then, had h i s sore f e s - tered and remained open i f there were no witchcraft behind i t ? 1 * Witchcraft i s therefore an explanatory mode which ac- counts f o r the p a r t i c u l a r and variable conditions of an event, as d i s t i n c t from the u n i v e r s a l and general condi- t i o n s . As such, i t i n no way contradicts empirical obser- vation, and may even encompass s c i e n t i f i c theories within i t s ambit. Thus a Pondo teacher i n South A f r i c a remarked to Monica Wilson, arguing i n a manner i d e n t i c a l to that of the Azande, that: I t may be quite true that typhus i s c a r r i e d by l i c e , but who sent the i n - fected louse? Why did i t b i t e one man and not a n o t h e r ? 1 5 As LSvi-Strauss remarks of t h i s type of explanation, Seen i n t h i s way, the f i r s t d i f f e r - ence between magic and science i s therefore that magic postulates a complete and all-embracing determin- ism. Science, on the other hand, i s based on a d i s t i n c t i o n between l e v e l s : only some of these admit forms of de- terminism; on others the same forms -177- 16 of determinism are held not to apply. The Azande themselves explain t h e i r notions of causa- ti o n by means of an analogy to "the second spear". Thus, i f a man i s k i l l e d by an elephant, the elephant i s the f i r s t spear and witch c r a f t i s the second spear, and t o - gether they k i l l e d the man. S i m i l a r l y , i f a man k i l l s an- other i n war, then he i s the f i r s t spear and witch c r a f t i s 17 the second spear, and together they k i l l the man. I t also should not be assumed that w i t c h c r a f t c o n s t i - tutes the only agency of what Europeans might term "mystic" danger. A sorcerer may make magic with bad medicines and k i l l a man. A breach of taboos, l i k e those for b i d d i n g i n - cest, may lead to serious i l l n e s s . The death of babies from c e r t a i n diseases i s ascribed to the action of the Supreme Being. Thus, i f a man develops leprosy and there i s a h i s t o r y of i n c e s t i n h i s case, then the cause of h i s i l l n e s s i s i n c e s t , not w i t c h c r a f t . Again, i f a potter has sexual intercourse the night before f i r i n g h i s pots, and the pots are broken i n the f i r i n g process, then the cause of the breakage i s not witch c r a f t but f a i l u r e to observe the necessary taboos preparatory to f i r i n g . In the same way, i f the parents of a c h i l d have sexual r e l a t i o n s before i t i s weaned and the c h i l d f a l l s i l l , the question of witch- c r a f t does not a r i s e . Por the c h i l d ' s i l l n e s s i s c l e a r l y to be a t t r i b u t e d to the parents' breach of a r i t u a l pro- h i b i t i o n . In some cases, however, a complex s i t u a t i o n a r i s e s where wi t c h c r a f t operates together with other mystic forces i n such a way as to lead to the death of someone. Thus, i n 178- the cases mentioned above, i f the l e p e r or the c h i l d were to d i e , there would r e a l l y be three causes o p e r a t i n g . F i r s t l y , there i s the i l l n e s s i t s e l f - l e p r o s y , or perhaps a f e v e r i n the case of the c h i l d . These diseases are not seen as be i n g a product of w i t c h c r a f t but e x i s t i n t h e i r own r i g h t , much as a b u f f a l o or an elephant e x i s t s i n i t s own r i g h t . Secondly, there i s the breach of the taboo: t h a t on i n c e s t i n one case, t h a t on sexual i n t e r c o u r s e be- f o r e weaning i n the o t h e r . The c h i l d developed f e v e r , and the man l e p r o s y , because the taboo was broken. But death need not have ensued. Not a l l persons d i e from l e p r o s y , not a l l c h i l d r e n from f e v e r s . C e r t a i n l y , f e v e r and l e p r o s y were developed because of the v i o l a t i o n of c e r t a i n taboos. But u n l e s s w i t c h c r a f t had been present as the "second 18 spear", they would not have l e d to death. D. A c t i o n A g a i n s t W i t c h c r a f t E v a n s - P r i t c h a r d drew an analogy between the Zande con- cept of w i t c h c r a f t and our concept of bad l u c k . When, i n s p i t e of forethought and t e c h n i c a l competence, a person s u f f e r s a m i s f o r t u n e , we say t h a t he or she i s having bad l u c k . The Azande say t h a t the person has been bewitched. And, should the s i t u a t i o n which i s thus d e s c r i b e d have a l - ready taken p l a c e , we content o u r s e l v e s w i t h the thought t h a t the f a i l u r e was " j u s t bad l u c k " , j u s t as the Azande content themselves w i t h the thought t h a t the f a i l u r e was a r e s u l t of w i t c h c r a f t . The d i f f e r e n c e i n r e a c t i o n s between Europeans and Azande a r i s e s not when an unfortunate event has a l r e a d y taken p l a c e ( w i t h the exception of death), but when a misfortune i s a c t u a l l y i n the process of f a l l i n g -179- upon one, or i s a n t i c i p a t e d . We, l i k e the Azande, make an e f f o r t to elude or terminate the misfortune, according to our ideas of the objective conditions causing i t . But since the Azande conceive of these objective conditions very d i f f e r e n t l y from the manner i n which we do, they con- centrate t h e i r attention on the fa c t o r which they see as being of greatest importance: i . e . , w i t c h c r a f t . Witches are detected by means of oracles and by witch- doctors. The most important oracles are the poison oracle, which i s considered the most r e l i a b l e , the termite oracle and the rubbing-board oracle, which i s considered the l e a s t r e l i a b l e . The r e l i a b i l i t y of witch-doctors i s thought to be about the same as that of the rubbing-board o r a c l e . Witch-doctors hold p u b l i c seances at which they divine the names of witches who happen to be i n f l i c t i n g , or threatening to i n f l i c t , misfortunes on a c l i e n t . At these seances, the witch-doctor dances with a group of hi s c o l - leagues to the sound of drums, hand-bells and other i n s t r u - ments. In the course of h i s dance, he cross-examines h i s c l i e n t , perhaps demanding the names of h i s wives, neigh- bours, or those who have taken part i n some a c t i v i t y with him. He then dances, i n a tr a n c e - l i k e state, with the names of three or four possible witches on h i s mind and a f t e r a period of some hours (a seance may l a s t from mid- day to sunset) advises h i s c l i e n t of whom he thinks i s r e s - ponsible. This he us u a l l y does d i s c r e e t l y , perhaps by hints and inuendo, perhaps by whispering the name of the witch to h i s c l i e n t i n pr i v a t e a f t e r the spectators have dispersed. Generally speaking, witches are not denounced -180- p u b l i c l y by witch-doctors, and no man would proceed to d i r e c t action against a witch on the basis of a witch- doctor's information alone. Por the witch-doctor i s a hu- man being, and i s therefore f a l l i b l e . His r e v e l a t i o n s must 19 be checked against the v e r d i c t of the poison o r a c l e . The l e a s t r e l i a b l e of Zande oracles i s the rubbing- board o r a c l e . I t consists of two pieces: a small table- l i k e surface which i s supported by two legs and a t a i l , and an adjoining piece of wood which f i t s the "table" l i k e a l i d . The operator squeezes various j u i c e s , or grates wood, onto the surface of the table, and then dips the l i d i n t o a gourd of water and proceeds to s l i d e i t back and f o r t h across the surface of the t a b l e . Usually the l i d moves smoothly back and f o r t h , but occasionally i t s t i c k s to the lower surface so f i r m l y that no amount of j e r k i n g w i l l move i t . I t i s i n t h i s way that the oracle answers questions: by smooth s l i d i n g , or by s t i c k i n g . The operator therefore addresses questions to the oracle according to the formula, " i f such i s the case, rubbing-board oracle, s t i c k ; i f such i s not the case, rubbing-board oracle, run smoothly". Por example, " I f so-and-so i s bewitching my home, rubbing-board s t i c k . " Afterwards you ask i t again, "Rubbing-board, i t i s hot w i t c h c r a f t , I place w i t c h c r a f t on one side, i t i s wingi; another thing, sorcery, i s about to s p o i l my home, rubbing-board s t i c k . " 2 0 The Azande do not have complete f a i t h i n the operation of the rubbing-board oracle but consider that i t may e r r , and that i t may be manipulated by men. I t s judgements must -181- therefore be checked against the poison oracle, unless serious i l l n e s s i s involved and speed i s all-important. Otherwise, the oracle i s consulted on issues of l e s s e r im- portance, or i n order to c l a r i f y a case so that i t may be put to the poison oracle f o r f i n a l judgement. I f a man i s i l l , f o r example, a great many people may occur to him as being p o s s i b l y responsible. I t would be tedious and expen- sive to place s i x or seven names before the poison oracle when, perhaps, the l a s t name i s the correct one. But the rubbing-board can sort out the relevant name i n a matter of minutes and the poison oracle then may be consulted f o r confirmation. This e f f i c i e n c y makes the rubbing-board the most often used of a l l Zande or a c l e s . The termite oracle i s more highly esteemed than the rubbing-board oracle, and no one would place a v e r d i c t of the termite oracle before the rubbing-board f o r confirma- t i o n . There are no expenses involved ( t h i s i s i t s c h i e f advantage), and a man need only f i n d a termite mound and i n s e r t two branches, from d i f f e r e n t trees, i n the runs and return next day to see which has been eaten. The oracle i s addressed i n such words as, n0 termites, I w i l l die t h i s year, eat dakpa. I w i l l not die, eat kpoyo." Thus i f dakpa i s eaten and kpoyo i s l e f t untouched, i t i s a pro- phecy of misfortune; i f kpoyo i s eaten and dakpa i s l e f t untouched, of good fortune. I f both the branches are eaten, but one more than the other, i t i s regarded as a q u a l i f i e d answer, tending towards e i t h e r a p o s i t i v e or a negative v e r d i c t , according to the s i t u a t i o n . I f both branches are eaten about equally, the Azande may simply say 182- that the ants were hungry and ate to s a t i s f i e t h e i r appe- t i t e s , that a taboo has been broken, or that w i t c h c r a f t has i n t e r f e r e d with the ora c l e . I f neither branch i s eaten, t h i s means that the termites have refused an answer, and the Azande t r y another mound. A l l important verdic t s are 22 submitted to the poison oracle f o r confirmation. The poison oracle i s the most important of a l l Zande orac l e s . The Azande r e l y completely on i t s decisions, and these have the force of law when obtained on the orders of a p r i n c e . Consultation of the oracle i s regarded as i n d i s - pensable i n a l l matters strongly a f f e c t i n g i n d i v i d u a l wel- fare , i n serious l e g a l disputes, i n important c o l l e c t i v e undertakings, or on any occasion regarded as dangerous or s o c i a l l y important: ... how can a Zande do without h i s poison oracle? His l i f e would be of l i t t l e worth. Witches would make h i s wife and children s i c k and destroy h i s crops and render h i s hunting use- l e s s . Every endeavour would be f r u s - t r a t e d , every labour and pain would be to no purpose. At any moment a witch might k i l l him and he could do nothing to protect himself and h i s family. Men would v i o l a t e h i s wife and s t e a l h i s goods, and how would he be able to i d e n t i f y and avenge him- s e l f on adulterer and t h i e f ? Without the a i d of hi s poison oracle he knows that he i s helpless and at the mercy of every e v i l person. I t i s h i s guide and h i s counsellor ... The oracle t e l l s a Zande what to do at every c r i s i s of l i f e . I t reveals h i s enemies, t e l l s him where he may seek safety from danger, shows him hidden -183- mystic forces, and discloses past and fut u r e . Truly a Zande cannot l i v e without h i s benge. To deprive him of that would be to deprive him of l i f e i t s e l f . 2 3 The oracle i s administered by an operator who must be i n a r i t u a l l y pure condition. That i s to say, he must have abstained from having had sexual r e l a t i o n s with women, from the eating of elephant f l e s h , f i s h and c e r t a i n vegetables, and from the smoking of hemp. These p r o h i b i t i o n s cover from f i v e to s i x days p r i o r to consultation of the oracle i n the case of sexual r e l a t i o n s , and three to four days i n the case of the forbidden foods. The poison oracle i s consulted i n secret, and no one except trusted f r i e n d s are advised that there i s to be a seance. A large audience i s not wanted, since i t s members would want to ask the oracle a l l about t h e i r own a f f a i r s . The oracle takes the form of administering benge (apparently a poison re l a t e d to the strychnine family) to fowls. As the poison i s administered, the oracle i s ad- dressed according to the formula, " I f such i s the case, poison oracle k i l l the fowl", or, " I f such i s the case, poison oracle spare the fowl". The fowl i s then l i f t e d i n the hands of the operator, jerked back and f o r t h i n order to s t i r up the poison, and replaced on the ground. The e f f e c t of benge on fowls v a r i e s . Occasionally; though not often, i t k i l l s them at once, even before they are picked up from the ground by the operator. More com- monly, a fowl i s not se r i o u s l y affected u n t i l i t i s picked up from the ground when, i f i t i s going to die, i t under- -184- n goes a serie s of spasms culminating i n vomiting and death. Some fowls appear l i t t l e a f f e c t e d by the poison u n t i l r e - turned to the ground, when they suddenly expire. Others are quite unaffected by the poison and when, a f t e r having been jerked backwards and forwards f o r a while, they are thrown to the ground, peck around unconcernedly. Very r a r e l y , the poison seems to k i l l a fowl which l a t e r r e - covers . The oracle normally involves two t e s t s . I f a fowl dies i n the f i r s t t e s t then another fowl must survive i n the second t e s t , and vice versa, f o r a judgement to be accepted as v a l i d . Usually, although not i n v a r i a b l y , the questions are so framed that the oracle must k i l l a fowl i n the f i r s t t e s t and spare another fowl i n the corroborating t e s t to give an af f i r m a t i v e reply, and must spare a fowl i n the f i r s t t e s t and k i l l another fowl i n the corroborative t e s t to give a negative r e p l y . I f two fowls l i v e , or two fowls die, then the v e r d i c t i s regarded as i n v a l i d and the oracle must be consulted on another occasion.24 The Azande are s e l e c t i v e i n the doubts and questions they put before the oracles, f o r there i s always witchcraft about and i t i s impossible to eliminate from one's l i f e . I t i s therefore only about important matters, usually con- nected with the state of t h e i r health, that they consult the o r a c l e s . When a man f a l l s i l l , he us u a l l y r e t i r e s to a grass hut i n the bush where he can remain hidden from wit c h c r a f t and organize counter-measures. He asks a close kinsman, a son-in-law, or some other person on whom he can r e l y , to -185- consult the oracle on h i s behalf i n order to i d e n t i f y the witch who i s i n j u r i n g him. The f i r s t oracle consulted i s usu a l l y the rubbing-board oracle, which w i l l s e l e c t the names of several witches who may be responsible from a large number. Then, i f the man i s poor, he w i l l place the names selected before the termite oracle f o r confirmation; but i f he i s able to obtain benge and chickens, he w i l l consult the poison o r a c l e . Following i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the witch by the poison oracle, two possible l i n e s of action are open to the s i c k man and h i s k i n . One p o s s i b i l i t y i s to make pu b l i c ora- t i o n , i n which the kinsmen declare that they know the name of the witch who i s i n j u r i n g t h e i r r e l a t i v e but that they do not wish to expose i t and thus shame him, and that they expect him to return t h e i r courtesy by l e a v i n g t h e i r k i n s - man i n peace. This procedure i s e s p e c i a l l y s u i t a b l e i f the witch i s a person of some importance whom they do not wish to a f f r o n t , or someone who enjoys the esteem and respect of his fellows and they do not wish to humiliate him. Their object i s to humour him, f o r an open quarrel would only i r - r i t a t e him, perhaps leading him to k i l l the v i c t i m out- r i g h t . This procedure i s followed, however, only when authorized by the rubbing-board o r a c l e . The more usual procedure i s to cut o f f a wing from the fowl which has died to the name of the witch, thrust i t on the end of a small, s t i c k and forward i t to the witch, usually through a messenger of one of the deputies of the prince . On h i s a r r i v a l , the messenger la y s the wing on the ground before the witch and says that he has been sent on -186- account of the sickness of so-and-so. The witch, almost i n v a r i a b l y , r e p l i e s courteously that he i s unconscious of hurting anyone, but that i f such i s the case he i s sorry and that i f i t i s he alone who i s responsible the vi c t i m w i l l soon recover, since he wishes him health and happi- ness. To i n d i c a t e h i s good inte n t i o n s , he c a l l s f o r a gourdful of water and when h i s wife brings i t he takes a mouthful and blows i t out i n a thin spray over the wing l y i n g before him on the ground. He then says, so that the messenger may hear and repeat h i s words, that i f he i s a witch, then he i s unaware of h i s state; that he i s not i n - t e n t i o n a l l y causing witchcraft, and that he addresses the witchcraft i n h i s b e l l y , beseaching i t to become " c o o l " . The messenger then returns to the deputy, to report what he has done and seen, and the deputy then informs the k i n of the sick man that the task has been f u l f i l l e d . Should, however, the i l l n e s s continue, the oracles w i l l be con- sulted afresh, to discover i f the repentance exhibited by the witch was genuine or fraudulent, or whether some new witch has started to trouble the v i c t i m i n the meantime. In e i t h e r case, the formal presentation of chickens* wings i s c a r r i e d out as before, through the intermediacy of a 25 prince*s deputy. Almost a l l deaths are a t t r i b u t e d to witchcraft, and must be avenged. In pre-European times, vengeance was exacted i n one of three ways: by the slaughter of the witch, by the payment of compensation, or by means of l e t h a l vengeance magic. 