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Malinowski's magical puzzles: Toward a new theory of magic and procreation in Trobriand society

Mosko, Mark


Malinowski's classic accounts of Trobriand sociality have left anthropology with many lasting conundrums. This two-part article examines two such puzzles revolving around contradictory reports over the agencies involved in magical chants (megwa). On the one hand, consistent with his pragmatic and functionalist theories of language and culture, Malinowski claimed that, although ancestral baloma and other spirits are typically invoked in most spells, those incantations' efficaciousness derived...[Show more]

CollectionsANU Research Publications
Date published: 2014
Type: Journal article
Source: HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory
DOI: 10.14318/hau4.1.001
Access Rights: Open Access


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