Evans Pritchards opening line of this chapter point blank refuses to believe that witchcraft can exist; ‘Witches..clearly cannot exist’ (1976). This is a very clearly a Western perspective in witchcraft, as our society dictates that no such thing is possible as we regard ourselves as rational beings. In this way, Pritchards as an ethnographer is very close-minded. In my opinion, Pritchards uses the negativity at the beginning as an advantage to the reader.  This is because he then goes on to explain the Azande system of Witchcraft, which by the end seems plausible. Throughout the chapter Pritchards explains how feasible the Azande system of witchcraft is. Witchcraft for the Azande explains why events happen, not how they happen. Concentrating mainly on the secondary causes rather than the primary. The philosophy of the Azande’s witchcraft supplies the missing link. In the Western world there are no explanations for coincidences, they just occur for things in which we would call fate, karma or bad luck. The Azande people’s perception of how things happen remain as clear as ours, making sure that the cause and effect is not contradicted. Again, this makes their system of witchcraft very plausible but yet to us very foreign because of the society we have been brought up in. In this way, witchcraft steps in when nothing else can.

Advertisements
Standard

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s