Social Institutions In Primitive Society

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Social Institutions In Primitive Society



Marriage is an institution that enables men and women to enter into family life. John Levy and Ruth Monroe marry because of the feeling that being in a family is the only proper, truly possible way to live. People marry not because it is their social duty to maintain the institution of the family or because the scriptures recommend marriage, but because they lived in a family as children and could not get over the feeling that Living in a family is the only proper way to live life. Society.

The family appears as a result of marriage and it continues through marriage. According to Westermark “marriage is a more or less durable relationship between male and female castings beyond the act of reproduction until after the birth of the offspring”. Marriage enables a child to have a socially recognized father and mother. Renowned anthropologist R. Lowy said that the two major motives behind marriage were the ‘universal purpose of establishing a family and the constant need for companionship in the daily routine of life’.

Therefore marriage is a permanent legal union between a man and a woman. It is an important institution without which the society can never survive.

form of marriage

At present two forms of marriage are evident in human society.

One. Monogamy means marriage of one man to one woman.

  1. Polygamy is the marriage of one man or woman with two or more partners. Polygamy can be of two types polygamy and polyandry. Polygamy means marriage of one man to many women. Polyandry refers to the marriage of one woman with several men.

Matrilocal residence i.e. the practice of a man living in his wife’s house is also in favor of polygamy.

The marriage of a man with two or more sisters at a time is called sororal polygyny. When the co-wives are not sisters, the marriage is called non-consanguineous polygamy. Andamanese, Kanikkar, Urali, etc. The tribes show a high incidence of sororal polygamy.

Polyandry is also of two types – adelphic or fraternal and non-fraternal. When the husbands are brothers, it is called fraternal polyandry. In contrast to this is non-fraternal polyandry. The Toda and Khasa tribes favor fraternal polyandry, while some Tibetans and Nairs practice non-fraternal polyandry.



Monogamy is considered the most modern form of marriage.

mate selection

One cannot marry whomever one wants in the society. There are some strict rules and regulations. The first criterion for establishing a marriage relationship is the idea of the group itself.


This is the rule by which a man is not allowed to marry someone from his own social group. Such forbidden union is named as incest. Incest is often considered a sin. Various scholars have tried to find out the explanation behind this prohibition. That is, how did the taboo of incest come into vogue.

In fact, there are certain reasons due to which the practice of exogamy was accepted. they are:

(a) The concept of blood relation is prevalent among the members of a group. Therefore, marry with

Group-members are considered to be married between brother and sister.

(b) Due to close association in a small group the attraction between male and female is lost.

(c) There is a popular view that if marriage binds two very distant persons, between whom there is no kinship, a great increase of energy and vigor is possible in the progeny.

Hindus do not choose their marriage partners by their gotro-names. It is believed that “gotro” refers to a large group where the members are descended from a common ancestor. Gotra is exogamous by nature.

consanguineous marriage

It is the rule, which compels the members of a group to marry within the group. All the tribes and caste groups of India are endogamous.



Taboo: An incest taboo is universal feature in the world which means prohibition on sexual intercourse as in all societies between parents and children or close relatives between siblings

The middle is found. among the primitive peoples of the world. The incest ban encouraged marriage outside one’s own social group and thus helped members of different groups to form a larger cooperative group.



Arranged and Preferential Marriage

In many societies, marriages between first cousins are allowed or demanded. When a man is solely meant to marry a particular category of person, it is called an arranged marriage. in some



There is no compulsion in societies, but people consider some association desirable. Such marriages are known as preferential marriages. There are three types of marriages prevalent in this regard.

  1. Cross-Cousin Marriage

This concept was first formulated by Tylor in 1888. It is a marriage that takes place between cousins whose parents are brothers and sisters. The person’s cousins are therefore, on the one hand the children of his father’s sister, and on the other the children of his mother’s brother. This type of marriage relationship has been observed in tribes like Uraon, Toto, Kadar Gond, Kharia etc. A marriage in which the selection of a cousin is not restricted is called an asymmetric type of cross-cousin marriage. Here a man is free to marry any girl he wants, either father’s sister’s daughters or mother’s brother’s daughters.



  1. Parallel Cousin Marriage

When marriages take place between the children of siblings of the same sex, it is called parallel cousin marriage. The mate may come either from the children of one’s father’s brother or from the children of one’s mother’s sister. This type of marriage is found in the Muslim community. Generally in a community, where cross-cousin marriage is permitted, parallel-cousin marriage is prohibited.

  1. Levirate and Sororate

Cultural norms in many societies often compel individuals to marry a sibling of a deceased spouse. The Latin word “levir” means husband’s brother. When a woman marries her husband’s brother after her husband’s death, the practice is called levirate. Kuki, Santhal tribes follow it.

The custom by which a man is bound to marry the sister of his deceased wife is called sororate marriage. The Latin word “sorr” means sister. There are two types of sorority, restricted and non-restricted. Restricted is the real form. But sometimes during the wife’s lifetime, the husband marries his sister – this is called non-restrictive sorority. A man marries several women, which is called sororal polygyny. Andamanese, Uralis, Kanikars, Santhals also do the same.

hypergamy or anuloma marriage

It is a situation where a high caste man marries a low caste woman. For this unequal match a man does not at all lose his caste status or ritual purity. But her children suffer greatly; They partially lost their hereditary status but this type of marriage was sanctioned by Hindu social customs in ancient India.



hypogamy or reverse marriage

It is a situation where a lower caste man marries a higher caste woman. Although this type of matching was sometimes apparent, it failed to gain social acceptance. Because after such a marriage a woman was considered religiously impure to lose her original caste status. ,


ways to get life partner


  1. Marriage by capture
  2. Marriage by trial
  3. Marriage by purchase
  4. Marriage by exchange
  5. Marriage by Service
  6. Marriage by Negotiation
  7. Marriage by elopement
  8. Marriage by infiltration
  9. Marriage on probation.


  1. a) marriage by capture


It is a kind of marriage in which the girl is forcibly taken away against her will. Consent is also not taken from his guardian or close relatives. This type of marriage was once prevalent in all primitive communities. Manu, the ancient legislator of Hindu society, called this type of marriage ‘Rakshasa marriage’ and mentioned it as an accepted way of securing a wife among Hindus. Tribes like Bhil, Gond, Ho etc used to practice it widely. Currently, this practice has been modernized in anticipation of punishment from the court. Between Kharia and Birhor, there is formal possession rather than actual physical possession. A young man who is deeply in love with a girl suddenly applies vermilion

Runs away by putting it on the forehead of the girl at the public place. After this the girl becomes his wife. Sometimes these types of marriages are found in Santal society. Gotup is captured by the goons. A mock fight is organized between the two parties where the bride cries and wails ceremonially. Mock capture is also practiced in Africa, Melanesia and China. In societies where the number of women is more, there the groom is captured. Such a practice has been noted from the Kambot people of New Guinea.

(B) Marriage by trial

It is the kind of marriage where a young man has to prove his courage, valor and physical strength before claiming the girl as his wife. Such practice is widespread among the Bhils of Central India.


(c) marriage by purchase

This is the common way of getting a wife in tribal societies. Here the marriage demands a payment for the bride, which is known as bride price. Such a practice was widespread in Hindu society in the Vedic age. The lower castes of Bengal still prefer to marry by purchase. wifi

This practice is quite common among the Kuki and Rengma Nagas. Santhal, Oraon, Toto, Lodha etc. are no exception to this.



(d) marriage by exchange

It is a modified form of ‘marriage by purchase’. Here a second bride is provided in lieu of compensating the bride price. Due to which the payment could not be claimed by either of the two families. In Melanesia and Australia a man’s sister is offered to his wife’s brother. The same was done among the elite Brahmins of Bengal. The Bhotias of Almora also show this type of marriage in their community.

(e) Marriage by service

It is a marriage ceremony given by the groom to the bride’s family with considerable labor before the wedding. A prospective groom goes to live in the house that will be his father-in-law’s house and works for them. The length of service varies among different groups of people. It could be a few days or a few months or even a few years. In Banas of Bengal, the groom serves his in-laws for six to nine months. Weifei cookies take this period to be two to three years. For Bhils, it is about seven years. This type of practice is also popular among the Amol, Purum and Chiru Kukis of Manipur, Eskimos and Ains of Japan. Marriage by service is also associated with matrilineal residence.

(f) Marriage by negotiation

In this type of marriage there is mutual consent of both the parties. Here the parents search for suitable matches and then negotiate. Sometimes go-betweens are appointed. Most of the tribes and castes of India follow this path. The Puram Kukis of Assam, the Mundas and Hos of Chhota Nagpur, the Baigas of Madhya Pradesh show the most rigor in this process.


(g) Marriage by migration

Tribes, especially those that have dormitories for youth, encourage adolescent boys and girls to choose their mates. In this case, if the consent of the parents is not available, then the escape takes place. The boy drives the girl away and usually after a long time, the couple is reunited in the family. When the runaway couple is re-inducted into the tribe, they must undergo a round of beatings. After that a grand feast may or may not take place. This type of marriage is very popular in Oraon. In the Kurnais of South East Australia, about a dozen girls are abducted at a time.

(h) Marriage by infiltration

This is the marriage which takes place according to the wish of the girl. When a girl is ready to marry someone who does not want her, she herself enters his house and starts living there without the permission of that house. Naturally they misuse her and the girl has to face various kinds of harassment. If she conquers all of them, the marriage is approved. Such a strange way of marriage is known as ‘marriage by infiltration’. It is celebrated among tribes like Birhor and Ho.

(i) Marriage on probation

It is a marriage in which the groom is allowed to stay in the bride’s house for a few days before the wedding. During this both the boy and the girl try to know each other better. If they think that their nature is compatible with each other, then only they decide about the marriage. Otherwise they are separated and in the second case the boy has to compensate the girl’s parents with a cash payment. Such a method of finding mates is found in the Kuki community.



















Family is the basis of human society. It is the most important primary group of the society. Family as an institution is universal. It is the most enduring and the most widespread of all social institutions. Interpersonal relationships within the family make the family a permanent social unit. The family is not only the basic social group; It is also the oldest institution of mankind, which has the power to withstand social changes. Biological and social reproduction in the family is essential to maintain the continuity of the society.

The word ‘family’ is derived from the Latin word ‘famulus’ [meaning servant. Elliott and

Merrill, family is an organic social unit made up of husband, wife and children.



family origins

In the beginning of human society there was neither family nor marriage. Only a kind of unruly animal-like life prevailed. Institutions, namely, family and marriage came into existence after certain stages of social development.

Much anthropological research and speculation has been done to trace the historical origins of the family. LH Morgan, J.G. Fraser and more recently R.Brifault were influenced by the evolutionary theories of Darwin and Spencer. He tried to project the family through unilinear development.

In the book ‘Ancient Society’ (1851) Morgan showed five successive stages for the development of the family. At the base was the Rajni family, which resulted from group marriages between members of the same generation. There marriage was allowed between brothers and sisters. The second phase was the Punaluan family. Although this type of family was the result of group marriage, the marriage of brother and sister was prohibited. The Sindisemian family came in the third stage based on the marriage between a man and a woman. But it was devoid of the norm of exclusive cohabitation; The marriage relationship continued as long as the happiness of the parties remained. In the fourth stage, the patriarchal family began to denote the marriage of one man with several women. The last or final of the stages appeared with the nuclear family where marriage between single pairs

H was accepted with the criteria of exclusive cohabitation. According to Morgan a monogamous family was similar to the modern nuclear family. McLennan and Herbert Müller, along the same lines, advocated that sexual communism prevailed in early stages of society and that group marriage was only a step higher form of promiscuous status.







Family Type


Variations in family patterns are quite natural. It depends on the methods of marriage and the economic system.

  1. a) Monogamous family/Nuclear family

This type of family is based on monogamy, ie marriage between one man and one woman. It is the simplest of all types of families as it consists of one man; His wife and children. Here the husband or wife cannot remarry as long as the husband or wife is alive. Other names for this family are primary family, basic family, matrimonial family, immediate family, primary family, etc. Since this type of family serves as the nucleus of all other types of families, it is also popularly known as nuclear family. . , Various tribal groups of India eg. Santhals, Lodhas, Kharias, Birhors, Chenchus, Khasis, Kadars etc. show this type of family in their community. A monogamous family structure is also common among Aboriginal Australians,

Joint Family/Extended Family

In some types of family, the nucleus is extended with some close relatives and the family is called an extended family. Sometimes it is also called joint family. According to the Handbook, Notes and Queries of Anthropology (1874), a joint family is formed when “two or more family relatives of the same sex, their husbands and children, live in the same house and jointly share the same rights”. or are subject to a single head.”. This means that the joint family is a large group extending over two, three or more generations, of which husband, wife and children are related members.

Joint families arise and remain as the members carry out their activities in a harmonious manner under the leadership of the eldest person of the household. Cooperation and mutual support are the key words here. Important economic factors play a role behind the formation of joint families.

  1. b) polygamous family

This type of family is made up of two or more nuclear (monogamous) families that are linked by multiple marriages. The essential feature is that within a polygamous family one of the spouses remains the same as in all monogamous families. Polygamous families can be of two types – polygamous and polyandrous.

