Shared Flashcard Set


Fear and Magic
Final Exam Study Guide
Undergraduate 4

Additional Anthropology Flashcards




Example from lecture of anthropologist Michael Kearney’s experience with witchcraft in Oaxaca   – what happened, how did he “explain” it, how does this example demonstrate the difference in Western “rational” thought and non-Western magical thought?

-Michael fell ill to a disease of the arms, where he broke out in boils


The Oaxacan explanation: witchcraft


Kearney’s explanation: Oaxacan “reality” impinged on his own... causing him to fall prey to a delusion. Magic works if you believe it works

How is the idea/saying “magic works if you believe it works” both ethnocentric AND indicative of magical thinking?

Essentially ethnocentric: they believe in magic so it works for them (but I don’t believe because I’m smarter)


“Mind over matter”= magic! and is indicative of magical thinking

Coincidence as explanation vs. magic/supernatural as explanation?
Non-believers- Coincidence- Random Choice
Believers-Nothing is random- See causal relationships between events
Definition of reality, characteristics (is there one, for example), and link to worldview
-reality is a kaleidoscopic flux of impressions

-Worldview gives us a blueprint for living
-Worldview is an interpretation of “reality”
-Different cultures have different interpretations of “reality” and so have different world views
-Our Worldview: one reality, one truth, science can get at the truth
Know the difference between Western and non-Western explanations and remedies for illness/death/misfortune?
The Limits of Western Medicine
-science/medicine can alleviate the symptoms of illness... but can’t fix the SOURCE of illness

Western science: coincidence, or God’s Will- religion
Magic: can discover the culprit and can punish who is responsible

Illness and Misfortune
Source: Someone else
Remedy: Magic
How do users of magic explain when the magic doesn’t work?
The magic wasn't performed properly or wasn't supposed to work but it leads to the releif of anxiety.
Video segments on the eka desa rudra ritual in Bali: be familiar with Bali’s religion, know what the ritual is for and what occurred the last time(s) it was held?
-Friendly and Regular Contact with Gods and Ghosts
-Eka Desa Rudra: The Feast of the 11 powers
-Art, performances, and rice is given- given to Gods
-demons are given blood sacrifice
-at the end of every century is when it is held
What characterizes scientific proof?
Scientific Proof
... is repeatable and verifiable
Is there any scientific proof that the supernatural exists or that magic works?  Know examples of things that MAY qualify as evidence.
Kirlian Photopgraphy
-energy fields
-used to capture Or-as!
-chinese believe in Qi= Energy

Biofeedback- Manage Pain with Biofeedback
What’s the link between scientific theory and the development of apparatus/equipment/technology?
Why isn’t there proof?
-scientists aren’t looking for proof
-Scientific apparatus designed to prove the validity of magic/the supernatural does not exist.
Which American universities are investigating the supernatural?
Dr. Gary E.R. Schwartz, Ph.D. University of Arizona
How do anthropologists study culture?
Anthropological Research: Fieldwork
-Involves living in another culture for a long period of time (minimum one year)
-Participant-observation method
Why does every ethnography have 2 explanations for the same practices?
Ethnography: Description of Culture
Description: Includes the indigenous explanation of cultural practices or beliefs
“we dance to make it rain.”
Analysis: The anthropologist’s explanation for the same cultural practices/ beliefs
What’s the difference between an ancestral spirit and an angry ghost in Vietnam?
Dying Well
-at home
-many descendants
-proper funeral
-way to become an ancestral spirit

Dying Badly
-no children
-far from home
-incomplete corpse
-this means they automatically become an angry ghost
Why are there so many angry ghosts there, and what do they do to the living?
-they haunt them
What can the living do to protect themselves?
Carlos Castaneda: who was he, what happened to him, what’s the effect of his experience on anthropological investigation into the supernatural?
Carlos Castaneda- one of the godfathers of the New Age Movement: anthropologist who worked with Yagui
-wrote the “The Teachings of Dan Juan” 1968
-Book describes many magical moments and encounters with supernatural
-Castaneda slammed by the discipline and forced out
-Anthropologist today avoid talking about the “reality” of supernatural phenomena for fear of the same thing happening to them
What is ethnobotany?  How does it relate (or not) to the bias against magic?
Definition the scientific study of the relationships that exist between people and plants.

-it futher deepens the differences between western and traditional medicine and the dispute to whether one is better than the other.