5 Normally, however, witches were seldom s l a i n , unless they committed a second or t h i r d mur- -187- der or k i l l e d an important person. Today, vengeance magic i s the sole means employed, and the success of i t s opera- t i o n i s confirmed by the poison oracle of the p r i n c e . The use of t h i s vengeance magic i s more a requirement of pious duty than a r e s u l t of anger and hatred, and the k i n of the dead man are not permitted to cease mourning u n t i l the g u i l t y witch has been struck down. Who he i s , w i l l be known only to the prince and to the k i n of h i s v i c t i m . One can deduce the f a c t that t h e i r vengeance magic has struck only because the k i n are no longer observing the taboos of mourning. I t i s useless to ask them who was i t s victim, f o r i t i s t h e i r p r i v a t e a f f a i r and a secret between them- selves and t h e i r p r i n c e . Besides, as a v e r d i c t of the 26 poison oracle, such information may not be d i s c l o s e d . I t should be noted that magic i s u t i l i z e d against witches not only as vengeance magic, but also f o r protec- t i v e purposes. Thus, magicians are employed to bury magic on the thresholds of homes i n order to protect them against witchcraft and sorcery by destroying witches and sorcerers who intend the occupants i l l . Thus one s p e l l Evans- P r i t c h a r d records as having been uttered over medicines buried i n the entrance to a homestead, runs: That man who may come to bewitch me, and bewitch my hunting, and to be- witch my wives and c h i l d r e n , may he die.27 S i m i l a r l y , a s p e l l to protect a man's gardening: The medicine which I place i n my c u l - t i v a t i o n s - whatever witch comes to i n j u r e my c u l t i v a t i o n s , to harm my food-plants so that they w i l l not -188- 28 f l o u r i s h , may he d i e . E. The D i r e c t i o n of Witchcraft Accusations We have already noted that European explorers, mis- sionaries and administrators i n A f r i c a often observed that accusations of witch c r a f t tended to be made against per- sonal enemies: hence the frequent conclusion that these 29 charges were fraudulent. Evans-Pritchard*s Zande data, however, shows that t h i s i s a mistaken conclusion to draw. Por although i t i s personal enemies whom the Azande most often accuse of bewitching them, such accusations by no means represent an underhand way of s t r i k i n g a blow against someone against whom a grudge i s held. Bather, they are a l o g i c a l outcome of Zande doctrines concerning the nature of wit c h c r a f t . The Azande are not in t e r e s t e d i n the possession of witchcraft substance i n i t s e l f , but only i n witch a c t i v i t y proper. Any person may be born a witch, but i t does not follow that they w i l l n e c e s s a r i l y cause i l l to t h e i r f e l - lows, f o r t h e i r w i t c h c r a f t substance may remain " c o o l " . Witchcraft substance i s not i n i t s e l f dangerous, but only when i t i s activated by the i l l w i l l , jealousy or spit e of i t s possessor. A witch attacks a man when motivated by hatred, envy or greed. I t follows from t h i s that a Zande who i s s u f f e r i n g from or i s threatened by some misfortune, consults the oracles p r i m a r i l y to the names of those whom he thinks are l i k e l y to bear him such i l l w i l l . He i s well aware that others take pleasure i n h i s troubles and pain and are displeased at h i s good fortune. He knows that i f he becomes r i c h the -189- poor w i l l hate him, that i f he r i s e s i n s o c i a l p o s i t i o n h i s i n f e r i o r s w i l l be jealous of h i s authority, that i f he i s handsome the l e s s favoured w i l l envy h i s looks, that i f he i s t a l e n t - ed as a hunter, a singer, a f i g h t e r , or a r h e t o r i t i c i a n , he w i l l earn the malice of those l e s s g i f t e d , and that i f he enjoys the regard of the prince and of h i s neighbours he w i l l be de- , Q tested f o r h i s prestige and po p u l a r i t y . There are plenty of occasions f o r h o s t i l i t y and i l l - f e e l i n g i n the context of Zande l i f e , and t h i s i s often ex- pressed i n gossip i n the privacy of the huts or i n whisper- ings to close f r i e n d s i n the safety of the bush. Sometimes such b i t t e r n e s s r e s u l t s i n a complaint being made to the prince's court. More often, a man who knows that others are jealous of him w i l l do nothing. He continues to be p o l i t e , and t r i e s to remain on f r i e n d l y terms. But should some misfortune s t r i k e him, he w i l l at once conclude that one of these men i s bewitching him, and w i l l place t h e i r names before the oracles to determine who among them i s responsible. Oracle consultations therefore ex- press h i s t o r i e s of personal r e l a t i o n - ships, f o r , as a r u l e , a man only places before an oracle names of those who might have injured him on account of some d e f i n i t e events which he believes to have occasioned t h e i r enmity. I t i s often possible by a d r o i t questioning to trace back the pl a c i n g of a name before the oracle to i t s source i n some past i n c i d e n t . Since accusations i n t h i s way r e f l e c t personal en- mities , i t can be seen that c e r t a i n people w i l l not be -1 go- considered when the si c k man searches h i s mind f o r the names of those who might he i n j u r i n g him. Thus, commoners do not accuse nobles, and only r a r e l y do unimportant com- moners accuse i n f l u e n t i a l commoners. This i s p a r t l y be- cause i t would be inadvisable f o r those of low s o c i a l standing to i n s u l t those of higher s o c i a l status by thus accusing them, but mainly i t i s because s o c i a l contact between those of high and low s o c i a l status i s l i m i t e d to si t u a t i o n s where behaviour i s f i x e d by notions of rank. A man quarrels with and i s jealous of h i s s o c i a l equals. A noble i s s o c i a l l y so separated from commoners that were a commoner to quarrel with him i t would be treason. Commoners bear i l l - w i l l against commoners and princes hate p r i n c e s . Likewise a wealthy commoner w i l l be patron to a poorer commoner and there w i l l s e l - dom be malice between them because the incentive to malice and the op- portunity f o r c r e a t i n g i t do not e a s i l y a r i s e . A r i c h commoner w i l l envy another r i c h commoner and a poor man w i l l be jealous of another poor man. Offence i s more e a s i l y taken at the words or actions of an equal than of a superior or an i n - f e r i o r .3 2 Thus women tend to accuse other women of wit c h c r a f t , since there i s no s o c i a l contact between men and unrelated women, while men accuse other men. The main exception to t h i s r u l e i s that a woman may bewitch her husband. No man, however, would bewitch h i s wife, since by doing so he would only be hurt i n g himself. S i m i l a r l y , c h i l d r e n do not normally have r e l a t i o n s with adults of a type which might -191- be expected to generate hatred. In consequence, children are not thought of as bewitching a d u l t s . In those cases where an adult bewitches a c h i l d , t h i s i s u s u a l l y thought of as being a way of s t r i k i n g against the f a t h e r . I t i s among householders of roughly equal status who come into close r e l a t i o n s with one another that there i s the greatest opportunity of squabbles, and i t i s these people who most frequently place one an- other's names before the oracles when they or members of t h e i r fami- l i e s are s i c k . 3 3 Evans-Pritchard's work therefore contains two impor- tant and valuable suggestions, both of which have been r e - searched and confirmed by l a t e r s p e c i a l i s t s i n the study of w i t c h c r a f t and sorcery: f i r s t l y , that accusations of witc h c r a f t and sorcery, as functions of personal relations, are i n d i c a t i v e of the main l i n e s of stress and tension i n a soci e t y ; secondly, that accusations tend to be made be- tween people who stand i n a r e l a t i o n s h i p of competition i n 34 regard to scarce resources. I t i s important to note, however, that Evans- P r i t c h a r d did not f a l l i nto the trap of p o s t u l a t i n g a com- plete s o c i o l o g i c a l determinism, but emphasized that among the Azande accusations of wi t c h c r a f t derive p r i m a r i l y from the experience of misfortune and cannot therefore be r e - garded as a function of personal enmities only. Thus a man who su f f e r s a misfortune knows that he has been bewitched, and only then does he search h i s mind to f i n d out who i s l i k e l y to bear him a grudge and therefore have bewitched him. I f he i s unable to r e c a l l any incidents that might 192- have caused a man to hate him, and i f he has no p a r t i c u l a r enemies, he must s t i l l consult the oracles i n order to discover the witch so that h i s misfortune w i l l cease. Thus i t i s that even a prince w i l l sometimes accuse a com- moner of w i t c h c r a f t (although the reverse never happens), since h i s misfortunes must be accounted f o r and countered, even when those whom he accuses are not h i s personal 35 enemies. P. Scepticism and the V a r i a b i l i t y of Zande B e l i e f s There i s an i m p l i c a t i o n , i n anthropological references to "the" Azande, "the" Navaho or "the" Trobrianders, that a l l Azande, Navahos or Trobrianders share the same ideas, or, putt i n g the matter a l i t t l e more crudely, think the same. That such an assumption cannot be supported f o r the Navaho was c l e a r l y shown by Kluckhohn, who was c a r e f u l to i n d i c a t e divergences of opinion among h i s informants. Thus i t i s c l e a r from Kluckhohn*s data that Navahos are by no means agreed on the exact nature of witc h c r a f t , the cha- r a c t e r i s t i c s of d i f f e r e n t forms of witc h c r a f t , or the d i f - ferences between witches and g h o s t s . ^ Evans-Pritchard did not attempt a de t a i l e d breakdown of v a r i a t i o n s i n Zande b e l i e f comparable to that provided by Kluckhohn f o r the Navaho - perhaps the d i f f e r e n t con- d i t i o n s of t h e i r field-work are a relevant f a c t o r here - but he did provide us with some information regarding such v a r i a t i o n s , and p a r t i c u l a r l y on the l i m i t a t i o n s of Zande scepticism. Such information i s , of course, e s s e n t i a l , f o r i f we are to make generalizations about wit c h c r a f t be- l i e f s c o n s t i t u t i n g "closed systems of thought", then we -193- must possess empirical data on j u s t how closed such sys- tems are. S i m i l a r l y , i f we are to comprehend s o c i a l change and the processes whereby people become c r i t i c a l of t h e i r b e l i e f s and abandon or transform them, we must know, f i r s t of a l l , how great a degree of scepticism pre - e x i s t s , and what are the p r e - e x i s t i n g v a r i a t i o n s i n patterns of b e l i e f within the culture concerned. Evans-Pritchard discovered a considerable amount of scepticism e x i s t i n g i n many sectors of Zande c u l t u r e . He suggested that differences between i n d i v i d u a l s i n regard to the extent of t h e i r scepticism i s dependent on four f a c t o r s : upbringing, range of s o c i a l contacts, v a r i a t i o n of i n d i v i d u a l experience and p e r s o n a l i t y . The Azande are e s p e c i a l l y s c e p t i c a l about witch- doctors although, of course, the degree of t h i s scepticism varies markedly from one person to another. Mekana, whose remarks were often tinged with r e f r e s h i n g cynicism, was accustomed to speak l i g h t l y of witch- doctors. He contrasts i n a remark- able manner with Kamanga, who was a fervent b e l i e v e r i n a l l kinds of ma- g i c , and e s p e c i a l l y i n the powers of witch-doctors, a b e l i e f which months of mild e f f o r t on my part f a i l e d to break down.37 Zande scepticism of witch-doctors i s manifested not only i n personal remarks, but also i n the t e s t s put to them and the jokes sometimes played on them by young nobles and commoners of i n f l u e n c e . Sometimes a young noble puts a piece of i r o n , or indeed, any object, i n a pot and t e l l s the witch-doctors to -194- divine what i s i n s i d e i t . A com- moner f r i e n d of mine, Mbira, once placed a knife i n a covered pot and summoned witch-doctors to t e l l him what the pot contained. A f t e r three witch-doctors had danced f o r the better part of the day and had made a number of w i l d l y i n c o r r e c t guesses about what was i n the pot, the fourth s t i l l maintained silence and continued to dance. Mbira c a l l e d to him and t o l d him i n the presence of the audience that the sun was sink- in g and that people were desirous of returning to t h e i r homes and sug- gested that he should say what was i n the pot as soon as possible, so the seance might break up. A l i t t l e while afterwards Mbira l e f t the audience and went,.on private b u s i - ness in t o one of h i s huts. The witch-doctor followed him and sec- r e t l y asked him there to t e l l him what was i n the pot so that he could save h i s reputation. Mbira, how- ever, refused h i s request, c a l l e d him a knave, and t o l d him that he would get nothing f o r h i s day's ex- e r t i o n . 38 I t would be a mistake to a t t r i b u t e such scepticism to the r e s u l t of European influence, f o r i t i s sometimes found among the oldest men who are quite free from any such i n - fluence. Thus one old man remarked to Evans-Pritchard that what the witch-doctors t o l d t h e i r audience was merely sup- p o s i t i o n , and that what they o f f e r i n the guise of i n s p i r e d 39 oracles are only l i k e l y guesses. S i m i l a r l y , i t would be equally mistaken to exaggerate the l i m i t s of t h i s s c e p t i - cism. Although many Azande believe that witch-doctors are 195- often i n c o r r e c t i n t h e i r diagnoses of witches, and pr a c t i s e deception and fraud i n t h e i r capacity as leeches, they do not thereby dismiss the idea of witch-doctorhood as such. Most Azande believe that while the majority of witch- doctors are quacks, there are s t i l l a few e n t i r e l y r e l i a b l e p r a c t i t i o n e r s . This f a i t h i n the powers of witch-doctors i s e s p e c i a l l y strong i n r e l a t i o n to tal e s recounted of the powers of witch-doctors among foreign peoples and of past 40 times: those of four or f i v e generations ago, f o r example. I t should also be noted that scepticism about witch-doctors i s a function of p a r t i c u l a r s i t u a t i o n s : I have noticed that men who f r e - quently spoke with a measure of con- tempt about witch-doctors have made speed to v i s i t them when i n pain. Also a man who r e a d i l y accuses witch- doctors of deception when they ex- pose him as a witch as r e a d i l y ap- plauds t h e i r s k i l l when they expose someone els e , p a r t i c u l a r l y i f i t i s enemy.* Zande scepticism i s not r e s t r i c t e d to witch-doctors, but also extends to other spheres of b e l i e f . The Azande are well aware, f o r example, that the rubbing-board oracle may be improperly manipulated, and i t i s f o r t h i s reason that they consider the rubbing-board to be i n f e r i o r to 42 other o r a c l e s . Many Azande are also s c e p t i c a l about pro- t e c t i v e and punitive magic. Hence, while many men are par- t i c u l a r l y anxious to acquire medicines, and use them f r e - quently, there are others who: ... do not care whether they possess medicines or not, and who only use them when i t i s customary and then -196- without enthusiasm. They do not even have deep f a i t h i n the majority of medicines. Mekana and Kamanga were exc e l l e n t examples of these two types. Mekana was not interested i n magic, nor did he concern himself with i t . Kamanga was r e a l l y super- s t i t i o u s and believed i n every kind of magic ...43 G-. The Persistence and S t a b i l i t y of Zande B e l i e f Evans-Pritchard records that Europeans to whom he ex- plained Zande ideas of magic and the power of oracles, r e - acted with i n c r e d u l i t y and even contempt: In t h e i r questioning to me they have sought to explain away Zande beha- viour by r a t i o n a l i z i n g i t , that i s to say, by i n t e r p r e t i n g i t i n terms of our own c u l t u r e . They assume that Azande must understand the q u a l i t i e s of poison as we understand them, or that they a t t r i b u t e a per- s o n a l i t y to the oracle, a mind that judges as men judge, but with higher prescience, or that the oracle i s manipulated by the operator whose cunning conserves the f a i t h of l a y - men. They ask what happens when the r e s u l t of one t e s t contradicts the other which i t ought to confirm i f the v e r d i c t be v a l i d ; what happens when the findings of the oracles are b e l i e d by experience; and what hap- pens when the oracles give contrary answers to the same question.44 Such questions were not confined to Evans-Pritchard*s audiences, but also formed an important part of h i s own l i n e of enquiry. Thus, during h i s discussion of Zande scepticism towards witch-doctors he poses the question as 197- to "... why common sense does not triumph over s u p e r s t i - 45 t i o n . " In t h i s aspect of h i s work, Evans-Pritchard stands very c l e a r l y i n an old t r a d i t i o n of anthropological research: that of t r y i n g to explain why b e l i e f s i n the e f - f i c a c y of magic, although manifestly f a l s e , continue to p e r s i s t . But, i n seeking to answer t h i s time-honoured question, Evans-Pritchard r a i s e d the l e v e l of discussion f a r beyond that of h i s predecessors. He thus provided us with an account of the s t a b i l i t y of structures of b e l i e f which transcends not only the narrow range of the f a c t s of Zande ethnography, but even h i s own p h i l o s o p h i c a l frame- work . Confronted by the f a c t s of Zande b e l i e f i n w i t c h c r a f t and magic, the European i s l i k e l y to adduce a number of ob- jections which to him render t h i s b e l i e f i n v a l i d . Let us b r i e f l y o u t l i n e some of these objections, i n order to see why they do not have the same force f o r the Azande as they might at f i r s t sight be expected to: i . the poison oracle contradicts i t s e l f by sometimes an- swering f i r s t yes, and then no, to the same question, and vice versa; i i . an i n t e r n a l l y consistent judgement given by the oracle may be contradicted by future experience; i i i . Zande doctrines concerning the inheritance of witch- c r a f t lead to a l o g i c a l c o n t r a d i c t i o n . I f one man i s proven to be a witch, then the whole of h i s clan must also be witches too, since the Zande clan i s a group of people r e l a t e d to each other through the male l i n e . On the other hand, i f a post-mortem were to d i s c l o s e that a man was not -198- a witch, i t would follow that none of h i s f e l l o w clansmen were witches e i t h e r . Thus a few p o s i t i v e r e s u l t s of post- mortems scattered among the clans would soon prove that everyone was a witch, while a few negative r e s u l t s would prove the opposite; i v . the existence of vengeance magic reduces the explana- ti o n of death by witchcraft to an absurdity, and vice versa. Thus the death of a man X i s avenged upon a witch Y, whose death i s avenged i n turn upon another witch Z, and so on ad i n f i n i t u m . Why i s i t that the Azande do not see the force of these objections to t h e i r b e l i e f s ? Let us consider each i n turn. I f the poison oracle contradicts i t s e l f i n response to a question put to i t , the Zande who i s consulting i t i s not bewildered but has at hand a number of ready-made explana- tions to account f o r t h i s c o n t r a d i c t i o n . The wrong var i e t y of poison may have been gathered; a taboo may have been vi o l a t e d by some person handling the poison; the people from whose land the poison was gathered may have been i n - s u f f i c i e n t l y paid and thus angered against the c o l l e c t o r s , thus a f f e c t i n g the q u a l i t y of the poison; the poison may have been kept too long and have l o s t i t s strength; ghosts may have attacked the oracle i f some of the poison gathered has not been offered by the c o l l e c t o r to h i s father as f i r s t - f r u i t s ; someone may be p r a c t i s i n g sorcery against the oracle; or the poison may have become exhausted with use: 46 f o r any of these reasons the oracle may co n t r a d i c t i t s e l f . Zande b e l i e f i s therefore elaborated i n such a way -199- that i t i s a r e l a t i v e l y simple matter to explain why the oracle may sometimes contradict i t s e l f . These secondary elaborations, or supportive b e l i e f s , are d i f f e r e n t l y i n - voked i n d i f f e r e n t contexts. Por example, i f at the f i r s t seance the poison oracle k i l l s a l l the fowls without excep- t i o n , the operators generally conclude that t h i s i s because the poison was c o l l e c t e d from the wrong type of creeper. The poison i s therefore stored f o r some time before i t i s used again, i n order to see i f i t w i l l become "cool" ( i . e . , d i s c r i m i n a t i n g ) . A f t e r a period of time the poison i s then tested again, and e i t h e r proves that i t has become cool, or i s thrown away. This explanation i s adopted only when fr e s h poison has been gathered and i s being tested i n order to determine i t s worth. I f a sample of poison i s f i r s t passed as being discriminating, only to k i l l a l l the fowls at a l a t e r seance some other explanation, such as witch- 47 c r a f t , must be sought. These secondary elaborations of b e l i e f therefore themselves form a system, being i n t e r r e - l a t e d i n a coherent pattern where each p a r t i c u l a r b e l i e f acts to support the others. Consequently, i t i s impossible f o r Europeans to d i s c r e d i t the power of the oracles by point i n g out that they often contradict themselves, or by arguing that benge i s a natural poison. Indeed, such argu- ments would s t r i k e the Azande as being naive and stupid: ... to ask Azande, as I have often asked them, what would happen i f they were to administer an extra portion of poison to a fowl which has recovered from the usual doses, or, i f they were to place some of the poison i n a man's food, i s to -200- ask s i l l y questions.... no one has ever been f o o l enough to waste good oracle poison i n making such point- l e s s experiments, experiments which only a European could imagine. Proper benge i s endowed with potency by man's abstinence and h i s knowl- edge of t r a d i t i o n and w i l l function only i n the conditions of a seance. ... I am sure that no Zande would ever be convinced that you could k i l l a fowl or person with benge un- l e s s i t had been gathered, adminis- tered, and addressed i n the t r a d i - t i o n a l manner. Were a European to make a t e s t which proved Zande opin- ion wrong they would stand amazed at the c r e d u l i t y of the European who attempted such an experiment. I f the