  1. i) Polygamous family

This type of family is based on a polygamous form of marriage, where a man marries more than one woman and lives in the same household with all his wives and children. This type of family is also seen in the Kulin Brahmins and Muslim community of Bengal. In terms of tribal groups, Nagas of North-East India, Gonds and Baigas of Central India represent this type of family. Outside India, polyandrous families are found among the Eskimo tribes of North America, the Crow and the Hidatsa, and especially among African Negroes.

Polyandrous families often arise after the status of a greater number of women than men in a society. It also indicates the low social status of women; The status of men is prestigious because they can have many wives at a time.




  1. ii) Polyandry family

This type of family is the result of a polygamous form of marriage. Here a woman marries many men and lives with all the husbands and children. polyandry type

The number of households is not at all prominent; Rather they are confined to small pockets. By nature, polyandrous families can be divided into two groups—fraternal (adelphic) polyandrous families and non-fraternal polyandrous families.

Fraternal polyandry is a family where a woman marries two or more brothers. In northern India, a belt is found from Janusar-Bawar through the Kangra valley to the Hindu Kush range, where families are mainly polyandrous. The Marquesans of Polynesia also display this type of family. In India, the Khasa of Uttar Pradesh, the Kinnaur, Lahaul and Sprit people of Himachal Pradesh, the Sinhalese of Sri Lanka, some Tibetans and the Todas of the Nilgiri Hills show this type of family.

In non-fraternal polyandrous families, the husbands are not necessarily brothers. Such families were once widespread among the Tibetans and Nairs of Kerala.

joint family

This family type refers to a solid group, formed from a set of single family units or parts of them. These types of families are formed under special circumstances. For example, once the practice of female infanticide, the number of males in the Toda community increased and polyandry became popular. But at present the practice of female feticide has completely stopped and hence the number of males and females in the community has become parallel. Still due to the traditional belief, a brother’s wife is seen as the wife of all other brothers in the family. Now, if those brothers marry separately and live in the same household, all the brothers together with all their wives and children give birth to a joint family which is normally an unusual phenomenon.

  1. c) Joint family

This is not only an unusual but also a very complex form of family.

P is also there. The male of such a family is often forced to spend long hours in distant forests to earn a living. During that time a man from the neighborhood comes to take care of the family as per the rules. This man establishes matrimonial relationship with the wife and goes back when the real husband returns. The Dearie, a hunting tribe from Australia, show this type of family. Thus a daria woman has one permanent husband (tippamalku) and several temporary husbands (pirauru). All the children live in the same house with the mother. Such a family is called a joint family.

Based on the rules of residence the family is classified into six.

  1. a) patriarchal residence

After marriage, the wife goes to live with her husband at her husband’s house. This type of residence is widely visible in our society. Tribes like Santhal, Munda, Lodha etc. follow this pattern of residence.



  1. B) matrilocal residence

After marriage husband comes to live in wife’s house, Khasi, Garo etc. tribes provide


  1. c) dual residence

Sometimes, the newly married couple is free to decide where they will live, whether with or near the husband’s relatives, or with or near the wife. Necessity determines the pattern of residence here. This form of residence is called bilocal residence.

  1. d) Neolocal residence

After marriage the couple does not live with or near close relatives of either party. Wherever they live, they create a separate existence of their own. This type of housing is called neolocal housing.

  1. e) local housing

In some societies the newly married couple goes to live with the wife’s uncle (mother’s brother). Such avankulocal dwellings are found in matrilineal societies. Therefore, this type of event is relatively rare. Yet the Nairs of the Malabar Coast adore him. Trobriand Islanders sometimes prefer to set up this type of residence.

  1. f) Maternal-Paternal Residence

In some societies, first the husband lives with the wife in her house. After some time, usually after the birth of the first child, he returns to his ancestral home with his wife. This type of residence is prevalent among the Chenchus of South India.

family functions

As the reproductive cell of the society, the family performs some specific functions which can be mentioned as follows:

  • The need for food and shelter is considered fundamental for the survival of the child.
  • The family functions as a biological unit by providing a common abode for a man and a woman where sexual satisfaction is possible between them.
  • A family regulates various relationships among its members.
  • The family presents itself as an economic unit because there is a distinct division of labor among the members of the family.
  • The members of a family are bound together by mutual affection and close ties.
  • The family behaves as an effective agent in the transmission of social heritage.
  • The family helps in the transmission of wealth from one generation to the next.
  • The family also transmits the religious tradition.
  • The family acts as a recreational unit as sometimes it organizes some recreational activities for the members.
  • Family acts as a protective shield.

Intra – family roles and relationships

1) husband-wife relationship

2) father and son


3) Mother-daughter relationship

4) Mother-son relationship



5) Father-daughter relationship

6) Elder brother-younger brother relationship

7) Elder sister – younger sister relationship

8) Brother-sister relationship

The family as a basic social institution is undergoing changes. The modern family is fundamentally different from the traditional one. The family has never been more comfortable. There have been changes in both its structure and functions.



An important concept in anthropology – The concept of “kinship” is extremely important in anthropology. In simple societies, kinship ties are so widespread, fundamental and influential that they actually constitute a ‘social order’ in themselves.

But in more complex societies, kinship is usually only a small part of the totality of social relationships that make up the social order. Sociologists do not give much importance to it except in their study of sociology of family. Anthropologists, on the contrary, give more importance to this concept because kinship and family form the focal point in anthropological studies.

Kinship is a method of calculating relationship. In any society, every adult person belongs to two different nuclear families. The family in which he was born and brought up is called the ‘Family of Orientation’. The other family with which he establishes relationship through marriage is called the ‘family of progeny’. The kinship system is neither a social group nor does it correspond to an organized gathering of individuals. It is a structured system of relationships where individuals are bound together by complex interlocking and ramifying ties.

Irawati Karve in her book ‘Kinship Organization in India’ mentions three things

It is absolutely necessary to understand any cultural phenomenon in India.

Among Hindu peasants, the family may also include parents, married sons and aged grandparents, father’s sisters, unmarried and widows. Usually, generations in a family merge here.


Structural Theories of Kinship:

kinship system

are governed by certain basic principles which may be called “facts of life”.

Robin Fox talks about four basic principles which are mentioned below: Principle-1: Women have children

Theory-2: Men impregnate females Theory-3: Men usually exercise control Theory-4: Primary kin do not mate with each other.



These theories emphasize the basic biological fact on which the kinship system rests. Men and women engage in sexual contact and as a result women give birth to children. This creates a blood relationship between individuals and special terms are used to identify this relationship: mother, child and father. A relationship based on blood relations is called “blood relation”, and such relatives are called ‘blood relations’.

The desire to reproduce gives rise to another type of binding relationship. “Such a bond, which arises from a socially or legally defined matrimonial relationship, is called an ultimate kin”, and such kin are called ‘an ultimate kin’. The last type [husband and wife] are not related to each other through blood.

Rule of Lineage:

‘Descent’ refers to the social recognition of biological relationships that exist between individuals. The ‘law of descent’ refers to a set of principles by which a person traces his or her ancestry. Kinship ties are very important in almost all societies. A person always has some obligation towards his relatives and he expects the same from his relatives. Succession and inheritance are related to this rule of descent. The four important rules of decency are as follows;

patrilineal lineage

When the lineage is traced only through the male line, it is called patrilineal lineage. A man’s sons and daughters all belong to the same lineage group by birth, but it is only the sons who continue the affiliation. Succession and inheritance pass through the male line.

matrilineal lineage

When the lineage is traced only through the female line. This is called matriarchal lineage. At birth, children of both sexes belong to the lineage group of the mother, but later only females receive succession and inheritance. That’s why daughters carry forward the tradition from generation to generation.

bisexual descent

In some societies individuals are free to trace their lineage through males or females. That’s why some people of such a society are related to the kin group of the father and some others to the kin group of the mother. There is no fixed rule for ascertaining succession and succession; Any combination of lineal links is possible in such societies.

bilateral descent

The word bilateral means two-sided. There are some societies where none of the linear principles work,

That is, individuals in those societies do not associate themselves with a common ancestor. The descent of a particular line is not counted; rather they accept relativity

With equal importance of both father and mother. Relatives on both sides are counted in terms of egregor and mainly include parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts and first cousins. Nuclear families are always bilateral



Because the husband and wife essentially come from two different families and the children belong to both

Parents’ family. United States society is characterized by bilateral descent.

special relationship usage

Kinship practices or kinship rules are important in understanding the kinship system. They serve two main purposes:


  • They form groups or specialized groups or kin. For example- family, extended family, gotra etc.
  • Kinship laws govern the role of relations between relatives.


Kinship usage provides guidelines for interactions between individuals in these social groups. It defines appropriate and acceptable role relationships. Thus it acts as a regulator of social life. Some of these relationships are: Avoidance, Technonymi, Avenculet, Emitate, Couvade and Joke’s relationship.

These special kinship practices, which are of particular importance in relation to uneducated societies.

(A) Avunculate

It is a strange use to be found between the children of a mother’s brother and her sister. In some matrilineal societies, the maternal uncle takes over many of the duties of the father as a matter of tradition. His nephews and nieces live to his right. They also inherit their property. Such a relationship exists between the Trobriand Islanders of Melanesia and the Nairs of Kerala. It refers to the special relationship that exists in some societies between a man and his mother’s brother. This usage is found in matriarchal systems in which the maternal uncle is given prominence in the lives of his nephews and nieces.

(b) amitate

This type of usage is more or less the same as absolutism and is found among patriarchal peoples. The use of amitate assigns a special role to the father’s sister. Here father’s sister gets a lot of respect and prime importance. She is more than a mother to her nephew and exerts authority over him in many events of life. In fact, it is a social mechanism to protect father’s sisters from being neglected, especially in situations where they are thrown out of their in-laws’ homes. Polynesian T

Onga, Toda etc. of South India show this type of usage. The child is not named by his parents but by the father’s sister. Naming the child is his prerogative.

(c) crows

This is another strange experiment of kinship between a husband and his wife. Here the husband is forced to lead a harsh life whenever his wife gives birth to a child. He has to maintain a strict attitude with his wife to observe several taboos. Anthropologists consider crows



A symbolic representation of establishing paternity over the child, according to Malinowski the use of cudgels contributes to a strong marital bond between husband and wife.

It was popular among the Nairs of South India, the Ains of Japan and some communities in China.

(d) avoidance

In most societies the use of avoidance serves as a taboo for incest. This means that generally two relatives of the opposite sex should stay away from each other. In almost all societies, rules of etiquette stipulate that men and women must maintain a certain amount of decency in speech, dress, and gesture in mixed company. It is actually a protective measure against incestuous sex between close relatives who are in face-to-face contact every day.

Purdah practice in the Hindu family in the north reflects the use of avoidance.



(e) joke relationship

This is the exact opposite type of kinship usage as opposed to ‘avoidance’. got funny relationships

In tribal as well as in Hindu society.

A joking relationship involves a characteristic combination of friendship and antagonism between individuals and groups in certain social situations. In these situations it is permissible for one person or group to mock or ridicule another without taking offense. The use of joking relationships allows the other to tease and make fun of. Such a relationship exists between a grandson and granddaughter, his grandfather and grandmother, on the one hand, and Oran in Odisha and Baiga in Madhya Pradesh, on the other.

(f) Technical:

According to the usage of this usage one relative is not referred to directly but through another relative. In a traditional Hindu family, the wife does not directly name her husband, but refers to her husband as the father of so-and-so. James Fraser states that this type of usage is found among people in many places like Australia, New Guinea, China, Northern Siberia, Africa, Andaman Islands etc.


A lineage is a unilineal kinship group larger than a lineage. Here members are assumed to be descended from a common ancestor but genealogical links are not specified. i.e. members cannot demonstrate their true lineal relationship through a pedigree table. in the S

The lineage of such a condition is traced to a mythical ancestor who may be a human being or a plant or an animal or even an inanimate object. The terms clan, sib and gents all indicate similar unilineal kinship.

Gotras are exogamous in nature, meaning that marriage partners must necessarily come from two different gotras. Membership in a clan is hereditary. Members of a clan are usually friendly to each other and



Help each other out following a social need. But sometimes hostile relation is found between the two clans.

A particular animal or plant, which is associated with a gotra as a group identity, is called a totem. R.H. According to Lowy, ‘A totem is usually an animal rarely a plant, yet rarely a cosmic body or force like the sun or the wind, which gives its name to a clan and Perhaps otherwise it is connected with it. A totem is therefore especially important in front of the clan. Rivers defines gotra as ‘an exogamous division of a tribe’, the members of which are bound together by a common descent, common possession of a totem or belief in a common territory. Clan is found in almost all the primitive communities of the world. , although not as a universal feature. For example, the Sandals of India have twelve gotras, the Lodha tribe has nine gotras. Andamanese and Kadar do not show any evidence of clan. Absence of gotra has also been found in the tribes of America.

The members of a clan regard their totem as the founding ancestor. They do not always believe that they are direct descendants of the totem, it is said that the particular totem helped or promoted their ancestors or performed some services. Therefore, the members respect the totem, they never touch, kill, eat, harm or destroy the totem of reference. For example, a gotra among the Santhals is named Hansda. The members of this clan revere the duck (local name: Hans) and do not eat duck meat as they consider themselves descended from ducks. Similarly, among the Lodhas, there is a gotra Nayak whose family deity is Sal-fish. Killing or eating sal-fish is prohibited for this caste. More examples can be given in this regard. One of the Uraon clan name is Lakda which means tiger. The clan members never hunt tigers out of respect for this ancestral animal.

