By Harry G. West
According to the folks of the Mueda plateau in northern Mozambique, sorcerers remake the realm through saying the authority in their personal ingenious visions of it. whereas undertaking examine between those Muedans, anthropologist Harry G. West made a revealing discovery—for lots of them, West’s efforts to problematic an ethnographic imaginative and prescient in their international was once itself a sort of sorcery. In Ethnographic Sorcery, West explores the attention-grabbing matters provoked by means of this equation. A key subject matter of West’s study into sorcery is that one sorcerer’s claims will be challenged or reversed by way of different sorcerers. After West’s try and build a metaphorical interpretation of Muedan assertions that the lions prowling their villages are fabricated by means of sorcerers is disputed by way of his Muedan study collaborators, West learned that ethnography and sorcery certainly have a lot in universal. instead of leaving behind ethnography, West attracts suggestion from this connection, arguing that anthropologists, besides the folk they research, can scarcely stay away from examining the realm they inhabit, and that we're all, inescapably, ethnographic sorcerers.
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Extra info for Ethnographic Sorcery
Building upon the phenomenological tradition, Greg Urban has asserted: “If truth is carried in discourse, and if discourse is completely embedded in the human populations in which it circulates, then to study the nature of truth and knowledge, we need to study the ways in which discourse—and hence truth— varies from one part of our globe to the next” (: xi). ³ Viewed in this way, “sorcery practices are more than a representation,” according to Bruce Kapferer, “they are exercises in the construction and destruction of the psychosocial realities that human beings live and share.
Christians and non-Christians alike were also subject to sorcery accusations. The humu Mandia told us that Christians were the targets of sorcery because their wealth and knowledge of the Bible and of foreign languages attracted envy. ” Christians, on the other hand, were accused of practicing sorcery as well to protect themselves and their acquired wealth. In light of all of this, I might simply have read my ﬁeld notes as conﬁrmation that sorcery provided an idiom for the expression of social tensions between Muedans of various categories and their respective sociological “others,” were it not for the fact that my notes also bore evidence that Muedans suspected and accused those with whom they shared essential social attributes.
I don’t see how Julia Nkataje’s water is any diﬀerent,” I said. Marcos now became serious as well. “Mano, the important thing is that people believe in it. You know that your orange juice is just orange juice, so no one will believe you. Julia Nkataje believes in her cure, so her patients do too. ” Marcos told a story to illustrate his argument. “I once healed a woman. She was trembling the way people do when they are possessed. I’m no nkulaula, and I don’t have any mitela. ” He reached forward and rubbed his thumb on my forehead in the sign of a cross.