2May2017 Contextual Study

After that, under the brainwashing of those wise men, people got reason to attribute anything they do not understand (or do not want to understand), any incident or occurrence they cannot explain, to witchcraft. Also people attribute to witchcraft issues or ‘forces’ for which they are not contented with their rational or commonsensical explanations.

Simple sorcery or the use of magic accessible to ordinary people, such as setting out offerings to helpful spirits or using charms which can be found in almost all traditional societies. Prehistoric art depicts magical rites to ensure successful hunting, and also seems to depict religious rituals involving people dancing in animal costumes. Witchcraft, the practice of contacting spirits through dream work and meditative trances, is probably the oldest religion.

According to Prof Bolaji Idowu, “In Africa, it is idle to begin with the question whether witches exist or not…To Africans of every category, witchcraft is an urgent reality.” So the belief in witchcraft is strong and widespread in Africa. The witchcraft mentality is dominant and informs popular thought, understanding and interpretation of phenomena. But the belief in witchcraft is not peculiar to Africans. Many people in Africa often make this mistake of thinking that witchcraft is ‘original’ to them. From other essay, I understand that 22% of Australians still believe in witches. I don’t know if they believe in witches the same way Africans do. But whatever the case, the belief in witchcraft is found in other cultures of the world.

Witchcraft in Africa is different from the European witchcraft. When people talk about the European witchcraft, people usually associate it with magic. Not only the famous film named “Harry Potter”, but also the famous holiday named “Halloween”. But few people would connect the witchcraft with Asia together. Most european people in the 16th century and 17th century believed that God had an enemy called the Devil, who was very powerful. They believed that witches made a pact or agreement with the Devil and agreed to worship and serve him. Witches then used magic to harm animals or humans. In Western Europe witch trials reached a peak in the late 16th century and early 17th century then declined.

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