fowl died, they would simply say that i t was not good benge• The very f a c t of the fowl dying proves to them i t s badness. Normally there i s very l i t t l e opportunity f o r the oracle to be proved wrong by subsequent events. Usually put to i t provide answers that cannot e a s i l y be challenged by subsequent experience, since the enquirer accepts the v e r d i c t and does not seek to t r e a t i t as a s c i e n t i f i c hypo- thesis to be tested by experience. Thus no man w i l l b u i l d h i s home i n a c e r t a i n place i f he has been warned by the oracle that he w i l l die there. As a r e s u l t , he never knows what would have happened i f he had defied the warning of the o r a c l e . Moreover, the oracle i s not asked to answer questions which are formulated i n a precise manner. Ques- tions are framed i n broad terms, and deal with wide issues. Por instance, instead of asking, " W i l l I get a bushbuck i f -201- I go hunting tomorrow?" the consultant demands, " I f I make my hunting i n such-and-such an area t h i s year, w i l l I have a successful season, or w i l l i t he s p o i l t by w i t c h c r a f t ? " Because of t h i s , many of the questions put before the oracle are d i f f i c u l t to t e s t by experience i n any con- cl u s i v e manner. Moreover, should there be any d i r e c t con- t r a d i c t i o n between the prophecy of the oracle and empirical experience, t h i s can be explained on the same basis as when the oracle contradicts i t s e l f : i . e . , as a r e s u l t of witch- c r a f t , of the v i o l a t i o n of a taboo, or of the operation of 49 some other mystic agency. In addition to t h i s , the oracle i s u s u a l l y consulted on such matters as w i t c h c r a f t , sorcery and ghosts, and the information which i t y i e l d s r e f e r s to phenomena of which i t i t s e l f i s the sole evidence. I t s r e s u l t s therefore not only do not contradict experience, but deal with phenomena 50 which transcend d i r e c t sensory perception. I t must also be noted that the authority of the oracle i s sustained by the h i e r a r c h i c a l structure of Zande so c i e t y . A l l v e r d i c t s of the poison oracle are backed by the f u l l authority of the king, and the decisions of h i s oracles are beyond appeal. I f an appeal was permitted from the king's oracle to that of a commoner's, or i f there was no f i n a l deciding oracle, general confusion would ensue. Everybody would be able to claim v e r d i c t s i n support of h i s own point of view, and there would be no way of deciding between them. Thus i n a l l l e g a l disputes, the authority of the king safeguards the authority of the poison oracle, and so 51 prevents any serious challenge to i t s v e r a c i t y . -202- The Azande see the sense of the argument that i f one man i s proven a witch, then a l l of h i s clansmen must also be witches. They do not, however, accept i t s conclusion. In p r a c t i c e , they regard only the close paternal kin of a known witch as also being witches, and extend the imputa- ti o n to a l l of a witch's clansmen only i n theory. Further elaborations of t h e i r b e l i e f s enable them to escape from what we might regard as a l o g i c a l deduction from the pre- mise that w i t c h c r a f t i s transmitted by b i o l o g i c a l i n h e r i - tance. Thus, even i f a man i s proven to be a witch, h i s kinsmen may escape from the l o g i c a l consequence of t h i s discovery by denying any b i o l o g i c a l l i n k with him. They may say that the man i s not r e a l l y t h e i r kinsman but a bastard, and the brothers of a witch may even extract a confession of adultery from t h e i r mother i n order to prove t h e i r innocence. In addition to t h i s , the Azande do not see the contra- d i c t i o n as we see i t , because they have no t h e o r e t i c a l i n - t e r e s t i n the matter. Because a man has i n h e r i t e d witch- craft-substance does not n e c e s s a r i l y mean that he w i l l be- witch one. His witchcraft-substance may remain cool through- out the period of h i s l i f e , and w i l l therefore be of no i n - t e r e s t to anyone. For when a Zande i s i l l , he does not normally' think of the names of a l l the well-known witches i n the community and t h e i r paternal kinsmen. Rather, he asks himself who among h i s neighbours i s l i k e l y to bear him a grudge and then seeks to determine which one of them, on t h i s p a r t i c u l a r occasion, i s hurting him. "Azande are i n - terested s o l e l y i n the dynamics of wi t c h c r a f t i n p a r t i c u l a r - 2 0 3 - 52 s i t u a t i o n s . " This s t r u c t u r i n g of i n t e r e s t s means that the Azande do not confront what we perceive as being a con- t r a d i c t i o n . For they are not interested i n i d e n t i f y i n g a l l possible witches, but only i n whoever happens to be be- witching a p a r t i c u l a r person at a p a r t i c u l a r time. Some Azande say that a prince would not agree to con- s u l t the oracles on behalf of the k i n of a man who had died of vengeance magic, but would inform them that the man had died i n expiation of a crime. Some princes also asserted t h i s , although Evans-Pritchard considered that they were l y i n g and some Azande also expressed t h e i r doubts to him about the honesty of the princes i n t h i s matter. However, the s i l e n c e which the Azande keep about the victims of t h e i r vengeance magic means that i t i s impossible to t e l l one way or the other. For even i f a prince informed the r e l a t i v e s of a dea-d man that he had died as a r e s u l t of vengeance magic, t h i s would be a secret between him and them. And so that t h e i r neighbours should not know that t h e i r deceased kinsman had been a witch, h i s r e l a t i v e s would pretend that they were avenging his death. Consequently i f the kinsmen of A avenge h i s death by magic on B and then l e a r n that B's kinsmen have ceased mourning i n sign of having accomplished vengeance also, they believe that t h i s second vengeance i s a pretence. Contradiction i s thereby avoided.53 The f a c t that information i s never pooled concerning the names of the victims of vengeance magic, means that no con- t r a d i c t i o n faces the Azande i n t h i s sphere of t h e i r b e l i e f s . 204- We may therefore l i s t seven main reasons why the Azande continue to accept t h e i r b e l i e f s i n w i t c h c r a f t and the e f f i c a c y of magic, manifest i n the above examples: i . Magic and the oracles are mainly used against other mys- t i c powers, such as witchcraft and sorcery. Their action therefore transcends, and i s not e a s i l y contradicted by, experience. i i . Witchcraft, oracles and magic a l l explain each other. Death i s proof of w i t c h c r a f t . I t i s avenged by magic. The success of the vengeance magic i s proved by the poison o r a c l e . In t h i s way, these b e l i e f s form an i n t e l l e c t u a l l y coherent system. i i i . Contradictions between b e l i e f s are not noticed because they function i n d i f f e r e n t s i t u a t i o n s and are not therefore brought in t o opposition. i v . I ndividuals and kinship groups do not pool t h e i r knowl- edge. Thus the same death may represent the c l o s i n g of vengeance f o r one family, and the i n i t i a t i o n of i t f o r an- other. v. The king's oracle, and vengeance magic, are supported by p o l i t i c a l a u t h o r i t y . v i . Not being experimentally i n c l i n e d , the Azande do not seek to t e s t the e f f i c a c y of t h e i r oracles and magic. Thus the poison oracle i s tested only within the context of the b e l i e f s supporting i t s e f f i c a c y . v i i . Zande b e l i e f s are usually vaguely formulated and therefore cannot e a s i l y be shown to be contradicted by ex- perience or out of harmony with other b e l i e f s . v i i i . The f a i l u r e of any r i t e i s accounted f o r i n advance 205. by a v a r i e t y of mystical notions, such as that a taboo has been v i o l a t e d , or that w i t c h c r a f t or sorcery i s operative. Hence, the perception of er r o r i n one s i t u a t i o n serves only to prove the correctness of another equally mystical notion. In addition to these reasons, Evans-Pritchard has made a summary of the main reasons why, i n h i s opinion, the 54 Azande "... do not perceive the f u t i l i t y of t h e i r magic." These are: i . I t i s often observed that a medicine i s unsuccessful, but such observations are not generalized to include a l l medicines of the same type, s t i l l l e s s a l l magic. i i . Scepticism i s absorbed i n the system. I t i s l i m i t e d to ce r t a i n medicines and c e r t a i n witch-doctors. B e l i e f i n others i s supported by contrast. i i i . The r e s u l t s magic i s supposed to achieve are i n f a c t u s u a l l y r e a l i z e d . Vengeance magic i s followed by the death of a man, and animals are k i l l e d a f t e r hunting magic i s made. i v . The Zande i s born into a culture with ready-made pat- terns of b e l i e f which have the force of t r a d i t i o n to sup- port them. Many of these b e l i e f s are axiomatic and i t 55 never occurs to the Zande to question them. v. I n d i v i d u a l experience counts f o r l i t t l e against t h i s t r a d i t i o n . I f personal experience contradicts a b e l i e f , t h i s does refute the b e l i e f , but indicates only the pecu- l i a r i t y of the experience. v i . Magic i s used to secure events which are l i k e l y to hap- pen i n any case. Rain magic i s made i n the rainy season, -206- magic against r a i n i n the dry season. v i i . Magic i s not usually considered e s s e n t i a l f o r the suc- cess of an operation, hut i s regarded only as making the success greater. Thus a man w i l l catch many termites with- out using termite magic. v i i i . Magic i s not generally expected to produce an e f f e c t by i t s e l f , but i s associated with empirical action that does i n f a c t produce the e f f e c t sought. A man makes beer by approved methods of brewing, and uses magic only to hasten the brew, not i n place of i t . i x . The performance of magic may be required as a part of meeting c e r t a i n s o c i a l o b l i g a t i o n s . Por example, the per- formance of vengeance magic by the k i n of a deceased man i s required as a s o c i a l duty. x. Successful people, such as successful hunters, acquire a reputation f o r good magic, even i f they possess no medicines. x i . The objective knowledge of the Azande i s s t r i c t l y l i m i t e d . Thus they do not know that the p l a c i n g of a stone i n a tree cannot retard the sunset. Moreover, having no clocks, they cannot perceive t h i s f a c t . x i i . Myths, f o l k t a l e s and l o c a l i z e d s t o r i e s t e l l of the achievements of magic. x i i i . Most Zande medicines are imported from f o r e i g n peoples, whom the Azande think know much more about magic than they do. Foreign medicines are vouched f o r by the peoples who use them. x i v . The place occupied by the more important medicines i n a sequence of events means that they cannot be proved to be i n e f f i c a c i o u s . Vengeance magic i s made against unknown -207- witches. On the death of a man, the poison oracle i s con- sulted to see i f he died as a v i c t i m to the magic. I f , on the other hand, the oracle were f i r s t consulted to determine the witch responsible, and the magic was then made, i t s f a l - 56 laciousness; would soon become apparent. H. A C r i t i q u e of Evans-Pritchard Although more than t h i r t y years have passed since the p u b l i c a t i o n of Witchcraft. Oracles and Magic among the Azande, no more recent work may yet be sai d to have sup- planted i t i n importance i n i t s f i e l d . Indeed, the vast majority of s o c i a l anthropological studies of w i t c h c r a f t i n the period f o l l o w i n g the Second World War have done no more than apply themes and suggestions already contained i n the Zande study. This i s not to imply that the Zande study stands above c r i t i c i s m . Many of the themes i n i t , f o r example, remain i m p l i c i t , and there are no e x p l i c i t suggestions f o r f u r t h e r c r o s s - c u l t u r a l research. More s e r i o u s l y , the evidence on which Evans-Pritchard based his- generalizations; i s not always c l e a r , and a great deal of u s e f u l empirical data is; l a c k i n g . Thus, l i t t l e use i s made of the extended case study, and no s t a t i s t i c a l data i s ; provided on, f o r example, the frequency of witchcraft accusations between persons standing i n p a r t i c u l a r defined relationships;, or on the r e - l a t i o n s between witches, victims and accusers. In t h i s r e - spect, the Zande a n a l y s i s compares unfavourably even to Kluckhohn 1s study of the Navaho. Perhaps some of these c r i t i c i s m s come too e a s i l y , being akin to aecusing a s c i e n t i f i c innovator of not developing a l l -208- the possible applications of h i s own theory. These are, moreover, c r i t i c i s m s of p a r t i c u l a r s rather than of funda- mentals. A more fundamental c r i t i c i s m of Evans-Pritchard's methodological position i s contained i n the concluding chap- t e r to t h i s t h e s i s . -209- Notes and References 1. Gluckman, M., Custom and Conflict i n Africa, (Basil Blackwell, Oxford, 1965), P. 81. 2. Ibid., Pp. 81-2. Emphasis i n original. 3. Macfarlane, A., Witchcraft i n Tudor and Stuart England, (Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1970). 4. Polanyi, M., Personal Knowledge, (Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1958). 5. See Evans-Pritchard, E.E., "The Intellectualist (English) Interpretation of Magic", Bulletin of the Faculty of Arts, University of Egypt, Vol. I, Part II, (Dec. 1933), Pp. 149-82; "Levy-Bruhl's Theory of Primitive Mentality", Bulletin of the Faculty of Arts, University of Egypt, Vol. II, Part I, (May 1934), Pp. 1-36. 6. Ibid.. Peter Winch seems to have misread this essay as a polemic against Levy-Bruhl, to whom he incorrectly at- tributes a racist position concerning the intellectual capacities of primitives. It i s quite clear from the context of the section of this essay of Evans-Pritchard's which Winch quotes, that i t i s not formulated as a c r i - tique of Levy-Bruhl. Cf. Ibid., Pp. 20-1. See also, Ibid., P. 16, where Evans-Pritchard states explicitly that Levy-Bruhl rejected the racist thesis concerning the determinants of intelligence, and makes i t clear that Levy-Bruhl*^ problem was precisely why people who are quite obviously so intelligent in some respects should accept beliefs that are so absurd (one of the questions Evans-Pritchard himself sought to answer i n his study of the Azande). Of course, Evans-Pritchard makes some searching criticisms of Levy-Bruhl*s theories, in the course of this essay. These criticisms are, how- ever, of a quite different order from those imagined by Winch. See Winch, P., "Understanding a Primitive Society", American Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. I, No. 4, (Oct. 1964), Pp. 307-8. 210- 7. The distinction which Evans-Pritchard draws between "mystic" patterns of thought (i.e . , those that attribute supra-sensible and non-existent qualities to phenomena), and "non-mystic" thought patterns (based on empirical observation and logical inference), derives directly from Levy-Bruhl. Evans-Pritchard, E.E., Witchcraft. Oracles and Magic among the Azande, (Oxford University Press, London, 1937), P. 12. 8. Ibid., P. 4. 9. Ibid., P. 5. 10. Ibid.. 11. See Pp. 22-7 of this thesis. 12. Evans-Pritchard, E.E., Witchcraft..., op. c i t . , P. 63. 13. Ibid., Pp. 63-4. 14. Ibid., P. 66. 15. Quoted i n Gluckman, M., Custom and Conflict..., op. c i t . , P. 85. 16. Levi-Strauss, C , The Savage Mind, (Weidenfeld & Nicholson, London, 1966), P. 11. 17. Evans-Pritchard, E.E., Witchcraft..., op. c i t . , P. 74. 18. Ibid., P. 76. 19. Ibid.. Pp. 148-82. 20. Ibid.. P. 367. 21. Ibid., Pp. 359-74. 22. Ibid., Pp. 352-7. 23. Ibid., Pp. 262-3. -211- 24. I b i d . . Pp. 258-351. 25. I b i d . . Pp. 84-98. 26. I b i d . t Pp. 26-9. 27. I b i d . . P. 438. 28. I b i d . t Pp. 438-9. 29. Such a view was, of course, consistent with the tendency to view primitive magic as a system founded on deceit and fraud. See Tylor, E.B., Primitive Culture. (John Murray, London, 1920), Vol. I, Pp. 133-4; Prazer, J.G., The Golden Bough, abridged ed., (Macmillan & Co. Ltd., London, 1960), Vol. I, P. 60. 30. Evans-Pritchard, E.E., Witchcraft..., op. c i t . , Pp. 100-1. 31. I b i d . , Pp. 102-3. 32. I b i d . , Pp. 104-5. 33. I b i d . , P. 105. 34. Marwick has attempted to give t h i s suggestion a quasi- mathematical formulation. Between c e r t a i n s t r u c t u r a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s , tension e x i s t s , which i s released i n the form of witchcraft accusations where witch b e l i e f s exist and where alt e r n a t i v e means of expressing tension are not preferred or are non-existent. This tension (T) i s conceptualized as a function ( f ) of the value placed upon objects competed f o r (V), the extent to which the r e l a t i o n s h i p requires t o t a l involvement of personality (P), and the extent to which the r e l a t i o n s h i p i s t r a d i - t i o n a l l y ascribed, f o r example by norms pertaining to s o c i a l distance (C). This y i e l d s the formula, Marwick, M., "Some Problems i n the Sociology of Sorcery and Witchcraft", i n Fortes, M. and Dieterlen, G. (eds.), -212- Afr i c a n Systems of Thought. (Oxford University Press, London, 1965), Pp. 172-3. 35. Evans-Pritchard, E.E., Witchcraft.... op. c i t . . P. 105, 1967). 37. Evans- 184-5. -Pritchard, E 38. I b i d . • P. 186. 39. Ibid., P- 184. 40. Ibid., , P. 195. 41. Ibid., , P. 191. 42. Ibid., , P. 373. 43. Ibid., P. 427. 44. Ibid., P. 313. 45. Ibid., P. 193. 46. Ibid., Pp. 330-•35. 47. Ibid., Pp. 330-•1. 48. Ibid., Pp. 314-15. 49. Ibid., Pp. 339-•40. 50. Ibid., Pp. 342- 3. 51. Ibid., Pp. 343- 4. 52. Ibid., P. 26. 53. Ibid., P. 29. 54. Ibid., P. 475. -213- 55. Evans-Pritchard has recently reformulated this idea. Writing more generally of the collective representations of "closed societies", he says: "Everyone has the same sort of religious beliefs and practices, and their generality, or c o l l e c t i v i t y , gives them an objectivity which places them over and above the psychological ex- perience of any individual, or indeed of a l l individuals. ... Apart from positive and negative sanctions, the mere fact that religion i s general means, again in a closed society, that i t i s obligatory, for even i f there i s no coercion, a man has no option but to accept what every- body gives assent to, because he has no choice, any more than of what language he speaks. Even were he to be a sceptic, he could express his doubts only in terms of the beliefs held by a l l around him." Evans-Pritchard, E.E., Theories of Primitive Religion, (Oxford University Press, London, 1965), P. 55. 56. Evans-Pritchard, E.E., Witchcraft..., op. c i t . , Pp. 475-8. CHAPTER EIGHT KLUCKHOHN*S ANALYSIS OF NAVAHO WITCHCRAFT A. Introduction Clyde Kluckhohn*s study of Navaho w i t c h c r a f t was f i r s t published i n 1944, thus f o l l o w i n g the p u b l i c a t i o n of Evans- Prit c h a r d * s Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic among the Azande (1937), by f u l l y seven years. Yet Kluckhohn shows no sign of having read Evans-Pritchard *s work, which he nowhere r e - f e r s t o . His i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , therefore, stands c l o s e r to Malinowski*s f u n c t i o n a l a n a lysis of magic as c a t h a r t i c f o r tension release, than to Evans-Pritchard*s s t r u c t u r a l i s m . Moreover, even had he been f a m i l i a r with Evans- Pritchard*s study, i t i s improbable that Kluckhohn would have i n any fundamental way a l t e r e d the substance of h i s approach, f o r although he knew the writings of the con- t r i b u t o r s to the Armee Sociologique, and of A.R. R a d c l i f f e - Brown, he remained unsympathetic to the p r o j e c t of estab- l i s h i n g an autonomous, non-reductionist sociology. For him, culture always remained an a b s t r a c t i o n . The r e a l u n i t of study was the sconcrete human i n d i v i d u a l . Thus he wrote that, ... the French s o c i o l o g i s t s , Radcliffe-Brown, and - to a l e s s e r extent - Malinowski are so i n t e r e s t - ed i n formulating the r e l a t i o n s be- tween conceptual elements that they tend to lose sight of the concrete human organisms.... the motivations -215- and rewards which persons f e e l are l o s t s i g h t of ... Hence, as D o l l a r d says, "What one sees from the c u l - t u r a l angle i s a drama of l i f e much l i k e a puppet show i n which • c u l t u r e 1 i s p u l l i n g the s t r i n g s from behind the scenes." The r e a l i z a t i o n that we are r e a l l y dealing with "animals s t r u g g l i n g i n r e a l dilemmas" i s l a c k i n g . 