Sunday, February 27, 2011

Magic on the Breath

"For the Rauto [people of Papua New Guinea] much of the power of magic is thought to be carried on the breath of the magician. When a leading magician begins to age, people will sometimes say that the magician's breath has gone ... or that the breath has lost heat and has become 'cold' and 'light,' and thus no longer laden with power." (Thomas Maschio, To Remember the Faces of the Dead: The Plenitude of Memory in Southwestern New Britain, 1994, p. 52).

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