Malinowski's source on magic in Frazer

karl h schwerin (schwerin@UNM.EDU)
Mon, 18 Dec 1995 13:39:30 -0700

On Fri, 8 Dec 1995, anderson wrote:

> I was wondering if anyone out there could provide definitions for
> Malinowski's use of Sympathetic Magic and Contagious Magic. Thanks for
> the help!
> Rachel Anderson
> <>
> San Diego State University

Frazer, James George. 1959. The New Golden Bough. A new abridgment of
the classic work. 1 vol. New York: Criterion Books

Here is how Frazer differentiates between imitative and contagious
magic (1959:7):
"Analysis shows that magic rests everywhere on two fundamental
principles: first, that _like produces like_, effect resembling cause;
second, that _things which have once been in contact continue ever
afterwards to act on each other_. The former principle may be called the
Law of Similarity; the latter, that of Contact or Contagion. From the
one the magician infers that he can produce any effect he desires merely
by imitating it in advance; from the other, that whatever he does to a
material object will automatically affect the person with whom it was
once in contact. Practices based on the law of Similarity may be termed
Homeopathic Magic; those based on the Law of Contact or Contagion,
Contagious Magic."

Karl Schwerin SnailMail: Dept. of Anthropology
Univ. of New Mexico Albuquerque, NM 87131

Much charitable endeavor is motivated by an unconscious
desire to peer into lives that one is glad to be unable
to share. . . . . Edward Sapir