What are PSI events?
-Jaytee the psychic dog: always knows when her mom is leaving for work
-Clairvoyance- second sight: precognition, seeing the future before it happens
-Psychokinesis: The ability to move of affect physical objects with your mind
-Clairaudience- hearing things from the beyond- John Edward
-Remote Viewing- Also called astral projection
What is Project Stargate?
CIA’s “Project Stargate” - U.S. Federal Government to investigate claims of psychic phenomena with potential military and domestic applications, particularly "remote viewing": the purported ability to psychically "see" events, sites, or information from a great distance.
What are indigo children?
- children diagnosed with A.D.D 10-50% of children in this country, these children are the next step in evolution for human beings. Their gifts need to be protected because they are the next step into a more spiritual world.
ESP – how is it tested, what are some of the theories about it, how do symbols possibly relate to testing for ESP?

ESP Testing using Zener Cards


-extrasensory perception
-Term coined in 1870
-1st documented in biblical times


Who has ESP?
-ESP is independent of such factors as age, ethnicity, intelligence, and education

What are the origins of Halloween?  How is it a ritual of reversal?
-Appears in America in 1930
-Brought to this country by Irish, Scottish, and English immigrants in the 1800s.

Origins of Halloween
-Samhain was the Celtic New Year
-Celebrated the harvest
-Evil was believed to roam the land on Samhain’s eve
-The Celts made peace offerings to the spirits

Rituals of Reversal
-women clown as men in the wedding Kalai
-running of the bulls in Spain
Who was Prince Vlad Dracula?
-Prince Vlad Dracula III of Walachia (1431-1476)
-Brutal Hungarian prince
-Vlad Tepes- “Vlad the Impaler”
How can disease possibly account for vampire and werewolf myths?
From 1576- Venice, Italy
Origins of the Vampire?
-Xeroderma pigmentosum
-a rare genetic disorder with symptoms mimicking vampirism
-Medieval remedy; drink blood

Porphyria: the key to lycanthropy? (Disease)
-can’t go out in daylight and they grow excessive amounts of hair
Know the origin of the European werewolf myth?
Werewolves- Origins
--Bedburg, Germany 1591
-Villagers corner a wolf, it turns into a man
-Peter Stubbe, serial killer who murdered his victims as a wolf
-16th and 17th centuries: 30,000 accused werewolves
-Evil man-beast or tripping on bad bread? (ergot infected rye)!!!
What primate might be the source of the Bigfoot stories?
-Gigantopithecus- linked to big foot
-largest primate that ever lived
From lecture, what did Wade Davis learn about zombies?
Zombies and Vodou
-Wade Davis
-Tetrodotoxin- poison found in puffer fish
-slowing of the heart and respiration so that your appear dead
What accounts for the strange Nazca skulls?
-The shaping and molding of the skull at birth
What’s the Mothman myth?  Slender Man?  Black Eyed Kids?

Mothman prophecies- movies
-Silver Bridge Tumblers- tragedy follows


SlenderMan: very tall and very thin, face is blank and he has tentacles out of his back- causes slender sickness- IT IS FAKE- ALL A HOAX FOR A PARANORMAL PHOTOSHOP CONTEST.


-BEKs- black eyed kids
-portray themselves as kids and have an evil ora, also goes along with the Vampire theme that they can not be allowed into your house unless invited

What is the significance of the Homo floresiensis (Hobbit Man) find in Indonesia?
Homor floresiensis
-Hobbit Man
-dated to 18,000 years ago
Why are ghoulish girls so terrifying in parts of Asia?
Reasons why Asian think these girls are so scary!
-the oldest son or daughter is supposed to upkeep the worship of the dead ancestors
-died young means your have no one there to worship and pray for you, doomed to stay in the dreadful limbo
-suicide maidens: commit suicide after being jaded
-youthful mothers and wives who are miserable
-only young girls where there hair down long and loose
-the white night gown represents death in Asia
-white also represents pure, illness, innocence
-shouts young, innocence, powerless
-An Asian Phenomenon
What’s the function of urban legends?  What themes are present in the most popular American urban legends?

Function: To warn us against potentially dangerous situations and behaviors


Themes: Urban legends reflect a soceities fears and anxieites

American Urban legends: reflect our lives as modern, industrialized, culturally diverse, free people

Know the history of and connection between the leprechaun legend of frontier days and post WWII UFO legends

-Immigrants travel west; lephrachauns trick traverlors to their doom (warned against get rich schemes)

-dangers from ground and forest

-Aliens, human- like, little green men, mass sighting in the 40s and 50s; also has to do with the final frontier

-people believed in abduction, experiment, examine sex organs, take egg and sperm

-demonstrates danger of science and technology

What characterizes UFO legends today?  How does this reflect contemporary fears?  What are the religious dimensions of contemporary UFO legends?

