The Notion Of Witchcraft Explains Unfortunate Events Essay

1078 Words Sep 29th, 2016 5 Pages
In The Notion of Witchcraft Explains Unfortunate Events, E.E. Evans-Pritchard discusses one case study about the time he spent with the Azande tribe and what he learned about them and their interpretations of magic and witchcraft. Evans-Pritchard describes that the Zande have a philosophy that can easily be described by the following metaphor: witchcraft is the umbaga (or second spear) meaning that the Azande people use witchcraft to complement their understanding of reality (The Notion of Witchcraft 25). The author then offers a point of contrast by speaking about the “we” of Western society and how we differ from the Azande people. In Structural Anthropology, Claude Levi-Strauss provides multiple different ethnographic vignettes that attempt to prove to his readers how magic works. He analyzes the cases of a sorcerer in a South American band of Nambicuara, a young boy on trial for witchcraft among the Zuni people of New Mexico, and a shaman of the Kwakiutl Indians in his attempt to study the function of magic.
Within these two texts that both focus on the same topic- the study of magic and witchcraft, there are vast differences between the ways that E.E. Evans-Pritchard and Claude Levi-Strauss attempt to get their point across to their readers. This leads the scholars analyzing these works to wonder: how does Levi-Strauss’s approach to the study of magic differ from Evans-Pritchard’s and what are the advantages and drawbacks of his approach? In one sense, E.E.…

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