Essay by TrailRunner19University, Master'sA, March 2004

download word file, 10 pages 3.7

Downloaded 91 times

Witchcraft may be defined for general purposes as the use of psychic power alone to commit some type of deed, whether good or foul. In traditional societies today, the word is synonymous with sorcery. But there is a distinction made between them by people who study the precepts created by these interesting people. Sorcerers are known to manipulate objects, while witches need only to think a thought to turn their emotions into a good or evil deed. Cultures vary in the characteristics they attribute to witches and in how witches cause harm or benefit. The Navajo associate witches with the worst imaginable sins within their culture.

The object of this paper is to find out whether there are some instances where witchcraft is not seen as a sin or a form of evil within the Navajo society. The sources that will be utilized are "Native Voices" Blaine, Martha., (2000); "Witchcraft" Woolf, Alan.

(2000); and "Coyote In Navajo Witchcraft and Religion" Bever, Edward., (2002). These sources are all from credible journals and I feel that they provide beneficial evidence for the point that I am trying to put across in this paper.

My first source is entitled "Native Voices." The research for this paper was done on a Navajo reservation. The exact location within the reservation is not mentioned. The research for this paper was carried out in the fall of the year 2000. The writer of this paper reported on the different stories told about witches. She talks about how within the Navajo community that she is staying, witches exist at a certain level, but are more like legends than anything else. The greater part of her research was done by interviewing different people within the community. The author talked to many different aged people to get a better variety...