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Navaho Witchcraft Paperback – June 1, 1963

ISBN-13: 978-0807046975 ISBN-10: 0807046973

8 New from $67.22 24 Used from $4.12 1 Collectible from $53.28
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 254 pages
  • Publisher: Beacon Press (June 1, 1963)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807046973
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807046975
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,262,770 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 7, 1997
Format: Paperback
First published in 1944, Clyde Kluckhohn's Navajo Witchcraft offers a comprehensive analysis of witchcraft tradition in Navajo culture. As the main research source, 93 informants were interviewed by Kluckhohn. Among the sample, 76 people were men, 71 individuals were over fifty years old. It is important to note that 38 individuals were ceremonial practitioners who are skilled navigators of their folk knowledge. Based on the data which has been collected since 1923, the first draft was written in 1938, and it was rewritten several times for content revision and data addition. Navajo witchcraft consists of various techniques of malevolent activity which include "Witchery," "Sorcery," "Wizardry," and "Frenzy Witchcraft." Each technique is employed accordingly to a practitioner's purpose. For example, the flesh of a corpse is used in "Witchery," or Witcheryway to put a curse on an individual. Kluckhohn utilizes a functionalist interpretation method to explain the social validity of Navajo witchcraft. Navajo culture is a scarcity culture because of the semi-arid environment and over-grazing by livestock, making life harder for Navajos. In such living conditions, personal insecurity, intra-group tension, and aggression towards others arise among the members of the society. Kluckhohn argues that witchcraft exists as a channel for an individual's socially suppressed frustrations. Witchcraft is a road to supernatural power and power is a central theme in Navajo world view, therefore, its existence is socially accepted. Kluckhohn hypothesizes that socially accepted witchcraft serves as a remedy for hostility and anxiety, maintaining a social equilibrium in Navajo culture.Read more ›
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By ernest schusky on June 10, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Kluckhohn began collecting reports of Navajo witchcraft in the late 1930s gathering data from many individuals. He describes four types of witchcraft. (One wonders if the wide spread distribution of Dene effected the diversity.) This ethnography surpassed any other study of witchcraft at the time, and is useful today for understanding witchcraft practices.
What is less useful is Kluckhohn's reliance on the structural functional theory of the times. In effect, anthropologists "explained" any cultural trait by showing how it lent stabiltiy to the culture. Proof of the explanation relied on the ethnogrpqaher's ability to make a convincing argument that the trait does what he or she says it does.
Comparable studies of African practices were being made by British anthropologists at the same time, and their explanations face the same problem since they were guided by the same theory.
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Michelle Montreuil on July 15, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is really good for anyone interested in Black Magick according to the Navaho Tradition ( which is also very similar to the Apache Tradition ).

The only negative part of this book is that the author doesn't really go into detail on the exact wording of the chants that go along with the Hexes and Curses. Although I feel its understandable why he either chose not to put that in the book or why he wasn't given that kind of information from his contacts.

This book is well worth the money for any student of the Occult.
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