-Aliens, human- like, little green men, mass sighting in the 40s and 50s; also has to do with the final frontier

-people believed in abduction, experiment, examine sex organs, take egg and sperm

-contemporary fears/themes: Impersonal, strangers everywhere, nuclear family the exception, highly mobile, technology-dependent, free lvoe, career oriented, powerful corporations, uneasy multicultuarilsm.

-9/11 and muslims/ Jewish

Be able to analyze a classic urban legend
Know what diabolical witchcraft is and the purported behaviors of the diabolical witch?
Diabolical witchcraft: emerged in Europe in the 15th century
according to the church- pact with devil
How is this kind of witchcraft related to the Christianization of Europe?
The Witch craze
-a time of great social upheaval in Europe
-Religious difference
-The Church= Holy Roman Church= Catholicism
-Discount with Church practice and doctrine grows through the 1400s
-Martin Luther ushers in the period of Reformation in 1517
-The split happened
-Led to religious civil wars throughout Europe
-the only thing protestants and catholics agreed on: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live

Know the relevant dates of and numbers killed during the Witchcraze?

-up to 9 million killed as witches
-85% were women
-”The women’s holocaust”


The Witch craze

How does the rise of Protestantism connect to the witchcraze ?
-The split happened
-Led to religious civil wars throughout Europe
-the only thing protestants and catholics agreed on: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live
-up to 9 million killed as witches
-85% were women
-”The women’s holocaust”
Why was there a population shift in Europe right before the witchcraze got underway?  What characterized that shift?

Population shift in medieval Europe
-the population of single women- widows and spinsters
-rises from 5% to 20-40% in this period.. why?

-1st outbreak 1347-1351 call the The Black Death

-25 million died
-Men were 600 times more likely to die- more likely to come in contact with the plague
-dead husbands, no men to marry= single women
-women inherited from their fathers and husbands if there were no sons
-40% of the population not under the control of men
Dangerous women-witches

Know the difference between men’s and women’s healing practices in pre-Christian Europe, and know the effects of the rise of the medical profession?
Local Traditions of Magic
-Healing magic
-women were herbalists and traditional healers
“crone” means wise woman
The rise of the medical profession
-women healers: Herbalists, midwives, magic healers**
Men healers: apothecaries, surgeons, barbers, physicians**
Traditional Gender Folklore
IN the Christian view, women are dangerous
The pre-christian view held that women were easily swayed by sexual impulses
Heresy Defined as Non-christian
-pagan= non- christian
-pagan became associated with the Devil in the 1400s
How was information pertaining to witchcraft and other heresy spread during the witchcraze?

The Inquisition
-A permanent tribunal established by Pope Gregory IX in 1231
The Processes by which heretics of all kinds were rooted out, tried, and punished


-The Sermon
-this became the primary method of religious education by the time of the witchcraze
-Priests disseminated the Church’s ideas about witchcraft to the uneducated masses


-The Printing Press 1437
The Malleus Maleficarum “The witch’s Hammer” 1486
guidebook to catching and killing witches
witch is used interchangeably with woman

Be able to describe the typical peasant’s life in Europe during the Middle Ages?
-Peasant life: 90% of Europeans lived in small communities of a few hundred, villages 15-20 miles apart
-Agricultural Labor
-fertility religion
-They had unnamed religious practice- respect nature- nature magic became herresy
Who is credited with starting the neopagan witchcraft movement?
Gerald Gardner 1884-1964
-created neopagan witchcraft in the 1940s
What is neopagan witchcraft?   What do practicing neopagans claim is its history?  What is the political significance of neopaganism?
Neopagan witchcraft
-reverence for nature
-claims to be the traditional pre Christian religious of europe
-many local traditions pertaining to the supernatural
Idealization: construction of a golden age that never was

-A powerful critique of modern society!! is what is thought of neopaganism

Factors playing into the association of women with witchcraft


10 Factors


1. Plague

2. Protestantism

3. Local Traditions of Magic

4. The Rise of the Medical Profession

5. Traditional Gender Folklore

6. Heresy Defined as Non-Christian

7. The Inquistion

8. The Sermon

9. The Printing Press 1437

10. The Malleus Maleficarum “The witch’s Hammer” 1486

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