1 Por t h i s reason, i n place of explanation on a socio- c u l t u r a l l e v e l , Kluckhohn tended to prefer psycho-analytic i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s , even i f these were sometimes (as i n the case of Eoheim) "extravagant and u n d i s c i p l i n e d " , or based 2 on f l i m s y evidence. Por, whatever t h e i r inadequacies, the psycho-analytic works at l e a s t had the merit of drawing attention to "... the connection between c u l t u r a l forms and impul se-mo t i va te d o rgani sms." ^ KLuckhohn's work therefore f a l l s within the t r a d i t i o n of the American "culture and p e r s o n a l i t y " school, together with that of such other writers as Benedict, Margaret Mead, Eardiner, Erikson and Wallace. As a r e s u l t of t h i s i n t e - r e s t , KLuckhohn's work has had l i t t l e influence i n B r i t i s h anthropology, which has shown l i t t l e concern f o r i n t e r - r e l a t i n g the phenomena of psyche and society, e s p e c i a l l y i n the period f o l l o w i n g World War I I . Thus, although often referre d to, KLuckhohn's ideas are r a r e l y discussed i n depth. Marwick would seem to express the general a t t i t u d e of most B r i t i s h anthropologists to the "culture and per- s o n a l i t y " approach when he dismisses the relevance of KLuckhohn's theory of Navaho w i t c h c r a f t with the comment that, 216- ... since i t i s concerned with, the dynamics of i n d i v i d u a l behaviour, i . e . with the manner i n which a hu- man personality generates, converts, and disposes of aggression, i t i s a psychological theory l a r g e l y i r r e l e - vant to the problems of s o c i o l o g i c a l a n a l y s i s . 5 Such a r e j e c t i o n i s , I believe, ov e r - s i m p l i s t i c , f o r Kluckhohn did not o f f e r us a psychological theory only. As Middleton points out, he also showed, together with Evans- Pritchard, "... that b e l i e f s i n magic and witchcraft are i n t e g r a l parts of c u l t u r a l l i f e and can therefore be under- stood only i n t h e i r t o t a l s o c i a l context." Kluckhohn•s analysis does encompass a psychological theory, but i t s ambit i s broader than t h i s alone. For, as a study i n the i n t e r r e l a t i o n s of psyche and society, i t does not seek to reduce one l e v e l to the other, but also includes elements of a s o c i o l o g i c a l theory. Kluckhohn therefore operates on two l e v e l s : the s o c i o l o g i c a l and the psychological. B. The S o c i a l i z a t i o n of Witch B e l i e f s The anthropologists of the nineteenth century sought to explain the ori g i n s of magical and r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f . With Levy-Bruhl, Rivers and Evans-Pritchard, these b e l i e f s came to be treated as given, and examined only i n t h e i r structure and i n t h e i r r e l a t i o n to s o c i e t i e s of a p a r t i c u - l a r type. Of these two divergent t r a d i t i o n s of research, Kluckhohn stands closer to the f i r s t than to the second. He considered witchcraft b e l i e f s to be " i r r a t i o n a l " , and to stand i n need of an explanation he apparently did not think i t necessary to give to our own i n t e l l e c t u a l structures. 217- He d i f f e r e d from the pro g r e s s i o n i s t s , however, i n seeking to found t h i s explanation not on an evolutionary theory and a s i m p l i s t i c a s s o c i a t i o n a l psychology, but i n terms of a model based on a s i t u a t i o n a l psycho-analytic i n t e r p r e t a t i o n and a theory of s o c i o l o g i c a l functionalism. Kluckhohn began by asking to what extent the ea r l y experiences of the Navaho c h i l d could be used to a f f o r d an explanation f o r the existence of Navaho witch b e l i e f s . He suggested that, The c h i l d , even before he i s f u l l y responsive to ve r b a l i z a t i o n s , begins to get a picture of experience as p o t e n t i a l l y menacing. He sees h i s parents, and other elders, confess to t h e i r impotence to deal with various matters by technological or other r a t i o n a l means i n that they r e s o r t to exoteric prayers, songs and magical observances and to es o t e r i c r i t e s . When he has been l i n g u i s t i c a l l y s o c i a l i z e d , he hears the hushed gossip of witchcraft and learns that there are ce r t a i n f e l l o w tribesmen whom h i s family suspect and f e a r . One s p e c i a l experience of ea r l y childhood which may be of con- siderable importance occurs during t o i l e t t r a i n i n g . When the toddler goes with h i s mother or with older s i s t e r to defecate or urinate, a c e r t a i n uneasiness which they mani- f e s t ( i n most cases) about the con- cealment of the waste matter can hardly f a i l to become communicated to the c h i l d . The mother, who has been seen not only as a prime source of g r a t i f i c a t i o n but also as an a l - most omnipotent person, i s now r e - vealed as h e r s e l f a f r a i d , at the -218- mercy of threatening f o r c e s . Other e a r l y experiences also predispose the c h i l d to the acceptance of witch c r a f t b e l i e f s . The Navaho c h i l d i s frequently i l l , and often witnesses i l l n e s s and s u f f e r i n g on the part of others. Because of an inadequate d i e t , a lack of s k i l l s f o r dealing with European-introduced d i s - eases, and draughty hogans, the Navaho have a morbidity rate higher than that c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of t y p i c a l white com-g munities. Hunger i s also an early experience. Few Navahos reach adulthood without having experienced starva- t i o n f o r short periods, and hunger r a t i o n s f o r long periods. Since such p r i v a t i o n s occur even when people work hard and s k i l f u l l y , n... i t i s small wonder that experience has a 9 capricious and malevolent component f o r most Navahos. n Kluckhohn recognizes, however, the objection which im- mediately springs to. mind against t h i s argument: that there i s nothing i n the experiences c i t e d which need serve as a conditioning mechanism s p e c i f i c to the implantation of witchc r a f t b e l i e f s (with the possible exception of faeces and urine concealment). Such conditions might reasonably be expected to give r i s e to some sort of b e l i e f i n male- volent or dangerous f o r c e s . But these could as w e l l be ghost or s p i r i t b e l i e f s , b e l i e f s associated with taboo i n - f r a c t i o n s , or perhaps even b a c t e r i o l o g i c a l theories, as be- l i e f s i n the existence of witches. To go, therefore, be- yond the demonstration of the existence of a m i l i e u favour- able to the perpetuation of b e l i e f s i n a malevolent com- ponent of r e a l i t y , to a demonstration of why i t i s witch- c r a f t b e l i e f s i n p a r t i c u l a r which are perpetuated, i t i s -219- necessary to c i t e other causative influences besides the ea r l y experiences of the Navaho c h i l d . Kluckhohn considers that t h i s may be done by systematically examining "... the contributions which the wi t c h c r a f t pattern assemblage makes to the maintenance of personal and s o c i a l e q u i l i b r i u m . " 1 ^ C. Kluckhohn*s Functionalism To Kluckhohn*s mind, the most important question with which we are faced i n r e l a t i o n to Navaho w i t c h c r a f t b e l i e f s , 11 i s why i t i s that these b e l i e f s have continued to survive. In seeking to answer t h i s question, he started from the basic premise (which was also that of Malinowski), that "... no c u l t u r a l forms survive unless they constitute r e s - ponses which are adjustive or adaptive, i n some sense, f o r the members of the society or f o r the society considered as 12 a perduring u n i t . " "Adaptive" i s a purely descriptive term r e f e r r i n g to the f a c t that c e r t a i n types of behaviour r e s u l t i n s u r v i v a l ( f o r the i n d i v i d u a l or f o r society as a whole). "Adjust!ve" r e f e r s to those responses which b r i n g about an adjustment of the i n - d i v i d u a l , which remove the motiva- t i o n stimulating the i n d i v i d u a l . Thus suicide i s adjustive but not adaptive. 13 Kluckhohn therefore analyses witchcraft b e l i e f s as fun c t i o n a l on two l e v e l s : that of the i n d i v i d u a l , and that of s o c i e t y . To t h i s basic d i s t i n c t i o n between s o c i a l and psychic functions, Kluckhohn adds a second: that between 14 manifest and l a t e n t functions. Thus we are presented with an ana l y s i s of four types of function of Navaho witch- -220- c r a f t b e l i e f : i . manifest i n d i v i d u a l i i . manifest s o c i a l i i i . l a t e n t i n d i v i d u a l i v . l a t e n t s o c i a l D. The Individu a l Functions of Navaho Witchcraft The p r a c t i c e o f Navaho witc h c r a f t was seen by Kluckhohn as; having one manifest function on the i n d i v i d u a l l e v e l : that of ac q u i r i n g supernatural power. Witchcraft i s a means which enables i t s p r a c t i t i o n e r to gain; wealth; and women, dispose of enemies, and "be mean". For those per- sons seeking supernatural power, witchcraft presents an a l t e r n a t i v e route to that provided by the s o c i a l l y approved p r a c t i c e of becoming a "singer" (ceremonial p r a c t i t i o n e r ) . I f a person i s unable to become a singer because of a lack of the fees necessary/ to pay a teacher, or because of am inadequate memory, wi t c h c r a f t i s a v a i l a b l e a s an antidote 15 to d eprivation. Most of the data concerning Navaho wi t c h c r a f t , how- ever, r e l a t e s not to the pr a c t i c e of i t , but to the b e l i e f s of others? concerning i t s p r a c t i c e . What, then, are the manifest i n d i v i d u a l f u n c t i o n s of these b e l i e f s ? The f i r s t f u nction suggested by Kluckhohn i s that w i t c h c r a f t s t o r i e s have a high dramatic; value and, as a r e s u l t , p a r t l y take the place which books, magazines, f i l m s , and plays GDcxsupy i n our soc i e t y . Secondly, w i t c h c r a f t b e l i e f s have an explanatory func- t i o n . They explain howv death can oecur without v i s i b l e cause, and why a person should be s u f f e r i n g from: a stubborn i l l n e s s . More s p e c i f i c a l l y , w i t c h c r a f t b e l i e f s help to re i n f o r c e the i n d i v i d u a l Navaho*s credence im the e f f i c a c y -221- of the curing ceremonials. I f a chant has been performed f l a w l e s s l y by a singer of great reputation, but neverthe- l e s s f a i l s to cure, a Navaho s t i l l need not question the v a l i d i t y of the chant. A c u l t u r a l l y acceptable explanation of i t s f a i l u r e to cure l i e s ready at hand: the i l l n e s s was caused by w i t c h c r a f t , and i t i s f o r t h i s reason that the chant has proved i n e f f i c a c i o u s . This l i n e of reasoning gives an obvious excuse to a singer who has f a i l e d i n h i s task, since the best cure f o r w i t c h c r a f t i s not a chant, 16 but a prayer ceremonial. Since acculturated Navahos t y p i c a l l y continue to accept w i t c h c r a f t b e l i e f s long a f t e r they have l o s t a l l f a i t h i n Navaho medicine, however, the explanatory func- tions of Navaho wi t c h c r a f t were not considered by Kluckhohn to constitute s u f f i c i e n t explanation f o r t h e i r persistence. Why, he asked, should these b e l i e f s show such tenacity i n sur v i v i n g "... at the expense of more r a t i o n a l modes of 17 explanation?". To understand t h i s tenacity, he consider- ed i t necessary to examine the l a t e n t functions of witch- c r a f t f o r the i n d i v i d u a l . The f i r s t l a t e n t function suggested by Kluckhohn i s that claims of bewitchment can serve as a device f o r g e t t i n g a t t e n t i o n by c a p i t a l i z i n g on the credence of fellow b e l i e v e r s . As such, t h i s device might reasonably be ex- pected to be employed more often by those occupying a low p o s i t i o n i n the s o c i a l hierarchy. According to Kluckhohn, t h i s supposition i s i n f a c t confirmed by the evidence: a high proportion of those who f a i n t or go i n t o trances at "squaw dances" or other large gatherings are women, or men -222- who are neglected or of low s o c i a l status. The r i c h and powerful, on the other hand, tend to have bewitchment an- nounced, or discovered by a diagnostician, i n the privacy 18 of t h e i r own homes. Kluckhohn saw t h i s function of w i t c h c r a f t b e l i e f s i n the Navaho context as also being consistent with material reported from other c u l t u r e s . For example, among the Tanala of Madagascar i t i s only those of low s o c i a l stand- ing, such as younger sons or s t e r i l e second wives, who are subject to tromba (a neurotic seizure accompanied by ex- treme desire to dance). A s i m i l a r phenomenon i s reported f o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n c e r t a i n trance states i n B a l i . Also consistent with t h i s i s the f a c t that, i n Kluckhohn's opinion, New England and European witch t r i a l s were often started by p u b l i c i t y seekers, while " I t i s probable that i n the South f r u s t r a t e d women make up a considerable pro- 19 portion of the accusations which get Negroes lynched." The second l a t e n t i n d i v i d u a l function assigned by Kluckhohn to Navaho witch c r a f t , i s that of providing a s o c i a l l y acceptable channel f o r the expression of the c u l - t u r a l l y disallowed, thus permitting c e r t a i n aberrant im- pulses to achieve a release i n fantasy. A man might, of course, day-dream about having intercourse with a dead wo- man, but he would be l i k e l y to worry about the abnormality of t h i s kind of fantasy and f e e l the immediate necessity of having the B l e s s i n g Way sung over him. But i f the fantasy takes the form of repeating or manufacturing a w i t c h c r a f t t a l e i n v o l v i n g t h i s element, or v i s u a l i z i n g i t while l i s t e n i n g to someone else t e l l the story, the psychological - 2 2 3 - mechanisms of i d e n t i f i c a t i o n and pr o j e c t i o n can permit an 20 o u t l e t i n fantasy without c o n f l i c t . T h i r d l y - and here we come to perhaps the most impor- tant section of Kluckhohn*s analysis - i s the function assigned to w i t c h c r a f t b e l i e f s of permitting the expression °f d i r e c t and displaced antagonisms. This i s not to sug- gest that Kluckhohn saw w i t c h c r a f t b e l i e f s as providing the only possible way of handling the problem of aggression i n Navaho s o c i e t y : Fights occur; aggression i s express- ed against dead r e l a t i v e s as ghosts ... But i f myths and r i t u a l s provide the p r i n c i p a l means of sublimating the Navaho i n d i v i d u a l ' s a n t i - s o c i a l tendencies, w i t c h c r a f t provides one of the p r i n c i p a l l y s o c i a l l y under- stood means of expressing them. 2 1 Witchcraft accusations, i n other words, o b j e c t i f y and a l l e v i a t e displaced anxieties which a r i s e from the general s i t u a t i o n of the Navaho, and from the s p e c i a l s i t u a t i o n of p a r t i c u l a r Navahos at p a r t i c u l a r times. According to Kluckhohn, a l l Navahos f e e l personal i n s e c u r i t i e s , and must therefore, according to the evidence of c l i n i c a l psy- chology and psychiatry, be expected to manifest h o s t i l i t i e s 22 against others. What, then, are the sources of these i n - s e c u r i t i e s ? I l l h e alth i s a major source of worry to the Navaho, not only to the i n d i v i d u a l who f a l l s i l l , but also to the members of h i s or her household, who must perform addi- t i o n a l tasks as well as pay f o r the appropriate curing ceremonies. I l l h e alth i s therefore productive of tensions, -224- and probably of unconscious antagonisms. In addition to t h i s , there are economic hazards. Lightning may destroy a r e l a t i v e or a part of one's stock, f r o s t may ru i n a crop, and r a i n may come at the wrong season. Recent population growth, with attendant over- grazing, has f u r t h e r increased these hazards, which often give r i s e to r e a l hunger. Moreover, there i s the pressure exerted on the Navaho by white s o c i e t y . The increase of both Navaho and white populations over the past generation has i n t e n s i f i e d the impact of the whites, who have encroached on lands needed by the Navaho themselves f o r expansion. The a c t i v i t i e s of Indian Service representatives and of other whites operat- i n g within Navaho t e r r i t o r y have also i n t e n s i f i e d . Each new school generation faces a l a r g e r problem of compromis- in g between the demands of the two c u l t u r e s . As a r e s u l t of t h i s , ... the Navaho have come to f e e l themselves i n an acutely uncomfort- able s i t u a t i o n . Indifference and withdrawal are no longer e f f e c t i v e responses. They know they must de- velop some su i t a b l e form of com- promise with our c i v i l i z a t i o n . At the moment they f e e l themselves ex- p l o i t e d , surrounded by more powerful forc e s , "on the s p o t " . 2 , 3 These objective hazards thus make f o r personal i n s e - c u r i t y , and therefore f o r the i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n of i n t e r - personal c o n f l i c t s . But the basis f o r these reactions of h o s t i l i t y i s not r e s t r i c t e d to external conditions. Por, although external conditions create an atmosphere conducive -225- to s o c i a l mistrust, the actual centring of h o s t i l e f e e l i n g s upon other persons i s accentuated by the Navaho world view i t s e l f . The Navaho world view, i n c l u d i n g Navaho mythology, proclaims that the active forces operative i n the world are capricious and a c t i v e l y malevolent. These malevolent forces strongly tend to be personalized, both as ghosts and as witches. To the r e a l i s t i c dangers they confront, there- fore, the Navaho react with fears - reactions dispropor- 24 tionate to the dangers f a c i n g them. The dangers con- fronted are not conceived of as operating n e u t r a l l y , and as therefore being avoidable or subject to r a t i o n a l manipula- t i o n . The j o i n t e f f e c t of the Navahos 1 objective situation, coupled with the ideology i n terms of which they structure r e a l i t y , i s to induce strong f e e l i n g s of personal i n s e - c u r i t y and therefore to generate h o s t i l e impulses towards others. These h o s t i l e impulses must f i n d an o u t l e t , or they w i l l be turned inwards to threaten the aggressor him- 25 s e l f , l e ading to varying degrees of p a r a l y s i s of a c t i o n . No society can survive i n which the expression of hos- t i l i t i e s i s not r e s t r i c t e d and channelled. But, on the other hand, unless there are some forms of hating which are s o c i a l l y approved, everyone w i l l remain i n an i n t o l e r a b l e c o n f l i c t s i t u a t i o n and neuroticism w i l l be endemic i n the population. This i s not to say that aggression, whether overt or masked, i s the only possible response. With- drawal, p a s s i v i t y , sublimation and c o n c i l i a t i o n are also possible mechanisms f o r dealing with the s i t u a t i o n : I t would be too much to say that a l l s o c i e t i e s must n e c e s s a r i l y have t h e i r "witches", I.e., persons whom i t i s -226- proper to fear and hate and, under defined circumstances, to behave aggressively toward. "Witches" are not very prominent i n the sentiment systems of some s o c i e t i e s . But no culture which has yet been described leaves "witches" out of i t s d e f i n i - t i o n of the s i t u a t i o n f o r every sec- tor of l i f e or f o r every group within the s o c i e t y . "Witches" i n t h i s very general sense of "scapegoats" have probably played some part i n a l l s o c i a l structures since P a l a e o l i t h i c times. Most contemporary European s o c i e t i e s feature such witches quite o b t r u s i v e l y . These "witches" may be e i t h e r a minority within the society or an external s o c i e t y . Thus the Nazis have had the Jews, the F a s c i s t s have t h e i r Communists and t h e i r " p l u - t o c r a t i c democracies"; " l i b e r a l s " have the J e s u i t s (and vice versa). For a period of time the French had the Germans. To make the broadest possible s t r u c t u r a l comparison, Navahos blame t h e i r troubles on witches instead of upon "jews" or "niggers". We should be p u t t i n g the matter over simply but not altogether i n c o r r e c t l y i f we said that a b e l i e f i n witc h c r a f t was Navaho culture's substitute f o r "race pre- j u d i c e " . . . . But i n place of s e l e c t i n g i t s "scapegoats" by the color of t h e i r skin or by t h e i r separate r e - l i g i o u s t r a d i t i o n or by t h e i r occupa- t i o n , Navaho culture chooses c e r t a i n i n d i v i d u a l s who are supposed to work e v i l by secret supernatural tech- niques. 