Clans can be classified into several types on the basis of the nature of origin.

(a) patrilineal clan

When a gotra is patrilineal in nature, it is called a patrilineal clan, i.e. all the members are descended from the male line.

Dhyamas are believed to descend from a common ancestor. Every child inherits the father’s gotra name, although daughters give it up after marriage by adopting their husband’s respective gotra name. Tribes like Santhal, Munda, Lodha, Oraon, Bhil etc. of India exhibit this type of gotra.

(b) matrilineal clan

It is a type of gotra where descent is counted from a single ancestor through females. Every child, regardless of gender, receives his mother’s gotra name from birth, but sons take their wives’ gotra names after marriage. The Garo, Khasi and Nair tribes of India represent this type of gotra.

(c) paternal lineage

Sometimes members of a clan believe that they originated from a certain pair of male and female. This type of gotra is called paternal gotra. It is found in the Khasi people of India.



(d) totemic clan

When members of a clan relate themselves to a particular totem, rather than to a human ancestor, the clan is designated as a totemic clan. Such gotras are often found in primitive communities like Santals, Oraons, Lodhas, Kols, Bhils, Gonds, Todas etc.

(e) Territorial clan

Sometimes members of a clan identify themselves with a particular region from which they probably originated. In Bison Murias of MP, clans are named after villages. Among the Nagas of Assam, the Khel is a territorial group, though not a gotra.

The term ‘sib’ is often considered synonymous with the term ‘clan’ as it is also a unilateral exogamous group where members believe in a common ancestry but may not be able to show a link through a genealogy table. Furthermore, this involuntary association is dependent on birth and can be changed through adoption. The lowest stages of culture represented by hunting and pastoral tribes such as the Andamanese, Semang, Hottentots, Bushmen, Eskimos, etc., do not have sibs. The existence of Sib has been recorded from Lhota Naga of Assam, Bhuiya of Orissa, Kuki of Manipur. , Arunta of Australia, Bantus and Masai of Africa etc. are other synonyms of clan, ‘Jane’ corresponds to a patrilineal clan as here kinship is traced entirely through the male line.

Gotra is also equivalent to the Bengali word ‘Gotra’. Members of the same gotra do not marry among themselves. Among the Hindus of India the various gotra-names are related to the names of some ancient sages (Kshayapa, Shandilya, Gautama, Varatdvaja, etc.), which means that people with the same gotra-name are descended from a common ancestor. The gotra, therefore, is patrilineal and has no totem.



  1. A clan provides a bond of solidarity among its members.
  2. Men and women of a gotra look upon the relationship as a brother-sister relationship as they are descended from the same ancestor.
  3. A clan can punish its members for violating any social norm.
  4. Gotra acts as a government.. It not only has the power to decide disputes to maintain peace, through it comes various kinds of approvals.
  5. A clan is found to control the property.
  6. The members of a clan come together to cooperate with each other on various religious and ceremonial occasions.


The mutual relation of two or more clans creates fraternity. Therefore, it is a larger unilineage lineage group than the total. As a clan, the members of a phratry are not able to demonstrate their genealogical relationship to a common ancestor, although they strongly believe in such an ancestor.



The word phratry is derived from the Greek word ‘frater’ which means brother. It is believed that some clans historically came together for one reason or the other and developed such a close relationship that gradually they acquired a common identity where their individual status was forgotten. Fratry is found in tribes like Aimol Kuki of Manipur, Hopi Indian, Crow Indian, Aztec Indian of America etc.

A Fratry may or may not be exogamous. For example, among the Crow Indians the thirteen clans are divided into six unnamed clans, four of which are not strict in marriage rules. Among the Hopi Indians, on the other hand, there are nine unnamed phratries (each consisting of two to six gotras) that are exogamous.

half of

It is the largest unilateral social group, which is the result of division of society into two parts on the basis of lineage. The word moiety comes from the French word meaning ‘half’. Like clan and fraternity, the members of each clan although believe in a common ancestor, cannot specify the exact link. The halves can be exogamous or endogamous. Some of them are also unmarried i.e. they do not control for the factor of marriage.

Aimol cookies of Manipur are divided into two types without specific names. Each section is further divided into two groups and each section has two gotras or siblings. Bigamy is exogamy and one of them is considered superior to the other. The best part reserves all the posts of the village organization including the priest. The two sides perform distinct religious rites and ceremonies specific to the tribe. Each also has some special performances. but high social-status

The ceremonies are performed only by the members of the best religion.


A family is bilateral. In contrast, a lineage is a uniparental lineage group. It is composed of consanguineous relatives who claim their descent from a common ancestor or ancestors through known links. A lineage usually consists of five or six generations of ancestors in a sequence. Descent can be of two types – paternal lineage and matrilineal. In the former, the link is traced only through the male line and in the latter, the link is maintained only through the female line. If the lineage is patrilineal, the child of a legal marriage belongs to his father’s lineage. His rank as a noble or a general would be determined by the nature of the lineage concerned. This may entitle him to become a king or a chieftain or a priest. In normal cases, one must have a claim on the productive resources of the lineage. In a matrilineal society, each child belongs to his mother’s lineage, although authority passes to the mother’s eldest brother.

Lineage members may or may not share a common residence. The smallest lineage consists of a man and his children. Joint family is also a lineage in which members of up to three or four generations are available together. In fact the members of a clan form a corporate group which



Perform similar rituals but have autonomy in daily affairs. A clan is always a strictly exogamous entity and the progenitor of the clan is never a mythical or legendary figure.


coat of arms

Totemism is an extension of Paganism. The totem is a species of animal or plant; or a natural object or phenomenon or symbol of any of these that characterizes and distinguishes a human group in comparison with other groups equally represented in the same society.

A totem is a class of material objects which a wild superstitious reveres with reverence as having an intimate and altogether a special relationship between him and each member of the clan. A totem is usually an animal or rarely a plant that gives a name to the clan.

According to the principle of ‘totemism’, a tribe is believed to belong to an object-mainly animal or plant, towards which they behave reverently by adopting its name and offering sacrifices or worshiping it. The totem is linked to the tribal organization, and it becomes the name of the tribe, an image of the totem spirit, and

The animal or plant it identifies. Tribal group members associate themselves with totems. Totemic symbols are invoked that trace the totemic line with religious attitudes and disagreements. Although totemism is universally found, it exhibits considerable variations.


Religion is a supernaturalism consisting of a system of belief, thought and action. It lies at the core of all primitive and civilized cultures. It acts as an internal controlling force for the society and provides morality to the people. A religion can neither be defined in terms of a particular faith, nor in terms of a particular God. There are actually a variety of religions and religious ideas. The first and foremost requirement is to investigate the nature of the supernatural. All religions essentially reflect a mental attitude towards a higher nature, which manifests itself in beliefs and rituals. Belief is considered to be the static part of religion while rituals are the dynamic part. Rituals involve various actions that are intended to establish a connection between the person performing them and a supernatural power. On the other hand, faith has no direct effect; It stands as a charter for rituals and provides a rationale for the same. However, religious attitudes are universal across all known cultures, primitive and modern. They have been associated with Homo Sapiens.

Origin of religious belief

The general philosophy of the people accepts two types of ideas – nature and nature superior to nature i.e. Para Prakriti. The concepts of nature and super-nature are relative in a culture at a particular moment. With the increase of knowledge, some supernatural phenomena may seem natural. In fact, the difference between Prakriti and Para Prakriti lies in the way people approach and realize with the help of the senses.



Anthropologists consider religion to be a product of the evolutionary development of the human mind. The brain capacity of other animals is so low that it does not allow them to think like humans. They never see the vastness of the universe because they lack sensitive mind and emotional feelings. Therefore, the first religious belief probably came into existence in the early Palaeolithic period with the original first person and from then on mystical thought controlled much of human life until Aristotle, Plato and other Greek philosophers introduced the modern scientific approach to religion, anthropological investigation. The foundation was not laid. extends to the nineteenth century when anthropology emerged as an academic discipline. There are various theories regarding the origin of religious beliefs. The earliest was forwarded by EB Taylor (1871), where he expressed the view that religion stemmed from intellectual speculation about phenomena such as dreams, samadhi and death. His offer was threefold’

  1. Religion has developed out of fear.
  2. Although the forms of religion in the world

There is great diversity in religion, however the basic essence of all religions is the same.

  1. All religions accept supernatural power.

Herbert Spencer (1822–1903) thought it originated from ancestor worship. Sir James Fraser (1854–1941) regarded magic as the source of the development of religion. Most scholars of that early period believed that religion developed out of an interaction of emotions such as awe, fear, and wonder under the stewardship of nature. Émile Durkheim (1858–1917) regarded religion as the most primitive of all social phenomena. He found two distinct sections in the supernatural realm, which he designated as the sacred part and the profane. According to him the sacred part of religion refers to the gods and deities and the sacred performance and the profane part refers to beliefs and practices.


Malinowski and Radcliffe-Brown have given a functionalist interpretation of primitive religion. Malinowski found religion to be closely associated with a variety of emotional responses, so he described religion as an adaptogen, which alleviates all stress and tension of individuals. To Radcliffe-Brown the survival of a group was more important than that of an individual. Therefore, he suggested that the social existence of a group was more important than that of an individual. Therefore, he suggested social existence with the help of religion.


In an uneducated society, religion is the main factor that binds people together. The bond of kinship is so wide that it manifests itself in collective activities like law, morality, art, science, political forms etc.

concepts in the development of religion

Anthropologists have tried to trace the development of religion from simple to complex forms. Edward Burnett Tylor showed this development from animism to monotheism through polytheism in his book Primitive Religion (1871).




Animism is the first concept of religion propounded by Tylor himself. It is the belief in the existence of spiritual beings. Spirits are ethereal avatars without actual flesh and blood. Although

are non-physical, but real enough for those who believe in it. Primitives use various names to refer to those spirits – Bhoot, Bhoot, Jinn, Troll, Pari, Witch, Demon, Devil, Angel and even God. A soul does not obey the laws of nature and can transcend matter, time and space. This makes spirits wonderful and mysterious, and so they have been considered supernatural.


It is the earliest form of religion which involves the worship of various objects in nature. A sense of awe and reverence used to work in the minds of people regarding various natural objects and phenomena. Being distraught, he associated life with inanimate objects and the invisible source of power with God. The specific form of animistic theory is called Manavada. Mana is a Melanesian word meaning power. According to Professor Meret, primitive people through the world believe in the existence of an impersonal non-material supernatural force that deals with all things- animate and inanimate. Mind power is sometimes referred to as “the aphrodisiac”. A fetish is a piece of stone, shell necklace or carved stone that is believed to have power, capable of helping its owner. The fetish is therefore admired, pacified, humiliated or ill-treated according to its behavior, whether it fulfills the will of its master or not.

components of primitive religion

All supernatural beings can be classified into two broad groups:

(i) They are of non-human origin i.e. nature deities and spirits.

(ii) (ii) They are of human origin i.e. departed souls such as the spirits of ancestors and ghosts.

Both categories of supernatural beings can create good and evil for men. They have been the reason behind many successes and failures. Diseases, droughts, storms, heavy rains, famines, epidemics also arise from them.

Gods and Goddesses have an important place in primitive life. The entire universe is divided among the gods. These deities are usually the creators themselves.

nature of religious practices

Religion as a body of beliefs and practices reflects a wide variation in religious views. Religious practices are also diverse. These practices are nothing but techniques to communicate with the supernatural. But they are mandatory for believers who act according to their beliefs. Such practices strengthen social bonds in a primitive group and reflect an additional authority towards customs. The practices can be classified into two categories: religious rites and rites of passage.

(A) religious rites

The purpose of religious rites is to please a deity through worship that can be done privately in the home or publicly in a temple. Forms may vary as prayer, prasad, fast festival



or sacrificial performance. Prayer is the simplest of all religious rites where reverence is expressed through words. It can be a request or a demand or just a thank you..

(b) rites of passage

The rites of passage are completely different from the religious rites which involve the worship of nature deities and various spirits. These special rites in every society

Importantly linked to the life cycle of people. They symbolize the passing of one phase of life and entering another. For example, birth, youth, marriage, ordination to the priesthood, death, etc. They are known in English by the French equivalent of rites-de-passage, and are popularly known as ‘life-crisis’ rituals.


(c) importance of religion

The rites and ceremonies create an atmosphere of benevolence and brotherhood. All purpose of quarrels and disagreements ceases to exist. People band together and enjoyable activities energize them; The social feelings of an organized community are renewed. Religious experiences create such an atmosphere and attitude that man becomes capable of regulating his conduct. People everywhere have developed religious systems in which the goal of religious behavior is to achieve a common end. It testifies to the unity of mankind.

It binds inter-family ties, and governs the economic and political structure of society. This can include a wide variety of sects and specific religious personnel. People try to vent their intense mental pressure under the banner of religion. They seek support and stamina from super-nature in the way of struggle for existence.








Magic, Religion And Science






  Magic and religion are intertwined. Tyler: Religion is belief in the supernatural. The idea of religion is closely linked to magic and science.


There are many elements of religion. These elements are related to magic in one way or another. Before we discuss their relationship, we will briefly describe the elements of religion.




Elements Of Religion


  1. Social anthropologists, especially the British ones, have produced a large amount of data on primitive religion. The data pertains to primitive and aboriginal peoples of India, Africa and Australia. However, American anthropologists have shown less concern over primitive religion.


