The Truth of Sorcery

Excerpt From Essay

"The anthropological study of witchcraft in the colonial period centered on functionalism and the revelation of conflict. Recent African studies in particular have revealed new dimensions of witchcraft, no longer confined to localities but located in the state and in the international economy. Witchcraft, it is clear, has not declined with independence and development; it has, rather, flourished 1 in unexpected ways and entwined itself in political action and political thinking. The study of how this happened belongs to the ethnography and the history of particular cases. Such study, however, is not intended to reveal the nature of witchcraft as an institution, if it is that. Rather, one must return to earlier studies that look at the phenomenon in general. In the discussion below. I have picked out the works of Claude Levi-Strauss and Marcel Mauss because it seems to me they offer the strongest arguments and because certain of their assumptions and conclusions are now embedded in our thinking in ways that bear reexamination."

"The Truth of Sorcery," James T. Siegel (35).

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