2^ The existence of a u n i v e r s a l pattern of scapegoating does not, of course, provide a s u f f i c i e n t explanation of the -227- p a r t i c u l a r c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of Navaho w i t c h c r a f t . For the existence of a high incidence of h o s t i l e impulses does not ne c e s s a r i l y mean that the overt expression of aggression need be e s p e c i a l l y common. The Navaho, i n f a c t , have many other ways of handling h o s t i l e impulses. There i s , f o r example, a high incidence of hypochondria. There i s also the " f l i g h t from r e a l i t y " represented by the consumption of alcohol and, i n Kluckhohn*s opinion, the use of peyote. P a s s i v i t y and s o c i a l withdrawal are also a v a i l a b l e responses, and patterns f o r the r e c o n c i l i a t i o n of i n d i v i d u a l s who have quarrelled also e x i s t . Thus a dispute between two close r e l a t i v e s may be brought to a close by the attendance of one at a ceremonial sponsored by the other. More d i r e c t o u t l e t s f o r aggression e x i s t i n the form of verbal c o n f l i c t s , gossip and drunken f i g h t s . Central to Kluckhohn*s t h e s i s , however, i s the argument that none of these mechanisms i s s u f f i c i e n t to handle e x i s t i n g h o s t i l e impulses. Thus, while peyote i s popular i n r e s t r i c t e d areas, i t s use i s strongly opposed by the Indian Service and also c o n f l i c t s with the native r e l i g i o n . S i m i l a r l y , the use of alcohol i s sharply c u r t a i l e d by Indian and white p o l i c e . I t i s therefore not a v a i l a b l e on a ready basis except to those Navahos who l i v e i n close proximity to white boot- leggers. S o c i a l withdrawal, on the other hand, i s not an e f f e c t i v e response because of the nature of Navaho types of shelt e r and the necessity of economic co-operation. There are strong p r o h i b i t i o n s against the overt ex- pression of aggression, which i s excused only i n cases of drunken f i g h t s . The helplessness of people i n a scattered -228- and poorly p o l i c e d society makes the playing down of overt aggression a hi g h l y adjustive response. Moreover, those against whom aggressive f e e l i n g s are most l i k e l y to he har- boured are the members of one*s own consumption group, with whom economic co-operation i s most necessary. Given the slim margin of subsistence, pressures on the i n d i v i d u a l to co-operate with h i s a f f i n a l and consanguineal k i n are very strong and d i f f i c u l t to r e s i s t . In addition to t h i s , the small s i z e and r e l a t i v e i s o l a t i o n of the consumption group was considered by Kluckhohn to be an extremely important f a c t o r . Often very small, ranging i n s i z e from two to s i x households, and situated at l e a s t one mile and often close to ten miles from other consumption groups, these permit only a very l i m i t e d range of s o c i a l contacts. Interaction with outsiders being thus l i m i t e d , the r e s u l t i s n... a strong tendency toward involvement i n a morbid nexus of emotional s e n s i t i v i t i e s from which there i s l i t t l e escape 27 through s o c i a l l y approved p a t t e r n s y Whites have added enormously to the sources of ag- gression i n Navaho society, but have supplied only one out- l e t f o r tension release: a l c o h o l . The general tendency of whites has been towards the prevention of aggression r e - l e a s e . This i s not only the case with the taking of peyote and the consumption of alc o h o l , but i s also true f o r the overt expression of h o s t i l e impulses. In the ol d days, i f a man beat h i s wife she might leave him, or he might have to pay a f i n e to her family. Today, he might also have to spend several months i n gaol. E s p e c i a l l y important i s the f a c t that the o u t l e t of -229- war has heen cut o f f . Por several centuries, warfare was an exceedingly important part of Navaho c u l t u r e . Now, f o r two generations, access to war has been denied, except to those few Navaho men who choose to j o i n the U.S. Army. In Kluckhohn*s opinion, "With organized e x t r a - s o c i e t a l ag- gression denied, i t seems probable that i n t r a - s o c i e t a l ag- gression has mounted." 2® Taking a l l these f a c t o r s i n t o account, Kluckhohn 1s conclusion was that w i t c h c r a f t represents an eminently ad- jus t i v e c u l t u r a l s o l u t i o n to the problem posed to Navaho i n d i v i d u a l s by h o s t i l e impulses. Thus, instead of d i r e c t l y expressing h i s b i t t e r f e e l i n g s towards h i s father-in-law, threatening h i s own economic s e c u r i t y and i n c u r r i n g s o c i a l disapproval by doing so, a Navaho man may vent h i s spleen against a t o t a l l y unrelated witch. He w i l l be r e l a t i v e l y safe i f he i s c a r e f u l i n h i s choice of intimates to whom he speaks, and p e r f e c t l y safe i f he rages against a witch who l i v e s i n a l o c a l i t y a hundred miles or more away. According to Kluckhohn, a high proportion of gossip r e f e r s to d i s t a n t witches, t h i s making Navaho w i t c h c r a f t much more adaptive than i s w i t c h c r a f t i n those s o c i e t i e s , l i k e the Zuni, where accusations are centred within the l o c a l group. A witch who i s seen only r a r e l y , or perhaps even never, i s s u f f i c i e n t l y d i s t a n t to make the o r i g i n of feuds u n l i k e l y . Most Navaho wi t c h c r a f t gossip, then, i s 29 directed against out-group members. There i s , however, also some gossip and accusation of w i t c h c r a f t directed against in-group members. Kluckhohn's suggestion was that t h i s i s explained by the f a c t that the 230- g r a t i f i c a t i o n s derived from gossiping about a witch l i v i n g i n a distant l o c a l i t y are too d i l u t e to be deeply s a t i s f y - i n g . Sometimes, there may even be s o c i a l l y sanctioned p h y s i c a l aggression expressed against an in-group member. The f a c t that the k i l l i n g of witches i s uniformly described as v i o l e n t l y s a d i s t i c suggests that these acts gained huge increments of displaced aggression.... d i r e c t aggression among the Navaho, whether verbal or behavioral, seems commonly accom- panied by displaced aggression. Quarrels have a fu r y that i s often r i d i c u l o u s l y out of proportion to the alleged grievance.'" Kluckhohn did not, however, hold the opinion that those accused of being witches are always the victims of scape- goating processes. Sometimes, accusations of witch c r a f t may be made against the actual targets of h o s t i l e f e e l i n g s . A singer may whisper accusations against a pr o f e s s i o n a l r i v a l . A wealthy neighbour might be gossiped about as be- ing a witch. I f a man's wife runs o f f with another man, the j i l t e d husband might explain t h i s by saying that h i s r i v a l used Frenzy Witchcraft. Peuds between extended family groups over land and water r i g h t s may also be formulated i n terms of wi t c h c r a f t accusations. Kluckhohn gives one example where a l o c a l group complained to the Indian agent about the drinking and f i g h t i n g of i t s neighbours. The neighbours responded by threatening to k i l l an old man of the opposing group f o r being a witch. Navahos sometimes also gossip cautiously against c e r t a i n r e l a t i v e s , such as the maternal uncle, and e s p e c i a l l y against a f f i n e s . This -231- i s e s p e c i a l l y true of women who are forced to l i v e with t h e i r husbands* k i n * In the reverse case, of u x o r i l o c a l residence, the husband has frequent excuses to leave h i s a f f i n e s and v i s i t h i s own fa m i l y . A woman r e s i d i n g v i r i - l o c a l l y , on the other hand, does not have t h i s option open to her, since she i s required to cook f o r her husband and care f o r her c h i l d r e n . In such cases, the wife develops incre a s i n g antagonisms towards her a f f i n e s . One of the few ways i n which she can discharge these antagonisms i s by murmuring w i t c h c r a f t accusations, against her a f f i n e s , to her own blood r e l a t i v e s . ^ 1 According to. Kluckhohn, two important psychological mechanisms are operative i n t h i s process of r e l e a s i n g tensions through gossip about w i t c h c r a f t : i d e n t i f i c a t i o n and p r o j e c t i o n . By i d e n t i f y i n g with the witch-aggressor, the gossip may discharge h i s or her own di s p o s i t i o n s t o- wards c r u e l t y . And by a t t r i b u t i n g to others the aggressive f e e l i n g s which are i n f e l t those of the gossip himself, r e - l i e f may be obtained from f e e l i n g s of g u i l t . The fear of r e t a l i a t i o n i s expressed and o b j e c t i f i e d . As Kluckhohn himself puts i t , Witchcraft t a l e s , gossip and accusa- tions supply, then, a r e a d i l y a v a i l - able means of co v e r t l y expressing aggression and of o b j e c t i f y i n g fears consequent upon one's own aggres- sions whether overt, symbolic or r e - pressed. Folk b e l i e f channels these fan t a s i e s into w i t c h c r a f t patterns and documents them with c u l t u r a l l y appropriate details.32 Kluckhohn*s analysis of wit c h c r a f t accusation and -232- gossip as providing a means f o r the release of h o s t i l e im- pulses was not, however, confined within the parameters of a model d e f i n i n g w i t c h c r a f t as a mechanism providing an o u t l e t only f o r those tensions consequent on Navaho condi- tions of l i f e i n general. He also argued that w i t c h c r a f t affords a canalized r e l i e f f o r the s p e c i a l i z e d tensions which are a product of Navaho s o c i a l structure and c u l - t u r a l configurations. Thus he addressed himself to the question of why i t i s that the k i l l i n g of s i b l i n g s i s so often mentioned i n descriptions of w i t c h c r a f t , as the p r i c e of i n i t i a t i o n f o r example. His suggestion was that t h i s may he explained by reference to the process of s o c i a l i z a t i o n . Kluckhohn began by suggesting that s i b l i n g r i v a l r y i s caused by the f a c t that new-born childre n displace t h e i r brothers and s i s t e r s from t h e i r previous p o s i t i o n as the centre of a f f e c t i o n , thus generating h o s t i l e impulses. Secondly, because of the large s i z e of Navaho f a m i l i e s , s i b l i n g s are responsible f o r the s o c i a l i z a t i o n of t h e i r younger brothers and s i s t e r s . In t h i s way, they act as f r u s t r a t o r s , and are not able to compensate f o r t h i s f r u s - t r a t i o n by supplying the intense g r a t i f i c a t i o n formerly supplied by the mother. In addition to t h i s , the older s i b l i n g s probably resent the r e s t r i c t i o n s placed upon t h e i r a c t i v i t i e s by the n e c e s s i t y of caring f o r t h e i r younger brothers and s i s t e r s . Kluckhohn further argued that s i b l i n g r i v a l r y at the period of weaning and infancy leads to envy and h o s t i l i t y at the adult l e v e l between s i b l i n g s who receive coveted -233- property from t h e i r parents ( s i s t e r s ) or who are competi- tors f o r a desired woman (brothers). The property of a deceased r e l a t i v e i s u s u a l l y divided equally between hard- working and indolent brothers. The shame of a d i s g r a c e f u l act f a l l s almost as strongly on the s i b l i n g s as on the perpetrator. The f r u g a l and c a r e f u l brother and s i s t e r are under strong pressure of p u b l i c opinion to look a f t e r a l a z y and improvident s i b l i n g . Thus, despite the e x i s t - ence of many p o s i t i v e f e e l i n g s towards s i b l i n g s , these are perhaps best characterized as ambivalent. The negative side to t h i s ambivalence i s expressed i n terms of the negative r e l a t i o n s described as p e r t a i n i n g between witches and t h e i r s i b l i n g s . 3 3 Kluckhohn also gave some consideration to the ques- t i o n of why i t i s that old people are more often accused of w i t c h c r a f t than young people, and of why i t i s that wo- 34 men are l e s s often accused than men. So f a r as the old are concerned, i t was Kluckhohn 1s opinion that there i s a basis of resentment against them because of the f a c t that they are u s u a l l y an economic l i a b i l i t y . In addition to t h i s , t h i s p a r t i c u l a r weighting of w i t c h c r a f t accusations i s consistent with the Navaho c u l t u r a l configuration of d i s t r u s t of extremes: the very o l d , the very poor, the very wealthy, and very powerful singers. T h i r d l y , the Navaho set a very high value on long l i f e , and f e e l that the aged have attained something gre a t l y to be p r i z e d . I t i s , perhaps, f e l t that the aged have a power comparable to that of a singer. The aged have passed, as i t were, -234- from the realm of "the profane" to that of "the sacred". Perhaps, rather ... the very old person i s about to lose "something prized" and resists this - at the alleged ex- pense of others.... Certainly the closeness to death i s the c r i t i c a l factor. Navahos say, in effect, that the very old w i l l die so soon anyway that they w i l l take a l l sorts of chances with the culturally pro- hibited for the sake of immediate gain where the younger person would feel he had too much at stake in the long run and therefore sticks closer "to the good side".35 Kluckhohn also believed that the Navaho feel that the aged are "almost ghosts" and that the very old, being near to death, partake of some of death's attributes. This seems to be another overlapping or linking of ghosts and witches. Ghost belief permits the expression of h o s t i l i t y f e l t toward dead r e l a - tives, witches that f e l t toward l i v - ing relatives. Ghosts are, as i t were, the witches of the world of the dead. A striking corroboration of these "psychological" interpreta- tions of beliefs regarding ghosts and witches i s the astonishing fact that, according to some informants, the only ghosts one can see are those of relatives....36 So far as the lesser frequency of accusations against women i s concerned, Kluckhohn offered a purely culturo- l o g i c a l explanation. He considered this phenomenon to be explainable by the fact that "... the solidarity of Navaho society centers in women", together with the fact that few -235- women become e i t h e r singers or curers. Women witches are almost always e i t h e r c h i l d l e s s or past menopause, a f a c t explained, i n Kluckhohn's opinion, by the unwillingness of the Navaho to a t t r i b u t e such e v i l to those who are bearing or bringing up c h i l d r e n , "... f o r they are the focus of the 37 sentiment system." In conclusion, i t must be noted that Kluckhohn's i n - ter p r e t a t i o n did not follow the l i n e of arguing that witch- c r a f t must e x i s t because of the amount and types of aggres- sion prominent i n Navaho so c i e t y : only that, given these conditions, some form of release must e x i s t . The other mechanisms of release being inadequate, and the witchcraft patterns being h i s t o r i c a l l y a v a i l a b l e , the witchcraft mechanism constitutes a highly adjustive way of r e l e a s i n g tensions d e r i v i n g from the general s i t u a t i o n of the Navaho and the p a r t i c u l a r i t i e s of t h e i r s o c i a l organization. As Kluckhohn himself summarizes h i s t h e s i s , ... w i t c h c r a f t i s a major Navaho i n - strument f o r dealing with aggression and anxiety. I t permits some anxiety and some malicious destructiveness to be expressed d i r e c t l y with the mini- mum of punishment to the aggressor. S t i l l more anxiety and aggression i s displaced through the witc h c r a f t pattern assemblage i n t o channels where they are r e l a t i v e l y harmless or where, at l e a s t , there are a v a i l a b l e patterns f o r adjusting the i n d i v i d - uals to the new problems created. I n d i v i d u a l adjustment merges with group adap t a t i o n . 3 " -236- E. The S o c i a l Functions of Navaho Witchcraft The p r i n c i p a l manifest function which Kluckhohn as- cribed to Navaho witch b e l i e f s on the s o c i a l l e v e l , was that of providing a dramatic d e f i n i t i o n of a l l that i s con- sidered bad: i . e . , a l l secret and malevolent a c t i v i t i e s directed against the health, property or l i v e s of fel l o w Navahos. Thus, the s o l i d a r i t y of the group i s affirmed by these b e l i e f s . This sanction i s made even stronger by a t t r i b u t i n g to witches the most e v i l kinds of knowledge and a c t i v i t y : nakedness, i n c e s t , the murder of s i b l i n g s , i n t e r - 39 course with dead women and cannibalism, f o r example. In a d d i t i o n to t h i s , w i t c h c r a f t also has a number of l a t e n t functions which make f o r the preservation of the equilibrium of the society and of the l o c a l group. The f i r s t of these mentioned by Kluckhohn i s that of preventing too rapid a r i s e i n s o c i a l m o b i l i t y , thus impeding the un- due accumulation of wealth. The wealthy Navaho knows that, i f he i s stingy with h i s r e l a t i v e s and with others, he i s l i k e l y to be spoken of as a witch. One of the most basic s t r a i n s i n contemporary Navaho society i s that induced by the c o n f l i c t between the demands of familism and the emula- t i o n of European patterns of c a p i t a l accumulation. In Kluckhohn*s opinion, the best hope f o r the coherence of Navaho culture and the i n t e g r i t y of the Navaho way of l i f e l i e s i n there being a gradual t r a n s i t i o n from the f a m i l i s - t i c type of s o c i a l organization to one more c l o s e l y r e - sembling the European. Therefore, any pattern which tends to discourage the too rapid accumulation of wealth i n the hands of a r e s t r i c t e d number of i n d i v i d u a l s makes f o r the -237- 40 s u r v i v a l of the c u l t u r e . Secondly, wit c h c r a f t b e l i e f s serve as a brake on the power and influence of ceremonial p r a c t i t i o n e r s . These p r a c t i t i o n e r s are, i n e f f e c t , warned that t h e i r c apacities f o r i n f l u e n c i n g the course of events by means of super- natural techniques must be used f o r the r e a l i z a t i o n of s o c i a l l y desired ends only. There are many s p e c i f i c p a r a l - l e l s between accounts of w i t c h c r a f t and chant p r a c t i c e , such as the use of whistles» sandpaintings, p o l l e n , songs and turquoise, which show that witchcraft i s thought of as being bad ceremonialism. Singers are valued, but d i s - trusted. The p o s s i b i l i t y of w i t c h c r a f t gossip, and perhaps even of t r i a l s and executions, ensures that these prac- t i t i o n e r s w i l l think twice before they abuse t h e i r powers. How t h i s works i n the concrete i s well i l l u s t r a t e d by an i n c i d e n t which occurred at Red Rock i n 1937. A man went to h i s maternal uncle and asked him to sing over h i s wife. The uncle was not s a t i s f i e d with the number of sheep offered and evaded performing the chant. The wife died. The ne- phew f i r s t accused h i s uncle as a witch but was unable to muster family or community support f o r d i s c i p l i n i n g . He thereupon k i l l e d the uncle himself. Such events must surely r e i n f o r c e the d i s p o s i t i o n of singers to be l i b e r a l to t h e i r k i n and prompt i n acceding to requests f o r ceremonial help. In f a c t , w i t c h c r a f t functions f a r more widely than t h i s as a technique of s o c i a l c o n t r o l . Perhaps the c l e a r - est example of t h i s i s that provided by Manuelito who, con- vinced that the only hope f o r h i s t r i b e l a y i n preserving 238- peace with the whites, brought about the execution, on grounds of witch c r a f t , of more than f o r t y leaders, through- out Navaho country, who were advocating another armed struggle against the whites. This was i n 1884.