Topic // Magical Language, Narrative & Discourse
Sample Question: In what way is the anthropologist a shaman in
relation to consultancy?
Reading 1 // Brown (1984) The Role of Words in Aguaruna Hunting
1. Who are the Aguaruna?
- They live in upper peru, in the highlands
- They are horticulturalists
- They live in small villages
- They are a tribe involved in low intensity village type warfare
2. What is the myth of the Tsewa?
- the myth is about the “ancestral spider monkey”
- it talks about how humans brought hunting magic to life. The
human was not grateful of the fact that the spider-monkey gave
human its ability to hunt. So the spider-monkey broke a tool used
by the humans and killed the humans by sticking the tool inside
the humans anus, turning it into a
3. Instrumental means and refers to PRACTICAL versus expressive
which means to COMMUNICATE.
4. What is “anen”?
- The anen refers to a category of music, a “powerful song” that
initiates songs and change among the Aguaruna. These songs
often contain powerful words, mythical illusions, they borrow
from other neighboring languages and these songs are
generational songs that are passed down. Fasting is often
associated with songs. The purpose of these songs and hunting
songs is to attract game
5. How do songs exert causal influence on the world?
- For the Aguaruna, some songs have sexual implications within
- Some songs have social-sexual implications for women
- Hunting songs have a strong sexual implication within them as well.
- Lyrics themselves within some songs exert the usage of things
Songs exert causal influence on the world because they cause
consumers to act a certain way based on the principles of what songs
are teaching us.
Songs in relation to music cause certain feelings to be aroused. A
specific vibration is caused through song.
Brown does not make a distinction between whether or not song is
practical or expressive.
Reading #2 // Dein (2002) The Power of Words: Healing Narratives
among Lubavitcher Hasidim
1. Who are the Lubavitchers?
- “Lubavitcher” is the name of a town that is associated with the
founder, a Rabbi
- The town is famously known for inter-family marriages
- Many Lubavitchers have jobs BUT in their down time they almost
always are amongst their own kind
2. What is the only way to understand healing by the
recitation of religious texts?
- The main way to understand healing according to Dein for
Lubavitchers is that the recipients of their religious text, the
Kabbalah, actually understand their text. As much as religious
texts are composed of words, if the recipient of the word
3. what is Kabbalah?
-“received tradition” is what the word means
- Kabbalah is often associated with the Hebrew language that is
composed of 22 letters.
**Tetragrammatons’’’, the origins of the Christian
The Lubavitchers believe the Kabbal