  1. There are certain elements of religion that also characterize the religion of many tribal groups:
  2. Durkheim has described rituals as an important element of religion. Ritual is a practice of religion, or rather the functional part of religion.


  1. Conceptually, rituals are distinct from religious events or beliefs. Beliefs are thoughts or ideas and rituals are their implementation. On the empirical plane of any religion, primitive or otherwise, the villager cannot be separated from religion. In The Structure of Social Action, Parsons explains the relationship between religion and rituals in the following words:
  2. The fundamental difference between religion and ritual is that between the two categories of religious phenomena – belief and rite – the first is a form of thought, the second of action. But the two are different, and at the heart of every religion. The rituals of a religion are inconceivable without knowing its beliefs.


  1. Though the two are inseparable, there is no particular relation of priority, the point being the distinction at present. Religious beliefs, then, are beliefs related to sacred objects, their origin, behavior, and significance to man. Rites are actions performed in relation to sacred things.
  2. If a Santhal of Bihar offers a hen to his local deity, it is a ritual according to his belief or idea that the deity should be appeased to remove the evils imposed on the community. Thus the sacrifice of chicken is a ritual and belief in the power of God is thought. We see that in the empirical situation both belief and ritual work together.


excitement of emotions

Certain feelings and emotions are also aroused in order to gain consciousness about the existence of a religion or belief. Fear of God, being afraid of doing bad things, giving charity, living a pious life are all patterns of behavior that evoke feelings for a religion.

However, sometimes emotions are also aroused to create panic among the followers.





The edifice of religion rests on a framework of beliefs. Earlier social anthropologists defined religion only in terms of beliefs. Tylor argued that without faith there can be no religion. And, what is important about faith is that it cannot be reasoned with; This cannot be proved empirically. It is just a matter of understanding.

In recent anthropological literature, the belief element in religion has been strongly criticized. It is said that religion has to be understood from a sociological and logical point of view.

Belief does not exist because it does not stand the test of reality.





In the early history of religion we have evidence to say that there were some organizations to regulate the activities of a particular sect. Max Weber, who has been called the founder of modern sociology, observed that all of the world’s great religions—Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism—had some form of organization. The function of the organization was to regulate the activities and functioning of the religion. Christianity has its own church which acts as a central body to hold Christians together. Similarly, Hinduism has its Char Dham where Shankaracharya acts as the head and controls the activities of the Hindus.



  symbols and myths

Each religion has its own symbols and myths. For example, churches, temples, mosques, flags and a specific type of dress and worship are common to different religious sects.

There are symbols of rays. Similarly, there are mythological stories related to every religion. Tribals who believe in animism have their own totems which are reflected in animals, plants and trees. The origin of clans is also described in mythology.





To differentiate themselves, each religious faith has its own taboos. These prohibitions are related to food habits and lifestyle. For example, Jainism claims that its followers should not eat after sunset and that they should be strictly vegetarian. The behavior patterns of the followers are also determined by the religion.

A few more can be added to the above list of elements of religion. It must be remembered that these elements undergo changes and transformations at the local level. New interpretations are also added to the elements with the functioning of various social and cultural processes. Some new elements also appear.






  1. If we do a quick survey of research in sociology and social anthropology, we find that there has been no empirical study on magic by social anthropologists during the last few decades. Satchidananda has produced an extensive bibliography on rural studies, and to our surprise there have been no studies on the effects of magic among Indian tribes. Similarly, the Peoples of India project does not mention anything about it. On the other hand, social anthropology textbooks invariably have a chapter on tribal magic. Clearly, there is a huge difference between what we find today and what is given in the textbooks. It is incomprehensible who authors textbooks
  2. Devote many pages to vivid accounts of tribal magic. Perhaps, the fault is not the authors of the textbook. The onus is on the creators of the curriculum to include magic.
  3. Magical practices in India go back to medieval and pre-capitalist societies. Magic has a unique role to play in the development of our institutions. There were Malinowski, Evans-Pritchard and Fraser growth charts. It is this evolutionary perspective that inspired these anthropologists to write about tribal magic. Religion too, like any other social institution, has evolved through a long process of evolution.


  1. Magic was probably the first stage in the evolutionary stage of the development of religion. Apart from the tribals, the non-tribal groups who were living in isolation also had a strong belief in magic.
  2. The allopathic system of treatment had not come into existence then, and people were constantly falling prey to various ailments. They were living in unfriendly environment. There was famine, famine, pestilence and people had no other option but to resort to witchcraft.
  3. Malinowski and Fraser, who worked among the dramatists, reported on the role of magic in Aboriginal society in the mid-19th and early 20th centuries. Malinowski’s Trobrianders and Evans-Pritchard’s Azandes have now begun to modernize. All of them have accepted the modern medical method.
  4. In India, ‘civilised’ castes also adopted magical practices and in some cases, these proved to be more sophisticated than those of the tribals.’ When the Somnath Temple (Gujarat) was attacked, the Hindu kings invited a group of Brahmins to perform magic so that the attack could be neutralized. Even today, we see that when political leaders or elites of high status are struggling with death, Brahmins and Tantriks are called upon to chant Mrityunjaya – a clear example of belief in superstitions. The point we want to emphasize here is that magic was a specialized art practiced only by theatres. The entire subcontinent believed in magical practices. If Fraser and Malinowski refer to tribal magic, they are only discussing the tribal situation that was found not only in India but throughout Europe during medieval and pre-capitalist times.
  5. What is magic?
  6. It is a term that refers to a particular type of behavior, not necessarily religious, that results from the acceptance of beliefs in supernaturalism of one kind or another. If people believe in animism, they act so that certain things can be done with the help of spiritual beings they believe to exist. “If people believe in mana or animatism, they may act in somewhat different ways to achieve desired results with the help of impersonal types of power that they believe can be tapped.


  1. They also believe that certain things will inevitably happen because power always operates in the same way. If people believe in a pantheon of gods, one or the other of ‘those gods will be appeased, sacrificed, killed in some way to accomplish other desired objectives. However, the essential characteristic of magic is that its processes are mechanistic and work automatically if one knows the proper formula. Religion and magic are alternative technologies. Sometimes one complements the other.
  2. Anthropologists have defined magic on the basis of their experience in the field, although ‘some definitions are not directly related to empirical observations’. However, we are not here to define magic systematically.

Will try to inform. Let’s start with John Lewis. He says:

  1. Magic is a technique of coercion using belief in supernatural power. Sympathetic or mimetic magic holds that an action performed on something standing in for a person or thing will have the desired effect on the real person or thing.
  2. Malinowski defines magic very precisely as, “Magic is a set of purely practical actions, performed as a means to an end.”
  3. According to Herskovits, magic is an important part of culture. People often use prayer as a form of worship. A prayer uses words to bring about the favorable intervention of the forces of the universe in the affairs of men. Magic stands opposite to prayer. This contrast was first made by Evans-Pritchard in his discussion of magic among the Azandes. Herskovits drew his understanding of magic from Evans-Pritchard and Fraser. His understanding of magic is explained below:
  4. Charms and spells are tools widely employed in magic. A specific power, placed to reside in a specific object, is set into operation by the utterance of a formula, which may itself conduct the power. The enchantment of magic takes innumerable forms. It often includes some part of the object on which its power is exercised, or some element which, because of external resemblance or internal character, achieves the desired result.
  5. Although the definitions of religion given by anthropologists differ for their
  6. Me and the content, the basic idea is more or less the same. The tribals believe that there is a supernatural power. No one can compete with it. It is universal. This supernatural power is endowed with ample power which is both positive (white) and negative (black). The person who wants to master the art of witchcraft pleases the supernatural power and gives him some power. The supernatural may thus be obliged to part with some of its power by means of some magical display. These performances differ from society to society.



  1. Theoretical Perspectives on Religion
  2. Functionalists believe that religion fulfills several important needs of people, including group unity and companionship. (Photo courtesy of James Emery/Flickr)
  3. Sociologists often apply one of three major theoretical approaches. These views provide different lenses through which to study and understand society: functionalism, symbolic interactionism, and critical sociology. Let us see how the scholars who apply these models understand religion.
  4. Practicality
  5. Functionalists argue that religion performs many functions in society. Religion, in fact, depends on society for its existence, value and importance, and vice versa. From this perspective, religion serves several purposes, such as providing answers to spiritual mysteries, providing emotional comfort, and creating space for social interaction and social control.
  6. In providing the answer, dharma defines the spiritual world and spiritual forces including divine beings. For example, it is “How was the world created?” It helps to answer questions like “Why do we suffer?” “Is there a plan for our lives?” and “Is there any life?” As another function, religion provides emotional comfort during times of distress. Religious rituals bring order, comfort, and organization through shared familiar symbols and patterns of behavior.
  7. One of the most important functions of religion, from a functional point of view, is that it creates opportunities for social interaction and the formation of groups.


  1. It provides social support and social networking, offering a place to meet others with similar values and a place to seek help (spiritual and material) in times of need. Furthermore, it can promote group cohesion and integration. Because religion can be central to many people’s concept of self, there is sometimes an “in-group” versus “out-group” feeling towards other religions in our society or within a particular practice. At the extreme level, the Inquisition, the Salem witch trials, and anti-Semitism are all examples of this dynamic. Finally, religion promotes social control: it reinforces social norms such as appropriate styles of dress, abiding by the law, and regulating sexual behavior.




  1. Critical theorists view religion as an institution that helps perpetuate patterns of social inequality. For example, the Vatican has immense wealth, while the average income of Catholic parishioners is low. According to this perspective, religion has been used to support the “divine right” of oppressive kings and to justify unequal social structures such as India’s caste system.
  2. But mankind has a way of responding to perceived injustice and religions losing relevance. One of the fastest growing sectors of global Christianity are evangelical churches, which are growing stronger not only in North America, but also in South America. This growth has come at the expense of the Catholic Church, which has long been a bastion of power in Latin and South America. Latin America refers to the countries in the subregion of the Americas where Romance languages, mainly Spanish and

And Portuguese is spoken. As anthropologist Cristina Vital of the Institute for the Study of Religion in Rio de Janeiro explains,

  1. [Evangelical] churches adopt less rigid rules than the Catholic Church … They adopt customs and values we see in our society today, such as the importance of financial well-being, to reach this prosperity The Importance of Entrepreneurship, The Importance of Discipline (Feiser & Alves 2012).
  2. At the same time, evangelical and fundamentalist Christian denominations often introduce foreign belief systems that are homophobic or undermine family planning and anti-AIDS strategies.


  1. The persecution of homosexuals in Uganda through the Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Act (2014) was prompted by the influence of American evangelicals in the country (Gentleman 2010).
  2. In contrast, the power of Weber’s theories of sociology to help understand religious history was demonstrated to the contemporary public in the publication of a seminal work by Norman Gottwald, The Tribes of Yahweh: A Sociology of the Religion of Liberated Israel, 1250–1050. and was brought to an academic audience. BC (1999).


  1. Gottwald explains this connection even more clearly in his book The Politics of Ancient Israel, which was an answer to the question posed in Weber’s 1921 classic Ancient Judaism: How did the people develop as [hosted guests by larger societies]. Peculiarities? (Gottwald 2001, Weber 1921). Even critics of Gottwald’s view such as Kenton Sparks offer alternative Weberian interpretations for the existence of early Israel:
  2. Israel’s existence can equally be attributed to the religious innovations of Kingdom-era mono-Yahvistic prophets, who interpreted foreign oppression as the hand of Jehovah and thus Israel’s religious beliefs and ethnic distinctiveness. preserved in contexts where it might otherwise have been destroyed (Sparks 2004 p. 126).
  3. There is still a debate over the usefulness of Weberian theory in the explanation of social behavior, including thousands of years of social behavior. Weber still has relevance in the sociology of religion.
  4. Critical theorists are concerned with how many religions promote the idea that one should be satisfied with existing circumstances because they are divinely determined.


  1. It is argued that this power dynamic has been used by religious institutions for centuries to keep poor people poor, teaching them that they should not be concerned with what they lack because their The “true” reward (from a theological point of view) would come after death. Critical theorists also point out that those in power in religion are often able to dictate practices, customs, and beliefs either through their own interpretation of religious texts or through declared direct communication with the divine. In more recent history, George W. Bush’s statement that God told him to “end the tyranny in Iraq” (MacAskill 2005). A key element in the Enlightenment project that is central to the critical perspective is therefore the separation of church and state. Public policy that is based on irrational or rational religious belief or “revelation” rather than on scientific evidence undermines a key component of democratic deliberation and public scrutiny of the decision-making process.
  2. Fig. 15.3. Feminist theorists focus on gender inequality and promote leadership roles for women in religion. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)
  3. The feminist perspective focuses specifically on gender inequality. In the context of religion, feminist theorists claim that, although women are usually the ones to socialize children into a religion, they have traditionally occupied very few positions of power within religions. Some religions and religious sects are more gender equal, but male dominance is the norm for most. But this claim is also carefully scrutinized by feminist scholars. For example, those following the seminal work of The Gnostic Gospels by Ellen Pagels have been instrumental in rediscovering the place of women in Christian history (1979). Marilyn Stone’s When God Was a Woman (1976) traces the pre-history of European society back to female-centred cultures based on fertility and creator goddesses. It was not until the invasions of the Kurgans from the northeast and the Semites from the south in the fifth millennium BCE that hierarchical and patriarchal religions became dominant.
  4. Signal Exchange Route
  5. Rising from the concept that our world is socially constructed, symbolic interactionism studies the symbols and interactions of everyday life. For interactionists, beliefs and experiences are not sacred unless individuals in society regard them as sacred. The Star of David in Judaism, the cross in Christianity, and the crescent and star in Islam are examples of sacred symbols. Interactionists are interested in what these symbols communicate. In addition, because face-to-face talk between interacting individuals

When studying poetry, a scholar using this approach might ask questions focused on this dynamic.