* 2 Usually, w i t c h c r a f t operates as a technique of s o c i a l control on a f a r l e s s conscious l e v e l . The i n t r o d u c t i o n of the Ghost Dance r e l i g i o n i n t o Navaho t e r r i t o r y was blocked by spreading the word that the proponents of the new c u l t were witches. S i m i l a r l y , any powerful i n s t i g a t o r of trouble i n Navaho society tends to be spoken of as a witch. This tendency operates to reduce inter-group f r i c t i o n . The f a c t that anyone a c t i n g "mean" i s l i k e l y to be accused of being a witch means that there e x i s t s a powerful deterrent to the perpetration of any hos- t i l e a c t s . In a d d i t i o n to t h i s , the existence of witch b e l i e f s helps ensure the performance of s o c i a l l y required duties. The aged, the destitute - even animals - must not be ne- glected or oppressed, i n case they should r e s o r t to witch- c r a f t . S i b l i n g s must be aided when i l l , l e s t the death of a s i b l i n g give r i s e to suspicion that a survivor i s l e a r n - i n g w i t c h c r a f t . The effectiveness of leaders i s also sometimes i n - creased by the fear that they are witches and w i l l bewitch those who f a i l to follow them. This i s important since Navaho society, l a c k i n g an i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d leadership, i s e s p e c i a l l y vulnerable when faced by a society structured as our own i s . Kluckhohn considered the s u r v i v a l of the Navaho to be favoured by any sanctions which a s s i s t the 239' formation of a united f r o n t behind leaders of some perma- nence . Kluckhohn was even prepared to consider that the witchcraft-induced fear of going about at night has a d e f i - n i t e s o c i a l value. One of the p r i n c i p a l sources of f r i c - t i o n i n Navaho society i s sexual jealousy. The f e a r of witches at night operates as a deterrent to extra-marital r e l a t i o n s , since night-time would otherwise provide favour- 43 able opportunities f o r secret rendez-vous. F. The Cost of Navaho Witchcraft More systematic than Malinowski's functionalism, Kluckhohn's variant might also be considered a l i t t l e more d i a l e c t i c a l , i n that Kluckhohn considered not only the con- t r i b u t o r y r e l a t i o n s h i p of s o c i a l f a c t s to t h e i r t o t a l con- text but also gave some attention to the dysfunctional as- pects of such r e l a t i o n s . This notion of dysfunction, he expressed by the term "cost". Kluckhohn considered that, given the general condi- tions of Navaho l i f e , together with the f a c t that the Indian Service would always prevent a wholesale slaughter of suspected witches, Navaho witc h c r a f t was e s s e n t i a l l y not only an adjustive but also an adaptive s t r u c t u r e . I t s cost l i e s i n the f a c t that i t projects aggression and causes some s o c i a l d i s r u p t i o n . In many cases w i t c h c r a f t b e l i e f un- doubtedly does more to promote fear and t i m i d i t y than to r e l i e v e aggres- sive a n x i e t i e s . The fears consequent upon witchcraft tend to r e s t r i c t the l i f e a c t i v i t i e s of some persons, to c u r t a i l t h e i r s o c i a l p a r t i c i p a t i o n . -24C Perhaps the witchcraft pattern assem- blage tends to be mainly adjustive for individuals who tend to be ag- gressive, mainly disruptive for those who tend to be non-aggressive. Such a view would f i t well with the sug- gestions which have been made of the relationship between witchcraft pat- terns and war patterns.** Kluckhohn further suggested that witchcraft fears some- times form the basis of a reluctance to undertake or con- tinue the burdens of leadership. A Navaho who i s respon- sible for making important decisions i s certain to antago- nize some people, who might resort to witchcraft in their resentment. Similarly, counter-balancing the tendency which witchcraft exerts in the direction of economic l e - velling, i s the fact that the ri c h and powerful, inasmuch as they are feared and dreaded as witches, possess a power 45 and instrument of domination. G. Historical Fluctuations in Witchcraft Activity The f i n a l question to which Kluckhohn addressed him- self - and here, too, his concern must be seen as an ad- vance when compared with the predominant interests of con- temporaneous B r i t i s h functionalism - was that of accounting for h i s t o r i c a l fluctuations i n the frequency of witchcraft accusations among the Navaho. KLuckhohn's data indicated two periods when witchcraft acti v i t y was particularly prominent among the Navaho: i . 1875 - 1890 i i . late 1930's - early 1940«s. The f i r s t period of intensified witchcraft act i v i t y 241- followed on the defeat of the Navahos by the whites, and t h e i r imprisonment at Port Sumner. A people who f o r years had been the scourge of other Indians, and of the Spanish, were subjugated f o r the f i r s t time. A people who did not understand group c a p t i v i t y , and who had been accustomed to move about f r e e l y over great spaces, were taken captive and held i n a l i m i t e d area i n a f l a t , c olourless region quite unlike the rugged landscape to which they were accustomed. The Navaho were reduced to dependence upon others f o r t h e i r food. These foods were themselves unfamiliar, and at f i r s t considered to be highly d i s t a s t e f u l . The Navaho were thus subjected to potent sources of anxiety, and therefore of h o s t i l i t y . At the same time, an enforced peace ended wars against other groups, thus removing the p r i n c i p a l o u t l e t f o r aggression. This subjection to white domination also weakened the i n t e r n a l s o c i a l controls of clan organization. Indian Service o f f i c i a l s and white-controlled courts took over some of the r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s formerly assumed by the c l a n . In the days before Port Sumner, a l l the members of a given clan were held to be responsible f o r the a c t i v i t i e s of t h e i r fellow clansmen. I f there was evidence that a member of clan A had p r a c t i s e d w i t c h c r a f t against a member of clan B, the whole of clan A would have to contribute to pay a f i n e . This p r a c t i c e meant that severe punishments were dealt out to a c u l p r i t by h i s clan r e l a t i v e s , and that any connection with w i t c h c r a f t was a non-rewarding business. In the period following the confinement at Port Sumner, on the other hand, although community pressures were s t i l l -242- strong enough to prevent internecine aggression, the f a c t that the Indian Service ignored w i t c h c r a f t (except when a witch was executed), meant that the means of holding down witc h c r a f t p r a c t i c e , gossip, accusations and t r i a l s were no longer e f f e c t i v e . While some of the early Indian Service agents acquiesced i n , and p o s s i b l y even advised, the execu- t i o n of witches, the recent Service and the white courts have refused to recognize the existence of w i t c h c r a f t . In t h i s way, the p o s i t i o n of the witch has been improved by recent conditions. Witches have been placed i n a p o s i t i o n where they may p r a c t i s e i n d i r e c t extortion, since they continue to be feared by the Navaho and yet have been p l a c - ed by white government agencies i n a p o s i t i o n r e l a t i v e l y immune from r e t r i b u t i o n . Many Navahos resent the f a c t that the white government f a i l s to punish people " f o r the worst 46 crime we know".. I t i s important to note that the period of increased w i t c h c r a f t a c t i v i t y did not occur at Port Sumner, nor immediately a f t e r . Kluckhohn likened t h i s to the f a c t that I t a l i a n Fascism d i d not take over immediately following the Treaty of Caporetto, or Nazism immediately a f t e r the Treaty of V e r s a i l l e s . There always seems to be a period when a people are too crushed f o r any s i n g l e response to become p e c u l i a r l y frequent, when the general state i s that of many varying t r i a l and e rror e f f o r t s toward a new readjustment. Destructiveness always seems to ap- pear i n s o c i a l reconstruction a f t e r a major drama.^ As the increase of w i t c h c r a f t a c t i v i t y i n t h i s e a r l i e r -243- period was explained by KLuckhohn as the r e s u l t of an i n - crease i n tensions and h o s t i l i t i e s consequent upon depriva- tions and s o c i a l disorganization, so also was the period of increased w i t c h c r a f t a c t i v i t y i n the l a t e 1930*s and e a r l y 1940's. The Wall Street Crash of 1929, and the following Depression, had a much deeper impact on Navaho l i f e than did previous slumps i n the American business cycle since, e a r l i e r , the Navaho were f a r l e s s integrated i n t o the U.S. economy. The 1929 slump, however, meant that the Navaho suffered because of the f a l l i n the market value of sheep and wool, the l o s s of markets f o r t h e i r c r a f t products, and the absence of employment at wage-work. Only s h o r t l y l a t e r , the U.S. government embarked on an extensive stock reduction programme, f o r c i n g the Navaho to reduce the s i z e of t h e i r f l o c k s of sheep i n order to preserve range lands. As a r e s u l t , land became a c r i t i c a l problem, and the number of Navahos who became dependent on the U.S. economic system i n order to survive was f u r t h e r increased. Thus t h i s period saw a sharp increase i n the amount of witchcraft a c t i v i t y , as well as an increase i n the taking of peyote and the emergence of new n a t i v i s t i c c u l t s , and an acute d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n with the Navajo Service. In those areas where white pressure was at a maximum, wit c h c r a f t 48 a c t i v i t y was also at a maximum. Kluckhohn therefore saw the h i s t o r i c a l data which he analysed as being e s s e n t i a l l y confirmatory of h i s general t h e s i s : that w i t c h c r a f t among the Navaho represents a r e s - ponse to conditions of deprivation where s o c i a l conditions do not provide adequate means f o r the release of consequent -244- h o s t i l i t i e s in other ways, and where beliefs support the efficacy of magical practices. H. A Critique of Kluckhohn It has already been suggested that Kluckhohn's variant of functionalism may be considered methodologically superior to those of his British contemporaries, Radcliffe-Brown and Malinowski, on two counts. F i r s t l y , because Kluckhohn balanced his notion of function (the contribution which a cultural element makes to the perpetuation of a social system considered as a perduring unit, or to the adaptation of the individual to his natural and social environment) with that of cost (the "losses" such elements incur for x 49 the on-going social system). Secondly, because Kluckhohn tried to view his data i n the perspective offered by a time- depth analysis. Socio-cultural theories can, i n fact, be tested in only two ways: by the method of cross-cultural comparison, or by the method of historical analysis. If Kluckhohn did not offer us the former, he did attempt the latter. As far as cross-cultural analysis i s concerned, Kluckhohn himself explicitly stated that he did not think that the conditions he specified were, by themselves, suf- ficient to produce witchcraft, either i n Navaho society or in any other: "My thesis i s only that given these condi- 50 tions some forms of release must exist." Kluckhohn was, in fact, compelled to assume the prior existence of the beliefs he was trying to account for: When other forms are inadequate, and when the witchcraft patterns were -245- h i s t o r i c a l l y a v a i l a b l e , witchcraft b e l i e f i s a highly adjustive way of releasing not only generalized tension, but also those tensions spe- c i f i c to Navaho s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e . " As Swanson says, however, i t i s possible f o r us to go a step further than t h i s , and ask whether the conditions s p e c i f i e d by Kluckhohn are i n f a c t necessary or s u f f i c i e n t to produce 52 endemic witchcraft. Cross-cultural comparison does not i n fact bear out the strong emphasis placed by Kluckhohn on the importance of deprivations consequent upon lack of environmental con- t r o l . Swanson1s analysis of f i f t y s o c i e t i e s indicates that no r e l a t i o n i s to be expected between the nature and abun- dance of the food supply and the frequency with which sor- cery i s experienced. Swanson's data suggests rather that witchcraft tends to be associated with the necessity f o r s o c i a l i n t e r a c t i o n between people on important matters i n the absence of legitimated s o c i a l controls and arrange- 53 ments. This implies that Kluckhohn has given an inap- propriate weighting to some of the factors he has suggested are important i n f o s t e r i n g witch b e l i e f s . Por example, i n considering the importance of the Port Sumner period, Kluckhohn should perhaps have placed l e s s emphasis on the physical deprivations associated with the imprisonment, and examined i n more depth the implications of the weakening of i n t e r n a l s o c i a l controls as a r e s u l t of surrender to white domination. This, however, must remain at the l e v e l of hypothetical suggestion. Por, as a study of s t a t i s t i c a l c o r r e l a t i o n s , Swanson*s findings do not necessarily imply a -246- causal relationship (or the absence of such a relationship) between any two elements i n any particular society. Kluckhohn1s Navaho analysis i s not therefore essentially called into question. Perhaps one of the d i f f i c u l t i e s of Kluckhohn's model i s that i t i s not readily testable. This i s what consti- tutes one of i t s chief defects in Marwick's eyes, who writes that: As yet we have no satisfactory measures of frustration, of aggres- sion, or of anxiety that could be used for establishing a relationship between these largely subjective con- ditions and their release or al l e v i a - tion in the standardized delusions of a system of sorcery or witchcraft.^4 Nonetheless, I think that Marwick i s wrong to dismiss Kluckhohn's theories out of hand, as he does here, for there are precious few hypotheses i n the social sciences which conform to the rigorous requirements of testability that he demands. The fact that a concept cannot immediately be quantified does not mean that i t may not serve as a useful tool for social research. Moreover, while Marwick may i n - tend to be disparaging when he refers to the phenomena of frustration, aggression and anxiety as "largely subjective", he does not thereby diminish their relevance for analysts of human aff a i r s . We may conclude that Kluckhohn's model accounting for the persistence of witchcraft beliefs among the Navaho re- mains hypothetical. He has indicated an important series of factors which need to be investigated i n studying witchcraft. -247- But so far as his own interpretation of hos those factors are structurally related i n Navaho culture i s concerned, we have no real way of checking i t s v a l i d i t y . Basically, our acceptance or rejection of Kluckhohn's analysis i s l i k e l y to he determined less by whether or not we think the analysis makes sense of Navaho material, than by our general attitudes towards the methodological bases of the analysis: i.e., functionalism, and the culture and personality approach. Parsons and Vogt have referred to Kluckhohn's "eclecticism 55 i n theoretical matters". Applying this insight to Kluckhohn's study of Navaho witchcraft, we may say that he did not so much provide us with a theory in explanation of a problem, but rather, that he suggested some elements, from different theories, which could be considered i n relation to a problem. -248- Notes and References 1. Kluckhohn, C , "Myths and R i t u a l s : A General Theory", Harvard T h e o l o g i c a l Review, V o l . XXXV, (Jan. 1942), P. 58. B o b b s - M e r r i l l r e p r i n t , S-146. 2. I b i d . , P. 59. 3. I b i d . . 4. Thus, i n a recent anthology e n t i r e l y devoted to the a n a l y s i s of w i t c h c r a f t and sor c e r y , Kluckhohn's work i s accorded only two - passing - references. See Douglas, M. (e d . ) , W i t c h c r a f t : Confessions and Accusations, (Tavistock P u b l i c a t i o n s L t d . , London, 1970). 5. Marwick, M., "The Study of W i t c h c r a f t " , i n E p s t e i n , A.L. (ed . ) , The C r a f t of S o c i a l Anthropology, (T a v i s t o c k P u b l i c a t i o n s L t d . , London, 1967), P. 238. 6. Middleton, J . , " I n t r o d u c t i o n " to Middleton, J . (e d . ) , Magic, W i t c h c r a f t , and Curing, (The N a t u r a l H i s t o r y P r e s s , Garden C i t y , New York, 1967), P. x. 7. Kluckhohn, C , Navaho W i t c h c r a f t , (Beacon P r e s s , Boston, 1967), Pp. 77-8. 8. Kluckhohn quotes "a prominent o f f i c e r of the Indian M e d i c a l S e r v i c e " , who estimates the inci d e n c e of i l l - h e a l t h to be about three times higher among the Navaho than i n average white communities. Kluckhohn, C , "Myths and R i t u a l s . . . " , op. c i t . , P. 72. 9. Kluckhohn, C., Navaho W i t c h c r a f t , op. c i t . , P. 79« 10. I b i d . . 11. I b i d . , P. 77. 12. I b i d . , P. 79. According t o Kluckhohn, there are no f u n c t i o n l e s s c u l t u r a l elements. Even the buttons sewn on the sleeve of a coat o r jacket serve the " f u n c t i o n " -249- of maintaining a tradition and constitute an adjustive response, since people feel more comfortable i f they feel a continuity in behaviour. "Similarly, saying 'five houses' when 'five house' would be sufficient at the level of manifest 'function' i s to be understood as f u l f i l l i n g the latent 'function' of bolstering the i n d i - vidual's security through adherence to a familiar and established tradition." Ibid., P. 81. As Robert Merton remarks, in thus seeking to ascribe "function" to seem- ingly functionless items, Kluckhohn has fallen back upon a type of function which would be found by definition rather than by empirical investigation. Thus the impu- tation of a "function" to the wearing of buttons on the sleeve of a coat adds l i t t l e or nothing to a direct de- scription of the cultural behaviour in question, while Kluckhohn's argument about the "function" of conforming to a tradition "... i s equivalent to saying that the 'function' of conformity to any established practice i s to enable the conformist to avoid the sanctions other- wise incurred by deviating from established practice." Merton, R.K., Social Theory and Social Structure, (The Free Press, Glencoe, 1949), Pp. 32-3. Emphasis in o r i - ginal. It may be added that to hold that every cultural element must be functional i s to divert attention away from the possible dysfunctional aspects of such elements, and makes the understanding of endogenous social change almost impossible. Moreover, Kluckhohn's example of the "function" of saying "five houses" i n place of "five house" ignores the fact that i t i s only by following such linguistic conventions that communication i s at a l l possible. Functional analysis of this type therefore diverts attention away from the understanding of meaning. 13. Kluckhohn, C , Navaho Witchcraft, op. c i t . , P. 79. 14. Ibid., Pp. 80-1. Kluckhohn borrows the terms "manifest function" and "latent function" from Robert Merton. In Merton*s usage, "manifest function" refers to the ob- jective consequences of an item of cultural behaviour for a specified unit (person, group, social system, etc.), which contribute to the adaptation or adjustment of that unit, and which were so intended. "Latent function" refers to unintended and unrecognized con- -250- sequenees of the same order. Merton*s purpose in intro- ducing this distinction was to c l a r i f y the analysis of "seemingly irrational social patterns": i l e . , those patterns of behaviour which continue to persist even a l - though they clearly do not achieve their manifest pur- poses. As an example of such a pattern, he cites the Hopi Rain Dance. Merton argues that the persistence of this institution i s not explicable i n terms of the i r - rationality of the Hopi, but i n terms of i t s functions for the Hopi social order. Kluckhohn*s use of these terms i s far less clear than that of Merton, and he seems to employ "manifest function" i n the sense of "common-sense explanation", and to use "latent function" to refer to functions below the threshold of superficial observation. Merton, however, seems to accept Kluckhohn*s usage as conforming to his own. Cf. Merton, R.K., Social Theory..., op. c i t . . Pp. 62-8. 15. Kluckhohn, C., Navaho Witchcraft, op. c i t . , P. 82. 16. Ibid., Pp. 82-3. 17. Ibid.. P. 83. 18. Ibid., Pp. 83-4. 19. Ibid. t P. 84. 20. Ibid., P. 85. 21. Ibid.. Emphasis i n original. 22. Ibid., P. 88. 23. Ibid., P. 87. 24. Ibid.. 25. Ibid., P. 88. 26. Ibid., Pp. 89-90. Emphasis in original. 27. Ibid., P. 94. -251- 28. Ibid., P. 95. 29. Ibid., Pp. 96-7. But see note 18 on Pp. 45-6 of this thesis. 30. Kluckhohn, C , Navaho Witchcraft, op. c i t . , P. 98. 31. Ibid., P. 100. 32. Ibid., P. 101. 33. Ibid., Pp. 102-3. 34. Of a total of 222 accusations, where other information was also available, Kluckhohn found that: i . a l l of the accused were adults i i . 184 of those accused were men i i i . 138 of those accused were women iv . 131 of the men accused were definitely old (i.e . , described as "white-haired", etc.) v. a l l of the women accused were old v i . no women were accused of Wizardry or Frenzy Witchcraft v i i . 140 of the men accused were ceremonial practitioners v i i i . 12 of the women accused were ceremonial practi- tioners ix. 21 of the men accused were "headmen" or "chiefs" x. 115 of those accused were "rich" or "well-off" x i . 17 of those accused were poor or very poor. For 90 of the group, there was no data on economic status. Ibid., P. 59- 35. Ibid., Pp 36. Ibid., P. 37. Ibid., P. 38. Ibid., P. 104-5. 105. 106. Emphasis 110. in original. 39. Ibid.. 40. Ibid., P. 111. -252- 41. Ibid., P. 112. 42. Ibid.. 43. Ibid.. Pp. 112-13. 44. ;Ibid., P. 121. 45. Ibid.. 46. Ibid., P. 116. 47. Ibid., P. 114. 48. Ibid., Pp. 117-18, 120. 