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The Archaeology of Magic$
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C. Riley Augé

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780813066110

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813066110.001.0001

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The Nature of Magic

The Nature of Magic

Chapter:
(p.12) 2 The Nature of Magic
Source:
The Archaeology of Magic
Author(s):

C. Riley Augé

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813066110.003.0002

To ground the study of magic and archaeology in seventeenth-century New England within the broader field of anthropological magical belief scholarship, this chapter provides a general discussion of magic with definitions of sympathetic magic, ritual, magical worldview, and apotropaism. Discussion of boundary and threshold concepts and explanations of how magic is believed to function includes notions of secrecy, conflict, and body-house interfacing. The chapter concludes with comparative cultural examples of gendered magical practices, like the construction of kolams, to substantiate the possibility that magical use could also have had a gendered aspect in New England.

Keywords:   Kolam, Sympathetic magic, Magical worldview, Secrecy, Conflict, Body-House interfacing, Ritual, Apotropaism, Gendered magical practices

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