When studying poetry, a scholar using this approach might ask questions focused on this dynamic.

कविता का अध्ययन करते समय, इस दृष्टिकोण का उपयोग करने वाला एक विद्वान इस गतिशील पर केंद्रित प्रश्न पूछ सकता है।

When studying literature, a scholar using this approach may ask questions focused on this dynamic.

साहित्य का अध्ययन करते समय, इस दृष्टिकोण का उपयोग करने वाला एक विद्वान इस गतिशील पर केंद्रित प्रश्न पूछ सकता है।

 The interactions between religious leaders and practitioners, the role of religion in common components of everyday life, and the way people express religious values in social interactions—all of these can be subjects of study for an interactionist.

  1. It is important to recognize that the above theoretical models each provide only a partial account of religious beliefs and practices.



elements of magic

Magic’ is an art and it has to be acquired. The practitioner has to work hard to develop the skill of magic. Some of the important elements of magic are given below:


(1) Tylor has classified ‘practices of magic’. These practices are scientific. The businessman works as a scientist. For example, Tylor says that things that look alike tend to be placed in a category. Just like the color of jaundice is yellow and so is the color of gold. Jadoo establishes a connection between the two because of their similar colour. Bohannon disagrees with this theory. He says that no logic of association applies to magical practices.

(2) Magic is person-oriented. A person sees something in a particular way; This belief works in their magical practices.

(3) According to Malinowski, mantras have an important role. Mantras have the power to mimic natural sounds and hence chants are vital for the successful outcome of magical practice. Second, the magician explains the current situation in the same language and orders the fulfillment of his wishes. Third, spells mention the names of ancestors who have imparted magical skills.

(4) while chanting mantras the magician continuously performs certain actions; For example, he waves his hands, makes faces and gestures. These physical activities are believed to strengthen the power of the spell.

(5) The magician observes some abstinence in the matter of diet and sexual relations on the days when he engages himself in magical practices.

(6) A magical practice cannot be performed at the magician’s discretion. There are certain days which are considered suitable for this. For example, the last day of the dark half of the month or the new moon is best suited for learning and practicing magic. Again, Dussehra days, especially Navratri, are good for magical practices.

(7) Malinowski says that discipline is most important in the practice of magic.

The first thing that is necessary for a magician is to clarify the objectives of magic. He has to handle them very carefully. A slight mistake could have cost the magician himself. This is the reason why the magician leads a miserable life in his old age.

(8) According to the purposes of the magical practice, the magician makes physical gestures to strengthen his magic.

Fraser and Malinowski have found interesting examples of magical practices among the aborigines of Australia and Africa. Nadel also mentions magic in his description of the Nupe religion. Evans-Pritchard gives a detailed account of magical practices and its elements among the Azandes.




  principles of magic

Some anthropologists have developed theories of magic. Tylor specifically distinguished magic from religion. He has created three basic principles of magic which are as follows:

(1) Magic pertains to a type of behavior that is based on common sense.

(2) Whatever is done by nature can also be done by magic. In such a situation, people are unable to differentiate between the working of nature and magic.

(3) If the spell fails, it is believed to be due to faulty chanting of mantras or some lapse in the routine life of the practitioner.

Thus, Tylor’s theory of magic makes two important points: (i) magic is an ideology, and has to be relied upon; and (ii) magic is based on logic. If magical practice is carried out on these two principles, the results will always follow. Ivan Pritchard believes that magic and religion are found in all societies.

Magic, science and religion have influence in all societies. But the extent of effect is ‘not the same’. For example, if a society lives at a lower level of culture such as tribal and backward classes, the scope of magic and religion will be larger. The larger members of this society would rely heavily on magical practices and rituals. However, if a society has a high level of culture, there will be less room for magic and religion; And more space for science. In other words, advanced societies have a prominent place in science while backward societies practice more magic and religion.

Tylor’s theory of magic has been corrected by Frazer. In the literature on social anthropology, Tylor is best known for two of his classic works: a summary of what Tylor propounded as theory in these books.

Ken Up for discussion and analysis by Fraser. Paraphrasing Tylor, Fraser gives the principle – the law of sympatry – which states that tribal peoples view material things as sympathizers between two similar things. Sympathy is of two kinds: (i) on the basis of external resemblance, for example, between the color of jaundice and the color of gold; and (ii) on the basis of contacts. Based on these two sympathies, Frazer has given three principles of magic: (1) the principle of sympathy, (2) the principle of similarity

theory and

(3) Principle of contact.

Fraser’s theory of magic holds that when an Aborigine practices magic, he does it as he has learned it, and is not concerned with the principles of magic—only with the result. . This is why Frazer regards magic as a semi-art and a semi-science. Magic has two basic purposes: first, some objectives are achieved through magic, and second, some unwanted events can be avoided. The first purpose is called sorcery and the second sorcery.

There is no doubt that Tylor has given some of the fundamental principles of magic which are to be found among the aborigines. These core principles have been further elaborated, reinterpreted and retextured by Fraser. The attribution of the division into witchcraft and sorcery is another important contribution to this field. His hypothesis is that magic and religion provide political cohesion to society. Fraser and Durkheim both see magic and religion as sources of political unity.




types of magic

  1. Students of social anthropology often distinguish between two types of magic. The first type named by Fraser is called imitative or homeopathic magic, while the second is called transmissive. Description of two types of magic
  2. Herskovits writes: Both are organized to operate according to a principle
  3. ‘Like to like’ is also called ‘principle of sympathy’. An example of ‘contagious’ magic is when a hunter drinks the blood of his kill to gain his cunning or his strength. ‘Imitative’ magic can be found, say, in the performance of a dance in which the mock killing of an animal was performed to ensure success in the hunt.
  4. The above two types of magic neither constitute the whole field, nor are they absent from some of the practices to which the word ‘religious’ is customarily given.
  5. Yet another typology of magic is that of ‘black’ and ‘white’. Black magic has some evil intentions. According to it, the victim has suffered some injuries. The second type, white magic, is beneficial in its intent. There is a lot of emphasis on black magic in the social anthropological literature. “The reason for this is twofold.


  1. The challenge for the investigator is to reveal what his informant is least willing to reveal. Even more so, however, is the dramatic appeal of black magic. Once a desire to talk about it is established, informants will dwell on the subject with gleeful and exuberant detail, and the ‘white’ magic will be discarded.
  2. The horror shows presented on television by different names depict many practices of black magic. If revenge is to be taken, the sorcerer makes a clay idol of the victim and gives him various kinds of pain. In turn, these pains are experienced by the sufferer. We have innumerable examples of magic from different parts of the world. However, examples of white magic are very few. This category of magic has also expanded to include many indigenous medicines. The surprising thing is that white and black magic is practiced even among literate people. However, with the increase in literacy and education, many magical practices are falling out of vogue.
  3. Witchcraft
  4. Disease and difficulties are common to mankind. People have a list of remedies to overcome these physical ailments or social crises. The premises for the secular practice of medicine, unaffected by supernaturalism, are therefore found in all societies. Such knowledge, which was certainly empirical and not analyzed scientifically, was generally available and used by all. However, there were numerous sufferings that people in primitive societies believed to be caused by factors of a non-material nature.


  1. The treatment of such ailments required magical procedures, such as returning the poisonous force injected by an evil shaman or sorcerer to its victim. Individuals who had acquired or inherited or procured supernatural power and procedures based on these were said to help individuals who were ill from these non-physical causes.
  2. Shamans in all societies were only part-time workers who were engaged in treating people or in some ceremonies for which their power also fit them. The practice of medicine among people in primitive societies is thus everywhere characterized by some really useful instruments and drugs, but by erroneous theories of the causation of more deadly diseases and resorting to the supernatural.
  3. For subsequent treatment.
  4. Every society has its own experts who treat diseases with their skills. These are called witchcraft, shaman, ojha or bhopa. Shamans or exorcists are those who have the power to detect witchcraft and heal the person who has been cast. They claim to be able to see into the future, avoid harm, transform themselves, and accomplish supernatural tasks.
  5. Evans-Pritchard, who worked among the Azandes of South Sudan during 1926-36, gave a detailed account of witchcraft and divination. In the Azande tribe, any misfortune can happen, and is usually, attributed to witchcraft. The Azande take it for granted. witch uses her witchcraft spirit or self to harm others

What does she say to A, she sends. The victim consults a tantrik or soothsayer to find out who is hurting him.


  1. This can be a long and complicated process. When the culprit is exposed, he is requested to withdraw his malicious influence. If, in case of illness, he does not do so and the person dies, the relatives of the dead person may in future take the matter to major and exact retribution, or they may make a counter to witchcraft as it is today. To destroy.
  2. The practice of witchcraft is also found among the Indian tribals. A witchcraft can injure anyone by any mental act and gradually lead to his death. This power originates from a certain substance in the witch’s body. Witchcraft can explain all unfortunate events. It plays its role in fishing, agricultural activities in the pastoral life of the village as well as in the communal life. Thus witchcraft plays a major role in the overall life of the tribal community. For example, if the maize crop is diseased, it is considered witchcraft. If the milch cow dries up, it is due to witchcraft.
  3. The phenomenon of witchcraft has been explained by various reasons. Although there is a natural cause, but why did the accident happen and why did it happen to that particular person? One person was injured after being hit by the bull. Why this man? And why this bull? Witchcraft is a causative factor in the production of harmful events in particular places and in relation to particular persons at particular times. If a tree falls and kills a man, that is natural but why did it fall when he was passing by.
  4. An oracle is consulted to determine if a person is casting a spell on another person. One of the most popular types of divination is the poison divination. The chickens are taken to the bush and given a small amount of poison. If the fowl remains alive, the man is declared a witch. Those who practice witchcraft are not magicians who heal diseases. There are other types of specialists who counteract magic. A witch doctor is an astrologer who exposes witches and a magician who thwarts them. He also acts as a leech or doctor.




magic and science



Tylor was the first to describe magic as a science. The question that troubled him and aroused his curiosity was that when there is no scientific basis for religion then why do the tribals follow it? The question was reasonable and demanded an answer. Tylor observed that the aborigines themselves knew that magic was not true, yet it had an important place in their lives.

He considered answering the question:

(1) Magic is related to common sense behavior.

(2) The one who does the magic is actually the nature too.

(3) even when magic fails to perform a certain action, there is no fault in it; Something must have gone wrong with the practice of magic.

(4) If magic hurts something, there is always counter magic.

(5) The success stories of magic far outweigh its failures.

Tylor argues that the systematic development of magic takes the form of science. The essence of their argument is that magic operates on the principles of nature. Nature runs by positivist laws, so it is also a science.

Fraser does not consider magic to be a pure science. However, he believes that magic is a quasi-science. According to him, magic is based on some logic and rules. Ordinary people do not understand that witchcraft is practiced on rules that are similar to science. People only see the applied side of it.


  They do not think about the principles that guide the magical performance. For a magician, magic is only an art, he does not even understand that these are principles that are based on complete science. In principle magic is based on abstract laws.

Malinowski has worked among the people of the Trobriand Islands. They have generated a rich trove of data, although they have notarized the question of the scientific nature of magic. He takes a functionalist perspective and states that magic exists in society; People practice it because it has certain functions to fulfill. However, he acknowledges that the methods of magic and science are, if not identical, in fact similar.


Magic and science both work on the logic of cause and effect.

Evans-Pritchard was a like-minded person of Tylor and Fraser. Despite their differing approaches all three agree on the following hypnosis

Other :


(1) There is some supernatural power. This power has two faces. One of its mouth is welfare and provides salvation to humans. Its second form is ugly and harmful. Science investigates the benevolent face while the ugly face casts a spell. Science and magic are two aspects of supernatural power.

(2) Ruth Benedict argues that magic is not a science. The findings of science are verifiable, whereas the findings of magic are beyond any verification.

(3) Continuous experiments are done in science. It has made tremendous progress during the last several centuries; Instead of registering any progress, magic is becoming increasingly oblivious. At least people show their belief in magic.

(4) The basis of science is pure

It is logic while the main premise of magic is flawed.



  magic and religion

  1. What is the relationship between magic and religion? The distinction comes with beings having more ore less personality, but most religious rites contain examples of magical symbolism, and a good deal of magic is involved in the context of spirits. In fact, it is not really possible to make a clear distinction between magic and religion.
  2. There is a fundamental difference between religion and magic. First, the rituals of a religion are public and collective. They affect people as a whole, absorbing all their energies for the duration of magic-religious activity. This gathering of large number of people for sowing, harvest feast and similar festivities brings the entire community in a mood of joy and harmony.


  1. It gives serious and collective expression to the social sentiments of an organized community on which the constitution of the society depends.
  2. Magico-religious rites are not meant for any celebration but to ward off or ward off impending evil. There are certain rites in magical practices related to hunting, which help in killing the animal easily. Sometimes, the whole hunt is performed in a ritual dance, with part of the animal’s skin. This clearly shows that magic is related to religion.