49* A pertinent question here, however, i s whether or not Kluckhohn gave sufficient attention to the dysfunctional aspects of Navaho witchcraft. Por a much more negative evaluation of the implications of witchcraft beliefs for a society, see Nadel, S.P., "Witchcraft in Pour African Societies: An Essay in Comparison", i n Marwick, M. (ed.), Witchcraft and Sorcery, (Penguin Books Ltd., Harmondsworth, 1970), P. 279. 50. Kluckhohn, C., Navaho Witchcraft, op. c i t . , P. 106. 51. Ibid., Emphasis mine. 52. Swanson, G.R., The Birth of the Gods, (University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, 1964), P. 144. 53. Ibid., Pp. 151-2. 54. Marwick, M., "The Study...", op. c i t . . P. 238. 55. Parsons, T. and Vogt, E.Z., "A Biographical Introduction", to Kluckhohn, C , Navaho Witchcraft, op. c i t . , Pi x i i i . CHAPTER NINE THE IMAGE OP SCIENCE AND THE UNDERSTANDING OP WITCHCRAFT A, Introduction Ih the course of t h i s t h e s i s , I have traced the gradual development of anthropological theories concerning the nature of magic and witchcraft up to and i n c l u d i n g Kluckhohn*s s o p h i s t i c a t i o n of the psycho-functional model, and Evans-Pritchard's a n a l y s i s of Zande witchcraft i n terms of what proved to be the s t a r t i n g point f o r a s t r u c t u r a l i s t a n a l y s i s of s o c i a l l i f e . Always present i n the background of t h i s discussion, has been the question of the r e l a t i o n - ship of magic and w i t c h c r a f t to Western modes of thought - Western science i n p a r t i c u l a r - and the image which the anthropologist has entertained of the nature of science and s c i e n t i f i c : method. In t h i s chapter, I propose to examine t h i s question a l i t t l e more? e x p l i c i t l y , to suggest some of the inadequacies i n the way i n which anthropologists: have conceptualized s c i e n t i f i c method, and to indicate some of the shortcomings of Evans-Pritchard's approach. B. The Progressionists? Tylor d i d not attempt to discuss the question of the r e l a t i o n s h i p of magic to science, although i m p l i c i t i n h i s p o s i t i o n was a d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n between a subjective, f a l - l a c i o u s a s s o c i a t i o n of phenomena (magic), and an associa- t i o n of phenomena between which the l i n k i s objective or -254- r e a l ( science). A more e x p l i c i t discussion of t h i s r e l a - t i o n s h i p had, however, to await Prazer. Frazer's a t t i t u d e towards science i s somewhat more complex than that i m p l i c i t i n Tylor's p o s i t i o n , and i t i s my b e l i e f that, as Ja r v i e and Agassi have pointed o u t , 1 Prazer adhered to two contradictory notions of science. In places, Prazer seems to have advanced a h i g h l y sophisticated view of science, as c o n s i s t i n g i n the ac- t i v i t y of formulating explanatory hypotheses ("the laws of nature are merely explanatory hypotheses"), which are then tested against experience and rejected; i f f a l s i f i e d . There; i s no f i n a l t r u t h i n science: t r u t h i s only the hypothesis that i s "found to work best". Thus, "the advance of knowl- edge i s an i n f i n i t e progression towards a goal that f o r ever recedes."^ Such a view of science i s , i n essence, i d e n t i c a l with that elaborated by S i r K a r l Popper, and i t i s unfortunate that anthropologists could not have developed i t f u r t h e r . Por although u l t i m a t e l y u n s a t i s f a c t o r y (at l e a s t as de- veloped by Popper), i t i s f a r superior to that a c t u a l l y accepted by the vast majority of anthropologists; since Prazer's time.^ Most anthropologists have i n f a c t adhered to the other view of science present i n Prazer's w r i t i n g s . This i s a view of science as representing an accumulated mass of em- p i r i c a l observations. Prom the sum of these observations, s c i e n t i f i c laws are derived by a process of induction. Be- in g thus d e s c r i p t i v e of empirical r e a l i t y , s c i e n t i f i c laws -255- are n e c e s s a r i l y true. They may be found to be r e s t r i c t e d i n t h e i r a p p l i c a t i o n to c e r t a i n cases only, or to be only a p a r t i c u l a r example of a more general p r i n c i p l e operative i n nature. Laws qua laws, however, are by d e f i n i t i o n t r u e . What are thought to be laws, and are l a t e r found not to hold true, are misinterpretations of the empirical data. In t h i s view, science i s to be i d e n t i f i e d with the f a c t s , theories and methods- c o l l e c t e d i n s c i e n t i f i c t exts, and s c i e n t i f i c development i s the piecemeal process whereby a l l these elements have been added to t h i s ever-increasing body of technique and knowledge. Science is; therefore descrip- t i v e and cumulative. As Prazer was consciously engaged i n the process of comparing magic to science, and t r y i n g to e s t a b l i s h the s i m i l a r i t i e s and differences between the two, i t i s obvious that h i s c r i t e r i a of magic must be ambiguous to the extent that h i s c r i t e r i a of science also were. Nevertheless, t h i s ambiguity does not prevent us from perceiving the elose r e - l a t i o n s h i p between magic and science as described by Prazer. According to him, both are made up of hypotheses seeking to reduce the universe to order, and both assume that the: u n i - verse i s governed by unconscious, impersonal forces, not subject to v a r i a t i o n . Both therefore constitute a single type when opposed to r e l i g i o n , "... a p r o p i t i a t i o n or con- c i l i a t i o n of powers superior to man which are believed to 4 d i r e c t and c o n t r o l the course of nature and of human l i f e . " Yet what i s the d i v i d i n g l i n e between magic and science? This i s f a r l e s s c l e a r , p r e c i s e l y because of the ambiguity -256- of Frazer's notion of science. Acceptance of the f i r s t view offered of science would seem to indicate the neces- s i t y of some c r i t e r i a d i f f e r e n t from those i m p l i c i t l y ac- cepted by Tylor as c o n s t i t u t i n g the e s s e n t i a l difference between magic and science. For i f science i s not naively equated with t r u t h , but i s regarded as merely a set of pro- v i s i o n a l hypotheses, i t follows that the d i s t i n g u i s h i n g c r i t e r i o n of agreement or non-agreement with empirical r e a l i t y i s inadequate. What c r i t e r i a , then, could be used i n place of t h i s ? Presumably the c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s offered by the native observers themselves, although Frazer does not suggest t h i s , and does not even seem to have been aware of the problem. The c r i t e r i o n Frazer a c t u a l l y proposed to d i s t i n g u i s h magic from science was, i n f a c t , i d e n t i c a l to that assumed by Tylor. Magic assumes the existence of non-existent re- 5 l a t i o n s ; science describes actual r e l a t i o n s . I t i s ... a truism, almost a tauto- logy, to say that a l l magic i s neces- s a r i l y f a l s e and barren; f o r were i t ever to become true and f r u i t f u l , i t would no longer be magic but science. From the e a r l i e s t times man has been engaged i n a search f o r general rules whereby to turn the order of natural phenomena to h i s own advantage, and i n the long search he has scraped to- gether a great hoard of such maxims, some of them golden and some of them mere dross. The true or golden rules constitute the body of applied science which we c a l l the a r t s ; the f a l s e are magic.^ -257- Quite apart from the philosophical presuppositions i n - herent in this distinction, Frazer*s argument encounters an important dilemma: what to do with ideas, usually accepted as being i n some way s c i e n t i f i c , which are later repudiated by the scientific community. The phlogiston theory of com- bustion i s presumably "dross" i n terms of Frazer's categori- zations, as no doubt i s Ptolemaic astronomy, Laraarckian evolutionary theory, and even Newtonian dynamics. Are we to term these ideas "magical" in consequence? Similarly, how are we to classify those actions, usually described as "magical", which are plainly efficacious, even i f we choose to explain their efficacity in terms of a theory which differs from that accepted by the native observer? I am referring, of course, to such phenomena as shamanistic cures 7 and the deaths which sometimes result from ensorcellment. Frazer, i n fact, made no attempt to discuss phenomena such as these, and had he done so', he would necessarily have had to reject the simplistic objectivist framework he accepted. C. Malinowski For Frazer, magic was essentially akin to science, pre- ceding i t i n the course of human evolution, but governed by principles of reasoning at root identical. This equation was not explicitly challenged by Malinowski, who went so far as to repeat Frazer*s characterization of magic as being a pseudo-science. Implicit in the theory Malinowski developed, however, was a complete rejection of Frazer*s position. Malinowski began by asserting the existence in every primitive society of a clear dichotomy between the sacred and the profane, the latter dealing with the realm of every- -258- day experience, and the former with those events and actions not completely subject to the control of r a t i o n a l human i n - t e l l i g e n c e . Magic belongs to the realm of the sacred, and the closest equivalent to modern science i s therefore the empirical knowledge which belongs to the realm of the pro- fane. Magic, and t h i s empirical knowledge, exist together of course. But they control d i f f e r e n t aspects of human be- haviour, and d i f f e r i n substance, form and function. More- over, magic d i f f e r s from empirical knowledge i n being of a primarily emotive character. In discussing the empirical knowledge of primitives, Malinowski offered a number of c r i t e r i a f o r deciding whether or not t h i s knowledge could be considered genuinely scien- t i f i c . In doing so, he provided us with a means of under- standing h i s conceptualization of the nature of science. These c r i t e r i a were: i . A body of rules and conceptions, based on experience and derived from i t by l o g i c a l inference, embodied i n material achievements and a f i x e d form of t r a d i t i o n , and carried on by some sort of s o c i a l organization. By i t s e l f , however, t h i s c r i t e r i o n i s i n s u f f i c i e n t , since any art or c r a f t could qu a l i f y as s c i e n t i f i c by v i r t u e of i t . i i . A body of e x p l i c i t rules, open to c r i t i c i s m by reason and control by experiment. In other words, not simply rules of p r a c t i c a l behaviour, but also t h e o r e t i c a l laws of knowl- edge. i i i . The s c i e n t i f i c attitude, which consists i n the d i s - interested search f o r knowledge and f o r the understanding of 8 the causes and reasons f o r phenomena. -259- On the basis of a l l these c r i t e r i a . Malinowski argued that one could demonstrate the presence of science i n primitive society. Merely to survive, a community must embody empirical experience i n rules and conceptions, these rules and conceptions often taking the form of t h e o r e t i c a l laws of knowledge. For example, The native shipwright knows not only p r a c t i c a l l y of buoyancy, leverage, equilibrium, he has to obey these laws not only on water, but while making the canoe he must have the p r i n c i p l e s i n h i s mind. He i n s t r u c t s h i s helpers i n them. He gives them the t r a d i t i o n a l r u l e s , and i n a crude and simple manner, using h i s hands, pieces of wood, and a l i m i t e d tech- n i c a l vocabulary, he explains some general laws of hydrodynamics and equilibrium. Science i s not detached from the c r a f t , that i s c e r t a i n l y true, i t i s only a means to an end, i t i s crude, rudimentary, and i n - choate, but with a l l that i t i s the matrix from which the higher develop- ments must have sprung.^ Moreover, even the " s c i e n t i f i c a t t i t u d e " - the d i s i n - terested search for knowledge - i s not e n t i r e l y absent from primitive society, according to Malinowski, although circum- scribed by the t r a d i t i o n a l world of native culture. There exists i n primitive society, ... the antiquarian mind passionately interested i n myths, s t o r i e s , d e t a i l s of customs, pedigrees, and ancient happenings ... the n a t u r a l i s t , patient and painstaking i n h i s observations, capable of generalization and of con- necting long chains of events i n the -260- l i f e of animals, and i n the marine world or i n the jungle.... the socio- l o g i s t , the i d e a l informant, capable with marvellous accuracy and insight to give the raison d'etre, the func- t i o n , and the organization of many a simpler i n s t i t u t i o n i n h i s t r i b e . 1 0 Between t h i s i n c i p i e n t science, and magic, Malinowski denied any fundamental s i m i l a r i t y , since the former was based on observation and reason, the l a t t e r on s p e c i f i c emo- t i o n a l states. S c i e n t i f i c theories are governed by the d i c - tates of l o g i c ; magic i s based on the association of ideas under the influence of desire. Each i s located i n a d i f - ferent s o c i a l s e t t i n g and i s associated with a d i f f e r e n t type of a c t i v i t y . Moreover, these differences are c l e a r l y recognized by the native observers. "The one constitutes the domain of the profane; the other, hedged round by ob- servances, mysteries, and taboos, makes up h a l f of the 11 domain of the sacred." The important question we must ask at t h i s point, though, i s whether or not Malinowski's c r i t e r i a f o r d i f - f e r e n t i a t i n g science are adequate. In fact they are not, since they f a i l to take account of an absolutely c r u c i a l d i s t i n c t i o n : that between science and technology. The tech- n o l o g i c a l success of primitive peoples i n c e r t a i n spheres of behaviour does not show that the ideology underlying t h i s behaviour i s necessarily sound, since tec h n i c a l success can often be based on far-fetched theories, or unintegrated rules of thumb. The example of Ptolemaic astronomy should make t h i s c l e a r . As Kuhn explains, the Ptolemaic system: ... was admirably successful i n pre- -261- d i c t i n g the changing positions of both stars and planets.... f o r the stars, Ptolemaic astronomy i s s t i l l widely used today as an engineering approximation; f o r the planets, Ptolemy's predictions were as good as Copernicus'. 1 2 The only c r i t e r i o n to be applied to technical knowledge i s whether or not i t works. Theoretical knowledge, on the other hand, demands to be evaluated i n terms of i t s truth or 13 f a l s i t y , regardless of i t s u t i l i t a r i a n value. Primitive technology rests on a knowledge of scattered f a c t s about natural processes. As Nadel remarks, primitive peoples: ... have nowhere reached the notion of " s c i e n t i f i c laws" or any other concep- t i o n meriting the name of science. At lea s t , they have not done so i n the "phase" of profane behaviour."^ But what of the "phase" of the sacred? Malinowski denied that primitive magic had anything to do with under- standing the universe, and set out to prove that primitive man i s never misled, i n h i s everyday l i f e , by i t s spurious axioms and c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s . Magic constitutes an emotional response, not something c a r e f u l l y a r t i c u l a t e d and elaborated. In consequence of t h i s p o s i t i o n , Malinowski never undertook a discussion of magic and science as theories about the world, p r i n c i p l e s discovered i n phenomena, or deductions made from them. Yet, as Nadel says, i t i s i n fac t quite possible that the e a r l i e s t speculations about the universe occurred, not i n the sphere of p r a c t i c a l technology, but i n 15 the realm of magic - as Prazer had suggested. Malinowski, however, c a t e g o r i c a l l y denied t h i s . Por him, magic was -262- primarily an action-system, lacking any t h e o r e t i c a l or specu- l a t i v e side. But while the theory that magic i s emotive and tends to arise spontaneously i n situations of uncertainty may perhaps explain why people use i t to further t h e i r own ends, and are convinced of i t s e f f i c a c y at the time of per- forming i t , i t u t t e r l y f a i l s to explain the persistence i n society of a body of rules and prescriptions i n which every- body t r u s t s . Once, however, we acknowledge that magic has a t h e o r e t i c a l side, i t i s easy to come to grips with t h i s . Por t h i s knowledge must be of such a type that i t convinces the dispassionate person by way of an objective appeal. " I t must contain something i n the nature of a theory, persuasive because of the p r i n c i p l e s and arguments on which i t r e s t s , 1 and akin, however remotely, to s c i e n t i f i c theories." Magical conceptions may indeed, therefore, be the primitive analogue, "... not of applied science, nor perhaps of experimental science but of i t s t h e o r e t i c a l and speculative side, however 17 crude and 'metaphysical'." I t i s worth noting that Malinowski himself was aware that the body of technical and p r a c t i c a l a c t i v i t i e s e x i s t i n g i n primitive society might not constitute a genuine equi- valent to science. But he dismissed t h i s question as being epistem©logical rather than anthropological, and did not 18 therefore examine i t s possible implications. Doubtless, t h i s i s because hi s crude and p o s i t i v i s t i c conception of science meant that the question was already s e t t l e d f o r him. To the end of h i s days, he believed that the fundamental 19 truths i n the sciences are never sophisticated. -263- D. E.E. Evans-Pritchard Evans-Pritchard attempted a far more systematic discus- sion of the interrelation of magical and scientific thought than did any other of the authors considered i n this thesis to this point. Yet many of his notions seem to stand close to those of Prazer and Malinowski, and the adequacy of his view of the nature of science i s questionable. Evans-Pritchard derived his notions of the nature of 20 science from writers like Mach, Pearson and Poincare\ Both the f i r s t and the last of these writers exercised an 21 important influence on the Vienna Circle, and i t i s there- fore not surprising to find in Evans-Pritchard, as i n Prazer and Malinowski, an essentially p o s i t i v i s t i c conception of 22 science. This conception i s not elaborated in his best- known writings, but i s mainly to be found i n the three articles published by him i n the Bulletin of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Egypt. In these articles, Evans- Pritchard presented a view of science as being essentially incremental, inductive, and descriptive of empirical reality. He also drew a firm distinction between the scientific and the logical, on the grounds that while the former must necessarily conform to the rules established by the latter, not every type of thought which i s logical i s necessarily s c i e n t i f i c . We therefore have a differentiation of four types of thought: Scientific notions are those which accord with objective reality both with regard to the validity of their premises and to the inferences drawn from their propositions. Unscientific -264- notions are those which are i n v a l i d either i n t h e i r premises or i n the i n - ferences drawn from them. Logical no- tions are those i n which according to the rules of thought inferences would be true were the premises true, the truth of the premises being i r r e l e v a n t . I l l o g i c a l notions are those i n which the inferences would not be true even were the premises true, the truth of the premises again being i r r e l e v a n t . Much of the confusion that has arisen by use of such terms as non- l o g i c a l and p r e - l o g i c a l w i l l be avoid- ed by making a d i s t i n c t i o n between l o g i c a l and s c i e n t i f i c . In making pots a l l g r i t must be removed from the clay or the pots w i l l break. A pot has broken during f i r i n g . This i s probably due to g r i t . Let us examine the pot and see i f t h i s i s the cause. That i s l o g i c a l and s c i e n t i f i c thought. Sickness i s due to witchcraft. A man i s sick. Let us consult the oracles to discover who i s the witch respon- s i b l e . That i s l o g i c a l and unscien- t i f i c thought. 