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Engel, C - On the role of magicians

Identifier

007306

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

I have shortened this a little simply because it was pages and pages long. He provides examples of magicians [shamans, medicine men, priest astrologers etc] spreading from North America to New Zealand, Africa, the Far East including India, Australia and every continent. He also makes many links with the instruments used in invoking functions – the spells - rattles drums and bells.

A description of the experience

Musical Myths and Facts Volume II 1876 – C. Engel

Nations or tribes in a low state of civilisation [sic] as there are many still existing at the present day, have generally so called ‘mystery men’ or ‘medicine men’ who combine in one person the avocation of the priest, physician and musician and who are also usually prophets, sorcerors, rain makers, shrewd advisors – in short men who by their comparatively superior knowledge and skill obtain considerable influence over their … fellow men……

Considering that the mystery men alluded to are, as a rule, mentally the most gifted and the most crafty personages of the tribe to which they belong and that they are especially familiar with the views, inclinations, customs and weaknesses of their people, a detailed account of the social position and doings of these extraordinary individuals in different parts of the world might be very interesting............

The Indian tribes in Guiana have mystery men, called Piatzas or Piaies, who constitute a powerful priesthood. In their incantations they use rattles and also drums and bells.

The Negroes [note that this is an old text] in Western Africa have professional musicians or minstrels, called in Senegambia Griots; singing men or bards called Jillikea; Fetish priests who drum and dance as if they themselves were possessed of evil spirits; priestesses of the Serpent worship, which has its principal temples in Whydah; Rainmakers; Wizards, called Greegreemen; and other ‘wise’ men who are also physicians and musicians…..

The mystery man in Benguela is called Kimbanda….The Somali in Eastern Africa, have similar mystery men called Tawuli; and the natives of Zanzibar have the Mganaga who professes to heal the patient by expelling the demon by means of his singing and the shaking of his rattle. The mystery man of the Kafirs of Natal likewise accompanies his recitations with a rattle…….

The aborigines are divided into numerous tribes who have no chief or leader properly speaking, except the Crodgy or ‘wise man’ who…. Is also the conductor of their ceremonies

The source of the experience

African tribal

Concepts, symbols and science items

Symbols

Magician

Science Items

Shamans

Activities and commonsteps

Commonsteps

Rattles

References