  1. There are field reports by Malinowski and Leach which establish that magic is used for the successful attainment of goals. For example, Malinowski reports that when a fisherman floats on ocean currents, he casts a spell and believes that his boat will not meet any tragedy. Trobrinders also practice magic to win the heart of their beloved.


  1. Durkheim, the founder of the sociology of religion, sees no difference between religion and magic. For him, both practices are meant to achieve certain objectives.



Some aspects of religion: the sacred, the profane, the church, cults and sects, priests, shamans.


  1. Durkheim is called the father of sociology of religion. He argues that there are certain elements of religion and these elements are determined by the society. For them religion is objective, it is a reality. He further says that religion is not the product of the individual. It is the child of the society.


  1. When we discuss the sacred, the profane, the church and the cult, we refer to Durkheim and say that these aspects are created by society. In other words, those things which are sacred to society are sacred in religion; The things which are impure to the society are impure to the individual.


  1. Things that are respected are sacred to Hindus. These are offered to the gods and goddesses. The impure has a use value, the bicycle, the engine, the factory has a use value for society. th
  2. They are utilitarian. Durkheim thus describes all things in the world into the sacred and the profane.




  Durkheim’s religious views


  1. Theoretically the Forms Elementaires contain two distinct though interrelated elements, a theory of religion and an epistemology. The principle of religion will be considered first, because it forms the inevitable connecting link between what has gone before and epistemology.
  2. Durkheim has two fundamental distinctions from which Durkheim stands apart. The first is pure and profane. It is a classification of things into two categories, for the most part tangible things, often though by no means always material things.


  1. However, the two classes are distinguished not with reference to any intrinsic properties of objects, but with reference to human attitudes toward them. Sacred things are things set apart by a peculiar tendency of respect which is expressed in various ways. They are believed to possess specific qualities in the form of special powers; Contracting with them is either particularly beneficial or particularly dangerous, or both.


  1. Above all, man’s relations with sacred objects are not taken as a general matter, but always as a matter of special approach, special respect and special precautions. To anticipate the outcome of the latter analysis, sacred things are distinguished by the fact that humans do not treat them in a utilitarian way, certainly not use them as means to ends that have intrinsic value. Based on the qualities they are adapted to, but separate them from these other unholy things. As Durkheim says, profane activity is par excellence economic activity. The approach of calculation of utility is antithetical to respect for sacred things.


  1. What is more natural from a utilitarian point of view than for an Australian to kill and eat his totem animal? But since it is a sacred object, that is precisely what it cannot do. If he does eat it, it is only on formal occasions, totally separate from the workday, that he seeks satisfaction. Thus sacred things, except precisely in this utilitarian relation, are protected from all kinds of taboos and restrictions. Religion is related to holy things.
  2. The second fundamental distinction is that between two categories of religious phenomena—beliefs and rites. The first is the form of thought, the second of action. But the two are inseparable, and central to every religion.
  3. The rituals of a religion are inconceivable without knowing its beliefs. yes

Although the two are inseparable, there is no particular relation of priority—the point being the distinction at present. Religious beliefs, then, are beliefs related to sacred objects, their origin, behavior, and significance to man.


  1. Samskaras are actions performed in relation to sacred things. Religion for Durkheim is a ‘unified (cohesion) system of beliefs and practices relating to sacred things, separate and taboo, united in a moral community called a church, by those who follow it. The last criterion is the one that will be considered later, since the process by which it is derived cannot be understood without further analysis of the other criteria.
  2. In fact Durkheim introduced the concepts of the sacred and the profane in his book The Elementary Forms of the Religion’s Life, first published in 1912. This is perhaps the most influential interpretation of religion from a functional point of view. According to him all societies divide the world into two categories: the sacred and the profane. Sometimes impure is also called unholy. Religion is based on this division. Durkheim writes:
  3. Religion is based on this division. It is a unified system of beliefs and practices relating to sacred objects, i.e. things that are set apart and forbidden.
  4. Among the primary forms of religious life, Durkheim defines the concept of the sacred as:
  5. By sacred things one should not understand only those personal things which are called deities or souls, a rock, a tree, a spring, a pebble, a piece of wood, a house, anything in the world can be sacred Is.
  6. For Durkheim there is really nothing about the special properties of a pebble or a tree that makes them sacred. Therefore, sacred things must be symbols, they must represent something, to understand the role of religion in society, and establish a connection between sacred symbols and what they represent.



Churches, Cults and Sects

  1. It was Max Weber who initiated the formulation of categories for the analysis of religious organization. It is important to note that these categories were formulated specifically in the context of Christianity. Their applicability to the analysis of other religious traditions is problematic.


  1. Max Weber discusses the dichotomy between church and sect in The Protestant
  2. Ethnicity and Spirit of Capitalism. Differentiating between churches and sects, Weber writes:
  3. The fundamental difference between a church that was ‘a kind of trust’
  4. Dedication to supernatural purposes, an institution that necessarily includes both the just and the unjust…’ and ‘the Church of the Believers, which saw itself as ‘only a community of reincarnated individual believers, and only This. In other words, focus not as a church but as a denomination.’


  1. Since this distinction was made in his discussion of Baptists, Mennonites, and Quakers, it is clear that Weber attached significant importance to membership doctrine as a key feature of sects, and he emphasized the sectarian provision that ‘only adults who have personally received their faith, they should be baptized.’ Much of the later debate about the development of the sect has focused on this feature; And some of the other features that Weber attributed to sects as opposed to churches have also been employed in later research.


  1. The observation, for example, that separation from the state is characteristic of some churches as well as of sects, and thus cannot be said to be a distinguishing feature of sects, and thus cannot be said to be a distinctive feature of sects, One seems closely linked to the numeracy approach of later sociologists. Similarly, the shared though differently interpreted concept of extra-ecclesiastical nulla salus held by both the Church and the Sect, which Weber pointed out, has been effectively adopted by David Martin to be the opposite of the Sect, which to some extent Tak has a unique ethos.


  1. Weber’s description of the isolation from the world in communal groups has been extensively analyzed in the work of Brian Wilson.





  1. Sect is a part of a wider religion. Like Buddhism has two sects Hinayana and Mahayana and Hinduism has Shaiva, Shakta and Vaishnava. That’s why there are different sects in Christianity.
  2. Weber noted that within each self-governing circle of a sect, an exceptionally strict moral discipline was practiced to maintain the purity of the entire community.


  1. This seems equivalent to Wilson’s argument that sects have totalitarian authority over their members, but Weber was concerned to draw a parallel with a different type of religious organization. After pointing out that the discipline of an ascetic sect is far more rigorous than that of any church, he continues: ‘In this respect, the sect resembles another sectarian feature, which is not peculiar to churches, and It is dominated by elements.


  1. A denomination contrasts strongly with the professional ministry of a church – this emphasis is related to the different definition of charisma by each organization. Require that the members of the sect practice fraternity in their dealings with each other

Similarly a logical extension of the observation that each sect is based on a local community predominately of committed believers.





  1. Anthropologists have worked on the concept of cult. A cult is a set of practices and beliefs of a group in relation to a local Go. In sociology, it is a small group of religious activities whose beliefs are usually synergistic, esoteric, and individualistic. Although it is related to the concept of a sect, the cult is not in Western society associated with mainstream Christianity.


  1. As a scientific term, it is often difficult to separate the idea of a cult from its derogatory significance to common sense and does not have a precise scientific meaning. Cultural practices appear to cater to the needs of marginalized sections of urban, middle-class youth. Cultural membership among young people is usually fleeting.


  1. Spasmodic, and irregular. Research societies, cults have sprung up in the post-war period, and are often associated with the counter-culture.
  2. Steve Bruce refers to ‘mysticism’ as a tradition within Christianity apart from church and denomination. Bruce describes it this way:
  3. Unlike other forms it (cult) was a highly individualistic expression, varying with individual experiences and interpretation.
  4. For Bruce, this corresponds to the idea of a cult, which is:
  5. A loose-knit group organized around some common themes and interests, but lacking any clearly defined and exclusive belief system.
  6. A cult is more individualistic than other organized forms of religion. Because it lacks a definite principle.


  1. Cults tolerate other beliefs and indeed their own beliefs are often so vague that they have no concept of heresy. Cults often have customers rather than members, and these customers may have relatively little involvement with any organization. From them he learned the fundamentals of the beliefs around which the cult is based.












Concept of priesthood/priesthood


  1. In the most common parlance. Priest is a religious functionary whose role is to administer an established religion – to celebrate traditional rituals, practices and beliefs. Two essential features characterize them, namely, regular cult, and rootedness in a religious institution. Weber explains that “it is more correct for our purpose to judge
  2. For the diverse and mixed manifestations of this phenomenon. The specialization of a particular group of individuals in the continuous operation of a cult enterprise, permanently associated with particular norms, places, and times, to establish as a significant feature of the priesthood. and belonging to specific social groups. The first characteristic implies that, “the priest’s main function … is religious … Worship as an expression of religious experience, however primitive or rudimentary in form, is the priest’s chief concern.


  1. He guarantees the correct performance of ceremonial acts of worship.” The priest mediates between God and humans; he not only interprets the divine will but regulates and strengthens the relationship between God and his fellow human beings. The basis of its existence and authority is a constant and regular communication with the divine.


  1. “Regular liturgical observance and a certain theology are necessary for the priesthood. Weber reiterates that there can be no priesthood without a cult, although there can be a cult without a particular priest because of metaphysical ideas and special Morality is missing in the case of a cult without priests.
  2. The second essential characteristic of a priest is his association with an organized religion and legitimacy by religious authorities. An extended, cross-cultural description of priest is “any religious expert who serves religiously for or on behalf of a community.


  1. The priest resides in a religious organization as the representative of that establishment, and his functions mediate between its traditions and the people.” Unlike other related role types, “the priest serves at the altar in a temple or temple, As the representative of the community in its relations with the deities and by virtue of the status and functions of the holy order which is conferred upon him upon his consecration, fulfilling the sanctity and attendant taboos.


  1. Bendix paraphrases Weber, and reiterates that the priest functions in a sacred tradition, and that “even when the priest has a personal charisma, his function is legitimate only on the basis of the regular organization of worship”. Is.” Regarding the Levitical priests of Judaism, Brown explains that “even if a man was born into a priestly tribe, he was to be ordained to the priestly office.” Often a priest is the official representative of a religion.


  1. Greenwood, in affirming that the priest is called as a witness, says, ‘The priest is required to be personally representative of all the other members of the jocular church within which he (the priest) is the wider community presides over. ,
  2. Preparation and education play an important role in the priesthood. The systematic training of priests aimed at developing the faculties and abilities necessary for the performance of the liturgy.

I have to help them. It is centered in the development and maintenance of the piper’s dialogue with the marks, which results in the mana or ‘purity’ of the priests. While ascetic practices are meant to bring the body and will under the necessary control, meditation and prayer are meant to prepare the soul, and instruction and study to train the mind.


  1. The history of the development of religions is evidence that great systems of knowledge and schools of learning of various disciplines have emerged in association with centers of training for priests. The rational training and discipline of priests is distinguished from a combination of partly “awakening education” using irrational means and aimed at reincarnation, and partly training in the purely empirical lore of magicians.
  2. Priest and related role types
  3. The identity of the priest can be better understood by separating it from other related role types. The priest is different from the magician. The word shaman comes from the Siberian Tungus noun saman which means “he who excites, moves, raises.” As a verb it means “to know in an ecstatic way.” The shaman is a person with a “high degree of nervous excitement” (often an epileptic). He is a charismatic61 transcendent personality – one who in a state of ecstasy actually displays the presence of the Holy. Vaston LaBarre writes, “The real difference between a shaman and a priest is who and where God is, inside or outside.”
  4. Priest is not a magician. In today’s society, a magician is one who
  5. Makes visible objects disappear, or makes invisible objects appear as a means of entertainment. But this has not always been the case. According to Wach, magic is meant to compel the mark to give what is desired, while religion, with which the priests are associated, is meant to present and worship the divine power upon which man feels dependent. Is.


  1. The authority of a magician is proportionate to the fulfillment of the expectations of his clients. His reputation is less firmly established and more dependent on his professional ‘success’ than that of the Prophet. On the one hand Weber sees in many religions
  2. Including in Christianity, the concept of priesthood includes a magical qualification. But on the other hand, he agrees with Wach that the priest is a worker in a regularly organized and permanent enterprise concerned with influencing the gods through worship, in contrast to the individual and occasional efforts of magicians, who magically They force the deities. means. While the priest works in the interest of his organization, the shaman is self-employed. Furthermore, the professional equipment of specialized knowledge, fixed doctrine, and professional qualifications of priests bring them in contrast to magicians, prophets, and other types of religious functionaries who manifest in miracles and revelations based on personal gifts (charisma).
  3. A priest is different from a prophet. A prophet is one who confronts the powers that be and the established way of doing things, while claiming to be taken seriously on religious authority. Weber finds that “personal calling is the decisive element that distinguishes the prophet from the priest. The latter claims authority based on his service in a sacred tradition, while the prophet’s claim is based on personal revelation and charisma. It does not Is.