23 S i m i l a r l y , the s o c i a l content of our thought i s scien- t i f i c , since i t i s i n accordance with objective r e a l i t y , whereas the s o c i a l content of primitive thought i s unscien- t i f i c , since i t does not accord with objective r e a l i t y , and may also be mystical, i n so f a r as i t assumes the existence 24 of supra-sensible forces. Later, i n the e a r l i e r sections of h i s study of the Azande, Evans-Pritchard was to re f i n e these ideas: MYSTICAL NOTIONS ... patterns of thought that a t t r i b u t e to phenomena supra-sensible q u a l i t i e s which, or -265- p a r t o f w h i c h , a r e n o t d e r i v e d from o b s e r v a t i o n o r cannot be l o g i c a l l y i n - f e r r e d from i t , and which t h e y do n o t p o s s e s s . COMMON-SENSE NOTIONS ... p a t t e r n s o f thought t h a t a t t r i b u t e t o phenomena o n l y what men observe i n them o r what can l o g i c a l l y be i n f e r r e d from o b s e r v a t i o n . So l o n g as a n o t i o n does n ot a s s e r t something w h i c h has not been o b s e r v e d , i t i s n o t c l a s s e d as m y s t i c a l , even though i t i s m i s - t a k e n on account o f i n c o m p l e t e o b s e r - v a t i o n . I t s t i l l d i f f e r s from mys- t i c a l n o t i o n s i n whi c h s u p r a - s e n s i b l e f o r c e s a r e always p o s i t e d . SCIENTIFIC NOTIONS. S c i e n c e has de v e l o p e d out o f common-sense but i s f a r more m e t h o d i c a l and has b e t t e r t e c h n i q u e s o f o b s e r v a - t i o n and r e a s o n i n g . Common-sense u s e s e x p e r i e n c e and r u l e s o f thumb. S c i e n c e u s e s experiment and r u l e s o f L o g i c . Common-sense o b s e r v e s o n l y some l i n k s i n a c h a i n o f c a u s a t i o n . S c i e n c e o b s e r v e s a l l , o r many more o f , t h e l i n k s . . . . Our body o f s c i e n t i f i c k n o w l - edge and l o g i c a r e t h e s o l e a r b i t e r s o f what a r e m y s t i c a l , common-sense, and s c i e n t i f i c n o t i o n s . T h e i r j u d g e - ments a r e n e v e r a b s o l u t e . RITUAL BE- HAVIOUR. Any b e h a v i o u r t h a t i s a c - counted f o r by m y s t i c a l n o t i o n s . There i s no o b j e c t i v e nexus between t h e be- h a v i o u r and t h e event i t i s i n t e n d e d t o c a use. Such b e h a v i o u r i s u s u a l l y i n t e l l i g i b l e t o us o n l y when we know th e m y s t i c a l n o t i o n s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h i t . EMPIRICAL BEHAVIOUR. Any be- h a v i o u r t h a t i s acc o u n t e d f o r by com- mon-sense n o t i o n s . Such b e h a v i o u r i s u s u a l l y i n t e l l i g i b l e t o us w i t h o u t ex- p l a n a t i o n i f we see t h e whole o f i t and i t s e f f e c t s . 2 5 -266- In thus distinguishing between common-sense and scien- t i f i c notions, Evans-Pritchard undoubtedly went a step further than Malinowski, who failed to discuss the question of the relationship of technology to scientific theory. Yet how satisfactory i s the idea of science here presented? Be- fore proceding to answer this question, i t i s necessary to f i r s t complete this brief account of Evans-Pritchard 1s con- ceptualization of the nature of science by making one more quotation from his writings: A l l scientific theory i s eclectic, for a scientist takes the hypotheses of his predecessors and examines them by logical tests and checks them by ob- servation. By these means he selects what he finds to be valid in each hypothesis and works them into a co- ordinated system. He adds his own observations and inferences and these in turn serve as hypotheses t i l l they are verified by independent workers and are recognized as true by the con- Oft sensus of specialized opinion.*° Evans-Pritchard*s description of the nature of science shows that he conceptualizes i t s development as i f i t were governed by the results of empirical observation and logical inference alone. Of course i t i s true that these processes occupy a place of central importance in the evolution of scientific theories. It i s equally true, however, that scientific development i s not explicable in these terms alone. Evans-Pritchard therefore presents an overly rationalistic account of scientific development, which f a i l s to take into consideration such important psychological pro- cesses as "the flash of insight" which plays such an im- - 2 6 7 - p o r t a n t p a r t i n the f o r m u l a t i o n of n o v e l s c i e n t i f i c t h e o r i e s , not to mention the impingement on the s c i e n t i f i c domain of e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l and r e l i g i o u s c o n c e p t i o n s , and 27 even a e s t h e t i c p r e f e r e n c e s . E v a n s - P r i t c h a r d ' s c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of the nature o f s c i e n c e a l s o seems to imply t h a t he imagines t h e r e to he a f u l l and complete, o b j e c t i v e and t r u e account o f n a t u r e , and t h a t s c i e n c e i s s c i e n t i f i c to the extent to which i t ap- proximates t h i s i d e a l account. But i f we are to concep- t u a l i z e the u n i v e r s e as b e i n g i n f i n i t e i n n a t u r e , and the human mind as b e i n g f i n i t e , what j u s t i f i c a t i o n do we have f o r assuming t h a t we can ever f u l l y comprehend t h i s i n f i n i t y , o r t h a t i t s comprehension i s g i v e n i n terms o f one p a r t i c u - l a r methodology - the s c i e n t i f i c - alone? More than t h i s , E v a n s - P r i t c h a r d * s approach tends to i d e n t i f y s c i e n c e w i t h the f a c t s , t h e o r i e s and methods c o l l e c t e d i n c u r r e n t s c i e n - t i f i c t e x t s . I n such an i d e n t i f i c a t i o n , s c i e n t i s t s become the men who have added one or o t h e r element to t h a t p a r t i c u - l a r c o l l e c t i o n , w h ile the h i s t o r y of s c i e n c e becomes the g r a d u a l process whereby these elements have been added to the ever-growing s t o c k - p i l e of t r u t h . Yet what s o r t of treatment i s one t o extend to A r i s t o t e l i a n dynamics, e a r t h - c e n t r e d astronomy, o r p h l o g i s t o n chemistry on the b a s i s o f such a view? One may deny t h a t such t h e o r i e s are s c i e n t i f i c ( f o r , s u r e l y , they do not correspond to o b j e c t i v e r e a l i t y ) . A l t e r n a t i v e l y , one may accept such t h e o r i e s as b e i n g s c i e n - t i f i c , but o n l y i f one r e c o g n i z e s t h a t s c i e n c e encompasses bodies o f b e l i e f q u i t e d i f f e r e n t from those h e l d today. I n t h a t case, one must attempt to d e v i s e some c r i t e r i o n o t h e r -268- than that of agreement or non-agreement with objective reality i n order to differentiate the view that the placing of a stone i n the fork of a tree delays the setting of the sun from, say, the view that the earth rotates on i t s axis every twenty-four hours. Perhaps two f i n a l criticisms might be made of Evans- Pritchard* s definitions of scientific and of common-sense notions. F i r s t l y , Evans-Pritchard incorrectly treats em- p i r i c a l observation as an invariable, not subject to change 28 from one cultural context to another. Secondly, by de- scribing sc i e n t i f i c notions as corresponding to objective reality, he over-looks the fact that there i s almost never a perfect ''fit" between empirical evidence and elaborated scientific theories. Thus even Einstein's Theory of Relativity, the cornerstone of the most exact of the natural sciences, can be shown to rest on somewhat uncertain em- p i r i c a l evidence. For example, the Theory of Relativity has s t i l l to be reconciled with the results of the Michelson- Morley experiments of 1887 (since confirmed by later investi- gators), which seem to show that the speed of light i s not independent of the motion of the observer, contrary to 29 Einstein's theory. The correspondence of scientific ideas to objective reality, i s therefore always partial. In Popper's words, The old scientific ideal of ... abso- lutely certain, demonstrable knowledge - has proven to be an i d o l . The demand for scientific objectivity makes i t inevitable that every scientific statement must remain tentative for ever. It may indeed be corroborated, -269- but every corroboration i s relative to other statements which, again, are tentative. Only i n our subjective ex- periences of conviction, i n our sub- jective faith, can we be "absolutely certain". E. Witchcraft and Science as Paradigmatic Activities Probably one of the most important books to be publish- ed in recent years on the subject of scientific methodology 31 i s that of Thomas S. Kuhn. Repudiating the po s i t i v i s t i c image of science, Kuhn argues that the most characteristic attribute of scientific activity i s the fact that i t i s governed by paradigms. Paradigms are "... universally re- cognized scientific achievements that for a time provide model problems and solutions to a community of practition- 32 ers." They define the problems available for scientific scrutiny, and the standards by which the sci e n t i f i c pro- fession determines what may, and what may not, count as an admissible problem or a legitimate problem-solution. In this way, paradigms define the f i e l d of research for suc- ceeding generations of practitioners, and give rise to par- ticular traditions of coherent scientific research. This i s possible for two reasons: i . The paradigm constitutes an achievement sufficiently im- pressive to attract an enduring group of adherents away from a competing mode of scientific enquiry. i i . The paradigm i s sufficiently open-ended to leave a l l sorts of problems for the re-defined group of practitioners to solve. Examples of paradigms are ready at hand: Ptolemaic and -270- Copernican astronomy, A r i s t o t e l i a n , Newtonian and Einsteinian dynamics, Darwinian evolutionary theory: perhaps we could add C l a s s i c a l , Marxian and Keynesian economics. According to Kuhn's view, normal science develops i n the following manner: i . A set of phenomena at t r a c t attention, but no single para- digm emerges to govern and d i r e c t the work of the community of s c i e n t i f i c p r a c t i t i o n e r s . The same ground i s covered many times and new investigators, s t a r t i n g from scratch i n the f i e l d , f i n d themselves at no disadvantage. Examples of pre-paradigmatic s c i e n t i f i c a c t i v i t y are the study of optics p r i o r to Newton, and the study of e l e c t r i c i t y i n the period preceding the formulation of Franklin's theories. i i . A single paradigm succeeds i n becoming accepted through- out the f i e l d , and thus comes to d i r e c t subsequent research. i i i . This inaugurates a period of "normal science", during which s c i e n t i s t s tend to unquestioningly accept the paradigm as true and l i m i t themselves to developing and checking i t s implications. i v . The expectations provided by the paradigm are not, how- ever, always f u l f i l l e d . Anomalies and contradictions occur, and problems are therefore posed f o r the paradigm which are attacked with the object of encompassing them within the terms of i t s explanatory powers. Further study of these anomalies may lead to a reinte r p r e t a t i o n of them, or to a secondary elaboration of the paradigm. v. Frequently, however, a set of anomalies i s p a r t i c u l a r l y d i f f i c u l t to deal with i n terms of a paradigm, and a period of c r i s i s ensues i n which repeated unsuccessful attempts are -271- made to modify the paradigm to accomodate them. Eventually, another paradigm i s proposed which succeeds i n winning over a number of p r a c t i t i o n e r s , and a " s c i e n t i f i c revolution" takes place. I t i s important to note that a new paradigm may be accepted, not because of any demonstrably superior explanatory power to the old, but simply because a number of pra c t i t i o n e r s welcome the opportunity f o r another attempt at explanation. v i . A new period of normal science then ensues, and the textbooks are rewritten i n order to convince the neophyte of the truth of the paradigm he i s being i n i t i a t e d i n t o . Kuhn's statement of the nature of s c i e n t i f i c a c t i v i t y might be regarded as being, i n i t s f i e l d , a comparable work to that of Evans-Pritchard i n h i s . Instead of focusing upon the content of various forms of b e l i e f , Kuhn begins the process of analysing sets of r e l a t i o n s . The implications of t h i s should be apparent f o r us, and the question n a t u r a l l y a r i s e s of the re l a t i o n s h i p of the sets of r e l a t i o n s analysed by Kuhn to those analysed by Evans-Pritchard (and f o r g e t t i n g the equivocal d i s t i n c t i o n between " s c i e n t i f i c " and "mystic"). The important problem then becomes, not the content of the relevant b e l i e f s , but the manner i n which they are structur- ed. This being so, we are led to seek the differences be- tween, say, E i n s t e i n i a n physics and Zande witch b e l i e f s , on a d i f f e r e n t l e v e l from that of tr u t h and f a l s i t y . In f a c t , many s i m i l a r i t i e s can be drawn between the witch b e l i e f s of the Azande, and s c i e n t i f i c paradigms. As S.B. Barnes says, the behaviour of the Azande i n consulting t h e i r oracles seems to f a l l within "... the d e f i n i t i o n of a -272- problem-solving activity conducted within a set of rules given by social consensus but applied in an open ended way."^ Recognition of this fact leads Barnes to extend Kuhn's notion of paradigm to cover: "The notion of a set of categories, theories and procedures learnt in connexion with concrete examples, accepted by the entire reference group and applied to deal with problems i n concrete situa- tions.. . ".^* But where, given this extension of the notion of para- digm, can the specificity of science be said to l i e ? Funda- mental to the notion of paradigm i s the idea that i t i s a set of concepts and procedures which are used to govern be- haviour. Surely, then, the specificity of science must l i e in the nature of the behaviour which i t s paradigms govern. It i s strange that anthropologists have not appreciated this, and that instead of examining the contexts within which scientific thought operates they have placed their emphasis on the content of that thought. What difference i s there, then, between the behaviour governed by scie n t i f i c paradigms and that governed by social paradigms (Barnes1 term for such paradigms as the witchcraft beliefs of the Azande)? Barnes' suggestion i s that, ... a scientific paradigm governs ac- t i v i t i e s of an esoteric and restricted nature and act i v i t i e s which have no bearing on the general pattern of the scientists' social l i f e . Social para- digms on the other hand tend to be ex- tremely pervasive and to structure ac- t i v i t i e s which i t would be greatly disadvantageous to alter, or even ac- t i v i t i e s which the individual i s i n - -273- capable of a l t e r i n g . Thus f o r the actor the s o c i a l paradigm governs more action and more s i g n i f i c a n t action than the s c i e n t i f i c one. Abandoning, say, the molecular o r b i t a l theory of chemistry means a l o t less than aban- doning the notion of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y or, f o r example, abandoning b e l i e f i n poison oracles i f you are an Azande. 3 5 The s p e c i f i c i t y of science i s therefore to be found i n the fact that i t governs only a r e s t r i c t e d set of a c t i v i t i e s , and does not govern the way of l i f e of the s c i e n t i s t con- sidered as a whole. Science i s therefore linked to the growth of a s o c i a l structure permitting a more specialized role d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n than i s to be found i n s o c i e t i e s such as the Zande. Western science i s therefore a product of permissive and d i f f e r e n t i a t e d s o c i a l s t r u c t u r a l features, and the difference between the mode of thought of the i n d i - v i d u a l s c i e n t i s t and the primitive believer i n magico- r e l i g i o u s ideas i s f a r les s s i g n i f i c a n t than has generally been appreciated by those operating within the context of t r a d i t i o n a l s o c i a l anthropology up u n t i l the present time. -274- Notes and References 1. J a r v i e , I.C. and Agassi, J . , "The Problem of the Rati o n a l i t y of Magic", B r i t i s h Journal of Sociology, V o l . XVIII, (1967), P. 68. 2. Prazer, J.G., The Golden Bough, abridged ed., (Macmillan & Co. Ltd., London, 1960), Vol. I I , P. 932. 3. See Popper, E.R., The Logic of S c i e n t i f i c Discovery, (Harper & Row, New York, 1965). For a c r i t i q u e of Popper^s views, see Ayer, A.J., "Editor's Introduction" to Ayer, A.J. (ed.), Logical Positivism, (The Free Press, Glencoe, 1959), P. 14; also Kuhn, T.S., The Structure of S c i e n t i f i c Revolutions, (University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1962), Pp. 145-6. 4. Frazer, J.G., The Golden Bough, op. c i t . , Vol. I, P. 67. 5. The further difference between magic and science i n Frazer's view, should be noted. This i s that the as- sumption that nature i s governed by impersonal and im- mutable laws remains i m p l i c i t i n magic but i s rendered e x p l i c i t i n science. I b i d . . I t should also be pointed out that an important school of modern physics (Bohr, Heisenberg, von Neumann, etc.) no longer accepts the notion of s t r i c t physical c a u s a l i t y which Frazer r e- garded as basic to science. According to these scien- t i s t s , the notion of s t r i c t c a u s a l i t y i n physics must be replaced by that of s t a t i s t i c a l p r o b a b i l i t y , because subatomic events are indeterminate and unpredictable. Koestler, A., The Act of Creation, (Pan Books Ltd., London, 1966), P. 242. 6. Frazer, J.G., The Golden Bough, op. c i t . , Vol. I, P. 65. 7. See Cannon, W.B., "•Voodoo* Death", American Anthropo- l o g i s t , V o l . XLIV, (April-June 1942), Pp. 169-81. 8. Malinowski, B., "Magic, Science and Religion", i n Malinowski, B., Magic, Science and Religion and Other -275- Essays, (Doubleday & Co. Inc., Garden C i t y , New York, 1954), Pp. 34-5. 9. I b i d . . 10. I b i d . , P. 35. 11. I b i d . , P. .87. 12. Kuhn, T.S., The Structure..., op. c i t . , P. 68. Emphasis mine. 13. Jarvie, I.C., The Revolution i n Anthropology, (Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1967), P. 96. I follow Jarvie i n regarding the demand f o r true explanations as being u n s a t i s f i a b l e , but as nevertheless c o n s t i t u t i n g an "indispensable regulative idea." Ibi d . , P. 16. 14. Nadel, S.F., "Malinowski on Magic and Religion", i n P i r t h , R. (ed.), Man and Culture, (Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1957), P. 198. Emphasis mine. 15. I b i d . . 16. Ibi d . , P. 197. 17. I b i d . , P. 198. 18. Malinowski, B., "Magic...", op. c i t . , P. 26. 19. Nadel, S.F., "Malinowski on Magic...", op. c i t . , P. 208. 20. Evans-Pritchard, E.E., "Science and Sentiment: An Exposition and C r i t i c i s m of the Writings of Pareto", B u l l e t i n of the Faculty of Arts, University of Egypt, V o l . I l l , Part I I , (Dec. 1935), P. 188. 21. Ayer, A.J., "Editor's Introduction", op. c i t . , P. 4. 22. I t i s s i g n i f i c a n t , i n t h i s respect, that Winch considers there to be a close s i m i l a r i t y between Evans-Pritchard's philosophical p o s i t i o n and that of the early Wittgenstein - perhaps the most important single i n - -276- fluence on the Vienna C i r c l e . Winch, P., "Understanding a Primitive Society", American Philosophical Quarterly, V o l . I, No. 4, (Oct. 1964),. P. 313. 23. Evans-Pritchard, E.E., "Science and Sentiment...", op. c i t . , P. 188. 24. Evans-Pritchard, E.E., "Levy-Bruhl's Theory of Primitive Mentality", B u l l e t i n of the Faculty of Arts, University of Egypt, Vol. I I , Part I, (May 1934), P. 22. 25. Evans-Pritehard, E.E., Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic among the Azande, (Oxford University Press, London, 1937), P. 12. 26. Evans-Pritchard, E.E., "The English ( I n t e l l e c t u a l i s t ) Interpretation of Magic", B u l l e t i n of the Faculty of Arts, University of Egypt, Vol. I, Part I I , (Dec. 1933), P. 149. 27. Barber indicates that s c i e n t i s t s may r e j e c t novel theories and discoveries beeause of the professional status of t h e i r o r i g i n a t o r or discoverer, or because these theories and discoveries are inconsistent with current philosophical and r e l i g i o u s views. Barber, B., "Resistance by S c i e n t i s t s to S c i e n t i f i c Discovery", Science, Vol. CXXXIV, (Sept. 1961), Pp. 596-602. I t would be wrong, however, to view such influences i n negative terms only. Thus, according to Koestler, Franklin's formulation of the law of the conservation of matter represents a transposition to the s c i e n t i f i c domain of the Pythagorean doctrine of the transmigra- t i o n of souls. Koestler, A., The Act of Creation, op. c i t . . Pp. 691-2. S i m i l a r l y , Kepler's astronomical theory was i n s p i r e d by the analogy he saw between the Holy T r i n i t y and the sun, stars and space. I b i d . , Pp. 125-7. On the role of aesthetic considerations i n science, see I b i d . . Pp. 246-7. 28. On t h i s point, see note 20, Pp. 125-7 of t h i s t h e s i s . 29. Koestler, A., The Act of Creation, op. c i t . . P. 245. -277- 30. Popper, E.R., The Logic.... op. e i t . , P. 280. Quoted i n Koestler, A., The Act of Creation, op. c i t . , P. 247. Emphasis i n o r i g i n a l . 31. Kuhn, T.S., The Structure.... op. c i t . . 32. Ibid., P. x. 33. Barnes,