Witch Craft of the Azande Essay

2082 Words Apr 25th, 2013 9 Pages
Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic among the Azande
Aaron Wintrich
Professor Arthur
Anthropology of Religion
2,075 Words

Wintrich II
Witchcraft among the Azande is an integral part of everyday life. From highly involved communal practices to individual daily life, witchcraft and such happenings can take place at any time and to anyone. During his time among the Azande, Evans Pritchard originally thought of the Azande’s belief in witchcraft as naïve, believing that all mishaps were caused by bewitchment instead of taking personal responsibility. I personally find this interesting as it is a fine example of how people universally do not typically take responsibility for their misfortunes; instead they blame it on another. Why
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We also say that the people were sitting under it at the time because it was in the heat of the day and they thought that it would be a comfortable place to talk and work. This is the cause of people being under the granary at the time it collapsed. To our minds the only relationship between these two independently caused facts is their coincidence in time and space. We have no explanation of why the
Wintrich IV two chains of causation intersected at a certain time and in a certain place, for there is no interdependence between them.” (Pritchard, pg. 70) To the Azande, the only explanation, of course, is witchcraft. I don’t know about you, but for me so far, all of our author’s attempts to get an explanation about what witchcraft is has failed. We know that witchcraft is the cause of misfortunes and personal injury sustained by the Azande people through what they believe to be no fault of their own, but I think we have yet to have any understanding of what causes witchcraft itself. Where does it come from, who causes it, and is it in any way like a sort of karma believed to be punishment for bad deeds like in eastern philosophies? I think we need to take a deeper look into witchcraft and what the Azande people are actually talking about, because from what I’ve gathered so far, the Azande believe that witchcraft is an unexplained phenomena of independent events that in no way should have had any reason to take place simultaneously

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