  1. It is a coincidence that almost no prophets have emerged from the priestly class … The priest, the apparent opposite, bestows salvation by virtue of his office. Emphasizing the distinctiveness of the prophetic call, Wach states, “The organ, instrument, or consciousness of being. The mouthpiece of divine will characterizes the self-interpretation of the prophet. And the messenger prophet who addresses his demands to the world in the name of God.” Huh.


  1. Naturally these demands are moral, and are often of an active ascetic character. Vernon observes that prophets usually appear during periods of turmoil, when established value systems are being challenged. They are rarely welcomed in peacetime.
  2. According to Nisbet, the prophet and the magician have certain common features, namely occult powers and a perception of importance in times of collective crisis or personal hardship. But they are different.
  3. But whereas the prophet’s central function is to interpret sacred tradition and to deprive the population at large of ways to gain access to the deity, the shaman’s central function is to effect exceptions to the natural order … The Shaman’s Role belongs to the doer – but what he does is reserved for times of crisis and activities that are affected by risk or uncertainty of outcome. His role is the result of the special knowledge he holds for himself and his legitimate descendants. knowledge that he reserves for himself and his legitimate descendants.
  4. It is not feasible to make clear distinctions between these role types or even to categorize them in ways that are universally acceptable to all religions. At any rate, Wacht locates the uniqueness of the priesthood in the broad nature of the priests’ activities. “The institution of the priesthood is bereft of individual religious charisma of the great kind, but the priesthood is the most widespread of all exclusively religious activities in the history of man. The sociological implications and import of this activity are correspondingly far-reaching.
  5. Among these role types, some religious traditions have a

A healthy, or sometimes unhealthy, competition is also observed.


  1. It may occur between two different types of persons, for example, priest and prophet, or it may also occur within one person who is challenged with a role-set or multiple roles. In Buddhism a tension exists between holy men (monks), charged with the cultivation of wisdom, mental concentration and moral virtue, and priestly ritual specialists. The Sanskrit and Pala words, bhikshu and bhikku, meaning mendicant or mendicant, do not imply the role of a priest. Weber talks of a similar problem between monotheism and Hierocratic charism in Christianity. ,


  1. Inherent tensions emerge, more genuine monasticism is independent of institutional charisma because its own charisma is immediate to God.” The combination of the three role types—priest, king, and prophet—represents a similar conflict in the role type of the Christian priest today. leave room for
  2. Development of the priesthood
  3. It is not easy to trace the exact evolution of the role of priests in different religions, the main difficulty being the cross-cultural use of the terms priest and priesthood. Has been applied to a range of events around the world, often with European connotations and linguistic derivations. Furthermore, the division of labor that existed among the priestly class in early societies is not dear enough to us. However, a look at hi
  4. The history of religions readily reveals to us some common features and stages in the process of the development of the priesthood.
  5. The Journey from the Natural Priesthood to the Professional Priesthood in Religions
  6. The origin of the priesthood is said to be attributed to the universal need for the mediation of superhuman help felt by mankind in the struggle for life. In its development we note two phases, namely the phase of the natural priesthood and the phase of the professional or regular priesthood. There are indications to confirm that originally all invoked their own deities.


  1. In the early times, the worship was confined to the deity members of the kin and later to the people of the tribes. Then the heads of families or tribes most spontaneously performed worship, which was later confined to the members of the clans, and later to the members of the tribes themselves. The heads of families or tribes then most naturally assumed the priestly role because they, as the oldest and most experienced members of the family, were closest to the ancestors. increased, a regular priesthood was introduced. As not everyone is equally skilled in mediation, professionals are expected to have expertise, greater knowledge and power to secure a better outcome.


  1. But to a large extent the two forms remained intertwined. Gradually those skilled in interpreting the wishes of the gods and practicing magical arts won the confidence of the people and gained a certain eminence and formed a special class. Certain classes of people who had unmistakable links to the priesthood—those who, when in a state of ecstasy, were believed to be inspired by the gods, who served in famous temples or sanctuaries, who performed miracles—were considered to be members of a regular priesthood. He was a pioneer. When rituals lost their simplicity, a professional priesthood became even more necessary.
  2. The priestly functions are exercised between the same groups by their chiefs or leaders; Such as the father in a family, the head of a clan or tribe, the king of a nation or people. With the increasing development and differentiation of social organizations and stratification, major cult functions of the leader became associated with particular individuals or professional groups, and as a result, professional magicians, astrologers, and even soothsayers emerged in more differentiated “primitive” societies. Come ,
  3. [These functions are referred to as quasi-priestly.] With the increasing complexity of cultural and social conditions, professional differentiation occurs, and a professional priesthood appears.
  4. The history of many religions testifies to the development of priesthood from natural to regular or professional form. For example, in the case of Hinduism, Dr.
  5. Radhakrishnan says that,
  6. The original Aryans were all of the same class, each a priest and soldier, merchant and tiller of the soil. There was no privileged order of priests. The complexity of life led to the division of classes among the Aryans. Although in the beginning everyone could offer sacrifices to the gods without anyone’s mediation, the priesthood and the aristocracy separated themselves from the proletariat…to learn wisdom, poetic and speculative gifts, the priest, or before a set Became representative in worship under the title. In view of their noble function of maintaining the tradition of the Aryans, this class was freed from the necessity of struggle for existence… The Brahmins are not priests pledged to uphold fixed doctrines, but an intellectual elite which is relegated to molding the high life of the people.
  7. It is pertinent to remark here that priesthood and cult have not been essential qualifications in all religions at all times. In the case of early Buddhism, for example, the possibility of a cultural priesthood was remote. “Sacrifice in Buddhism requiring the services of an officiating priest

Neither had any order or ritual, with expert knowledge of the importance of rituals and rites.


  1. In fact the Buddhist scriptures mention instances in which the Buddha himself ridiculed the ritualistic practices of the Brahmin priests. But already during its early history in China, when faced with the strong cultural attributes of Confucianism, Buddhism adopted cultural practices. Hinduism talks of teacher-Brahmin, priest-Brahmin and superman-Brahmin.
  2. Vocational priesthood exists in two forms, namely hereditary and vocational. According to the former, the priesthood is the privilege of a particular family or tribal lineage. Jewish Levitical priests, Hindu Brahmin priests and Zoroastrian priests are some examples. Vocational priesthood based on recruiting candidates from its pool of promising young members
  3. Devotion, intellectual and moral qualities. Professional priests distinguish themselves by special vestments, long hair, distinct language, and ascetic rules such as sexual control and fasting. Along with institutionalization, elements such as initiation rites and training increased in importance. Whereas in the past most religions – Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity – reserved the priesthood for male members, more recently some sections of religious membership such as the Anglican Church have advocated for the priesthood of women. While many religions throughout their history have found themselves moving from priestly celibacy for various reasons, the Latin Rite of Roman Catholicism is the strongest in favor of it in contemporary times.
  4. As history develops, in the great world religions, representatives of the priesthood are organized into a highly complex structure in which a more or less differentiated hierarchy of groups with their various activities corresponds to the priestly hierarchy. In the beginning the divisions were on simple grounds such as natural groups (clan, tribe, people), local groups (village, city, district), and political groups (nation). Later, priests became associated with the formation of particular religious organizations, temporarily unified by the personal charisma of the priest leader alone, or organized as institutional units such as parishes.
  5. Sacred vs. Secular Powers
  6. According to the nature of the governance of a country, Weber identifies three types of relationship between secular and sacred powers in the history of the world. While in the first type, a ruler is legitimized by priests, in the second the high priest is also the king, and in the third, the secular ruler exercises supreme authority even in sacred matters. Thus while some countries had kings who were also priests, some other countries had priests who were also kings. Even in Islam, where unlike most other religions, there is no class of priests or clerics,
  7. In the strict sense of the word, we find that there was a time when the roles of Imam (leader of prayers in worship rites in mosques) and ruler of the place were assigned to the same person.
  8. When a governor was appointed in a province, he was also appointed as an Imam to lead the prayers, and this practice continued for a long time. In fact, leading the prayers (imamat) in Islam was as great an honor as the monarchy, and the two offices, the office of spiritual leader and the office of temporal leader, were for a long time combined in one person. As the ruler himself was the Imam at the centre, so were his governors at various provincial headquarters. There was no place in early Islam for the priest and the current mullah.
  9. According to Weber, in hierarchical domination, the priestly authority seeks dominance at the cost of political power. Often the latter is presented as an inevitable evil, permitted by God because of the sinfulness of the world, and which believers must forsake but avoid. Sometimes it is even presented as a God-given tool for the subjugation of anti-church forces. “In practice, therefore, the hierarchy seeks to turn the political ruler into a vassal and deprive him of independent means of power…” Meanwhile, the hierarchy does everything possible to protect itself: an autonomous administrative apparatus , a tax system (tithes), legal forms (endowments) to protect church holdings, bureaucratization of administration, and the development of the charisma of the office at the expense of personal charisma.
  10. In Weber’s mind, the extreme opposite of any form of hierarchy is caesaropapism—the complete subordination of priests to secular powers. Here religious relations are only a branch of political administration. Political rulers fulfill these obligations either directly or with the help of state-maintained priestly professionals. Caesaro-papism is nowhere to be found in its purest form, as a rule the priestly charisma reconciles with the secular power, either tacitly or even through a concordat. Overall, the general picture of the relationship between the two painted by Weber is that of a cold war.
  11. “State and society everywhere have been deeply affected by the struggle between the royal and the priestly, between the military and the temple nobility. This struggle did not always lead to open conflict, but it did give rise to distinctive features and differences.. .”
  12. According to Aberbach, even though sacred and religion

While there are significant differences between the absolutes, the history of religion testifies to the close parallels between the two: while charisma, even in its secular forms, has a religious dimension, traditional religious charisma is rarely devoid of political and other significance. “Political charisma draws on the language, sentiment, and even ideological convictions of religion. Charismatic religious leadership is no less

  1. With politics. Devotees of the religious charismatic are inspired not only by his message but also by his political acumen and military success. The major religions of the ancient world were all official state religions. He was educated in religious schools, and had the outstanding qualities associated with religious leadership: Washington’s personal humility, Garibaldi’s austerity, Robespierre’s propensity for solitude and meditation. He concluded that, “the many parallels between religious and political charisma mean that in practice the association between both charismatic political leaders and figures of religious authority – priest and prophet, savior and messiah – although differing in intensity, is of little surprise.” matter. Fifteen years on, and the ‘righteousness’ of government which reflects the involvement of the modern state in the ‘deeper’ issues of human life, and the way in which state-organised societies, in varying degrees, worship and ‘deeper’ identity has become an object of
  2. It is challenging to note here that in the development of most religions, if not all, the priesthood was always limited to cult activities. Priests perform a number of other functions: directly or indirectly related to liturgical functions. He is the custodian of traditions and protector of the sacred knowledge and techniques of meditation and prayer.


  1. He is the guardian of the sacred law corresponding to the cosmic moral and ritual order. As interpreter of this law, the priest can act as judge, administrator, teacher and scholar, and formulate standards and rules of conduct. Since he performs sacred rites, he contributes to the development of sacred song, writing, literature, music, dance, sacred painting, sculpture, and architecture. As guardians of tradition, priests are also wise men, advisors, teachers, and philosophers. In the extent to which these diverse functions are performed, differences exist between religions according to the stage of development from primitive civilizations to highly developed ritualistic religions.
  2. The Babylonian priests had much to do not only with the interpretation of morals
  3. And religious law, but also with many civil enactments. It was the duty of some of them to receive the tithes, and to certify that they had been paid. Shinto priests are said to “serve not only in the performance of formal shrine rituals but also bear responsibility for administrative functions such as the maintenance and management of shrine facilities and finances… (after World War II later), great expectations are also placed on them for activities in the fields of social welfare and education.”


  1. Between the Indo-Aryan speaking invaders of north-west India and the end of the second millennium BC. The priestly social class was “responsible not only for a wide range of cultural works but also for the creation and preservation of sacred traditions of oral poetry.” The Rigveda mentions purohit (household priest of the king or some wealthy elite) who were not only in constant and intimate service to the king, but also had a close association with the king in his more mundane functions. the ethics of compassion (karuna) was
  2. The fundamental driving force of Buddhism. Buddhist monks have therefore traditionally played the role of spiritual advisors and teachers to laypeople. It is now not uncommon to find sangha social services in Theravada countries such as Thailand and Sri Lanka.



  1. In Judaism, apart from cultural functions, priests had supernatural functions, medical functions, instructional and judicial functions, and administrative and political functions. In fact, history testifies that during the period of the Second Temple, when Judea and Jerusalem were under the dominion of foreign empires. The priesthood of Jerusalem played an important political role, with priests also serving as leaders of Jewish communities.


  1. There is no caste, class or profession in Islam proper that holds a monopoly on the performance of religious rites. When these were first performed publicly, the leader was appropriately the head of the community, and the name imam” ‘leader in prayer’ is hence used for ‘sovereign,’ ‘chief authority,’ and so on. led the sovereign prayer.
  2. Because of priests’ direct and immediate contact with the people who depend on them for God’s intercession, priests exercise tremendous influence over them. Not only in hierarchically classified ecclesiastical bodies but also in religious groups of more or less egalitarian bodies, religious leaders can become trusted, properly respected, and indispensable guides to their followers. basically a predominantly religious
  3. Influence, influence extends to moral, social, cultural; and political field.
  4. There is ample evidence in the history of religions to show that the decline of priests and priestesses has been a part of almost all religious traditions at one time or another. Scholars of Indian thought ranged from the simple offerings of the early Vedic period to the complex and ritual offerings of the Brahmanical period.

here has been a change in the sacrifices associated with this. Persuasion of the gods was replaced by coercion of the gods, while yagya was placed above even the gods. Introducing a distinctly magical element to the rituals, “the priest and the prayer are then transformed into witchcraft and spells.”


  1. Speaking about the Namboothiris who were temple priests in Kerala, Thulasidharan says it was the remunerative services that attracted them. They lived in extreme comfort and luxury. Although he was supposed to be the guardian of the morality of the society, he did nothing of the sort. “On the contrary, they were only eager to drink the sweet honey of life lees, not leaving a drop for the lower castes.” Some historians trace a similar situation among Christian clergy to the time before the Protestant Reformation. Ridicule, corruption, selling of indulgences and greed for wealth were the characteristics of the age.
  2. Nevertheless, priests have often throughout history been considered authoritative between the sacred and the profane. “Throughout the long and varied history of religion, the priesthood has been the official institution that has maintained a position of mediation and balance between the sacred and profane aspects of human society and that has exerted a stabilizing influence on social structure and cultural organization.” But priests Various administrative duties derived from the cultural activities of the Therefore, the less communication there is with the number expressed in the formal cult, the closer it is to the shaman. “So long as the mediation of the priest is desired to secure material or ideal benefits (du deus), religion is close to magic, but rises to a higher level where it becomes an act of thanksgiving and worship to the priest.” One’s own and other’s name goes.”






Currently there is unprecedented interest, enthusiasm and confusion about shamanism. Shamanic literature, rituals and workshops are flourishing and have given rise to a veritable cottage industry. There are actually shamanistically trained Anthropolo Geists like Michael Harner and highly controversial figures like Lynn Andrews, “The Shaman of Beverly Hills” (Clifton, 1989) offering shamanism workshops. Given that only a few years ago there was concern that shamanism would soon become extinct, it is clear that the tradition, or at least its contemporary Western version, is doing well.

What is not so clear is what exactly a shaman is. In fact, there is considerable controversy over this controversial point. On the one hand the ideas of the showman have been described as “mentally deranged” and “a complete psycho” (Devereaux, 1961) p “true idio (Wiesler, 1931), a charlatan, epileptic and, perhaps most often (Kacker , 1982; Shaman Noli, 1983) a histrionic or schizophrenic.

On the other hand, an opposite but equally radical approach seems to be emerging in popular literature. Here satanic states are being identified with Buddhism, Yoga or Christian mysticism. Thus, for example, Holger Kalveit (1988, p. 236)

The author would like to thank the following people {or their contributions to the preparation of this paper. Michael Harner provided both theoretical and practical information and introduced a large number of diabolical techniques. Marlene Dobkins de Rios provided bibliographic assistance while Frances Vaughan and Miles

Wich provided valuable feedback on earlier drafts of this paper. As always, Bonnie L’Allier provided excellent secretarial and administrative support.

shamans and shamanism as unique phenomena

Claims that the exorcist “experiences existential unity—the samadhi of the Hindus or what Western spiritualists and mystics call Enlightenment, Enlightenment mystica,” as if uniformly reaching the same state of consciousness.

Unfortunately these comparisons seem to be seriously flawed, being based on gross similarities rather than careful phenomenological comparisons (Walsh, 1990). Space does not permit such analyzes to be presented here. Suffice it to say that when careful phenomenological comparisons are made, it becomes clear that demonic experiences differ significantly from traditional categories of mental illness or those of mystics of other traditions (Nollie, 1983; Walsh 1990).

Therefore, contrary to much popular and professional thinking, we cannot define (or productively discuss) shamans and shamanism in terms of either clinical categories or other mystical traditions. Rather we need to consider and define them as unique phenomena. clearly an adequate definition can do much to help reduce

Huge confusion regarding the nature of shamanism.


The word itself comes from varman of the Tungus people of Siberia, meaning “one who is excited, shaken, raised.” It may be derived from an ancient Indian word meaning “to warm oneself or do penance” (Slacker, 1986) or from a Tungus verb meaning “to know” (Hultcrantz, 1973). But whatever its etymology The term shaman has been widely adopted by anthropologists to refer to specific groups of religious practitioners in various cultures who are sometimes called medicine men, witch doctors, magicians, sorcerers, magicians, or seers. However, these terms are not specific to healers. do not define subgroups well enough to fit more rigorous definitions of mitigation

, The meaning and significance of this definition, and of shamanism itself, will become clear if we examine the way in which our definitions and understanding of shamanism have evolved over time.

Early anthropologists were particularly intrigued by the shamans’ unique interactions with “spirits”. Many people of the tribe may claim to revere, see, or even possess the spirits. However, only the shaman claimed to have some degree of control over them and to be able to command, commune and intervene with them for the benefit of the tribe.

  Thus Shirokogoroff (1935, p. 269),’ one of the early explorers of the Siberian Tungus people, stated that:

In all Tungus languages this word (saman) refers to individuals of both sexes who have mastery over spirits, who project these spirits into themselves at will and use their power over spirits in their own interests. especially helping other people who are suffering from it. Spirits; In such a capacity they may have a range of specialized methods for dealing with emotions.

But whereas early researchers were most influenced by shamans’ interactions with spirits, later researchers have been influenced by shamans’ control of their own states of consciousness in which these interactions occur (Dobkin, de Rios & Winkleman, 1989; Nolley, 1983; Petersl, 981; Peters and Shamanism Price-Williams, 1980, 1983) As Western culture has become more interested in altered states of consciousness (ASC), the first researchers have become interested in the use of altered state tradition in religious practices (Tarte , 1983a) , b), and it appears that the first tradition to use such states was shamanism. Contemporary altered definitions of shamanism have therefore focused on the use of states such as shamanism (Harner, 1982; Knolly, 1983; Peet & Price-Williams, 1980).




Origin of Shamas

However, there are many, many possible states of consciousness (Shapiro & Walsh, 1984; Walsh & Vaughn, 1980; Wilber, 1977, 1980), and so the question naturally arises as to which are specific and defining for shamanism. , The broad definition has broad and narrow definitions. “The only defining characteristic is that the specialist enters into a controlled ASC on behalf of his community” (Petes Price Williams, 1980, p. 408), such specialists would include, for example, Mediums who enter a trance and then claim to speak for a spiritist should note the point that the use of the term “spirits” here does not necessarily imply that there exist separate entities that interact with people in control. or communicate. Rather the term is being used to describe only the way in which shamans and mediums interpret their experiences.

So a broad definition of shamanism would include any practitioner who enters controlled altered states of consciousness, whatever those particular states are. Narrower definitions on the other hand specify altered staters) quite precisely as ecstatic states. Indeed, Mircea Eliade (1964, one of the greatest religious scholars of the 20th century), “the first definition, and perhaps the least dangerous, of this complex phenomenon would be: the shamanistic technique of ecstasy.” Here ecstasy does not mean much ecstasy, but There is more. Emotion, as Random House Dictionary defines it as the taking or transfer of oneself or oneself out of one’s normal state and entering into a state of intense or heightened emotion. As we shall see, Especially suitable for shamanism.



The distinguishing feature of shamanic ecstasy is the experience of “soul flight” or “travel” or “out-of-body experience” (Eliaud, 1964; Harner, 1982). That is, shamans in the ecstatic state experience themselves, or their soul/spirit, flying through space and traveling either to other worlds or to distant parts of this world. In other words, “the shaman specializes in a trance, during which his soul is believed to leave his body and ascend to the heavens or descend to the underworld” (Eliad, 1964, p. 5). These flights reflect the satanic cosmology consisting of the three-tiered universe of the upper, middle and lower worlds, the middle corresponding to our Earth. Shaman is in this threefold work

LD systems tender to learn, gain strength, or diagnose and treat those who come for help and healing. During these visits the shaman may feel himself discovering the other world, meeting otherworldly people, animals or spirits, witnessing the cause and cure of a patient’s illness, or intervening with friendly or demonic forces.

So far, any definition we have includes three key features of shamanism. The first is that shamans can voluntarily enter an altered state of consciousness. Another is that in these states they experience themselves as traveling out of their body to other realms, which is a contemporary of some out-of-body experiences (Munroe, 1971; Irvine, 1985) or lucid dreams (LaBarge, 1985). is in line with the report. , Third, they use these journeys as a means to gain knowledge or power and to help people in their community.


Conversations with spirits are also frequently mentioned in definitions of Satanism. In addition, Michael Harner, an anthropologist whose

There may be a more personal experience of refugee practices here than in any other Western country. suggests that a key element of Satanic practices may be “contact with an ordinarily hidden reality” (Harner, 1982, p. 25). Thus he defines a shaman as “a man or woman who uses an altered form of consciousness to contact and use an ordinarily hidden reality in order to gain knowledge, power, and help other persons.” enters a state of being” (Harner, 1982, p. 25).

Should these two additional elements, “contacting a hidden reality” and “communication with spirits” be included as essential elements of the definition of shamanism? Here we are on difficult philosophical ground. Surely this is what shamans feel and believe they are doing. However it is a huge philosophical leap to assume that this is actually what they are doing. The precise nature of both the worlds (or ontological states in philosophical terms) in which shamans perceive themselves and the entities they encounter is an open question. For the shaman they are interpreted as independent and completely “real”; To a Western person with no belief in other realms or entities they would likely be interpreted as subjective mind creations.

In fact, it may be impossible to decide this question. Technically speaking we can have an example of ontological uncertainty due to the under-determinism of the theory by observation. More simply speaking, it is the inability to determine the ontological status of a phenomenon because observations allow multiple theoretical interpretations. The result is that the interpretation of such uncertain pheno mena (“and” spirits ” in this case of the nature of hidden reality) depends largely on one’s own philosophical inclination or worldview. We can therefore place shamanism on secure grounds. define if we leave these questions as much as possible to philosophical interpretation.

Briefly, shamanism can be defined as a family of traditions whose practitioners focus on voluntarily summarizing altered states of consciousness in which they experience the definition of self, or their spirit(s), Travels to other locations and interacts with other entities at the request of other entities. To serve their shamanism community.


Whatever its origin, shamanism is widely spread throughout the world. It is found today in large areas such as Siberia, North and South America and Australia and is thought to have been present in most parts of the world at one time or another. The remarkable similarities between shamans from widely spread areas of the world raise the question of how these similarities evolved. One possibility is that they arose spontaneously in different places, perhaps due to a common human instinct or recurrent social need. The second is that they resulted from migration and diffusion from a common ancestor.

If migration is the answer, then that migration must have started long ago. Shamanism occurs among tribes with so many different languages that diffusion from a common ancestor must have begun at least 20,000 years ago (Winkelman, 1984).

This long time period makes it difficult to explain why satanic practices would remain stable in so many cultures for so long while language and social practices changed so rapidly. These difficulties make it seem unlikely that migration alone can account for the long history and far-flung distribution of shamanism.

It follows that if the worldwide, history-long distribution of shamanism cannot be attributed to diffusion from a single invention in prehistoric times, they must be discovered and rediscovered in different times and cultures. Was. This suggests that some recurring combination of social forces and innate abilities acquired and maintained Satanic roles, rituals, and states of consciousness over and over again.

Shamanism rediscovered across diverse times and cultures

certainly appears to be evidence of some innate human tendency to enter into conspicuous change

d State. Studies of various meditation traditions suggest that innate instincts to reach altered states can be very accurate. For example, for two and a half thousand years Buddhists have described reaching eight highly specific and distinct states of extreme concentration. These concentrated states, that phantasm, are extremely subtle, stable and blissful and have been described very precisely over the millennia (Buddhagosha, 1923; Gole Man, 1988). Today some western seekers have started reaching out to them and I have had the privilege of interviewing three of them. In each case his experiences match up remarkably well with ancient accounts. Clearly then it appears that the human mind has some innate tendency to settle into certain states if it is given the right conditions or practices.

The same principle may apply to satanic states. Observations of Westerners in satanic workshops suggest that most people are able to enter satanic states to some degree. these states

It can also be triggered by a variety of situations which suggests that there may be some inherent tendency in the mind to adopt them. The situations that trigger them may include such natural events as isolation, fatigue, ingesting -mic sounds, or hallucinogens (Winkleman, 1984; Walsh, 1989, 1990). Thus they will be rediscovered by different generations and cultures. Since the states can be pleasurable, meaningful, and therapeutic, they will be actively sought and the ways to induce them will be remembered and transmitted across generations.

Distribution due to innate tendency and diffusion

Thus shamanism and its widespread distribution may reflect an innate human tendency to enter certain pleasurable and valuable states of consciousness. Once discovered, customs and beliefs supporting the entry and manifestation of states would also arise, and shamanism would once again emerge. This natural tendency can be supported and expanded by communication between cultures. For example, shamanism in northern Asia appears to have been modified by the importation of yogic practices from India (Eliad, 1964). Thus the global distribution of shamanism may be due to both instinct and the spread of information. The end result is that this ancient tradition spread across the Earth and probably survived for tens of thousands of years, a period that represents a significant proportion of the time that fully evolved humans (modern Homo sapiens) have been on the planet. are on.

Given that shame has been around for so long and is so widespread, it naturally begs the question of why it occurs in some cultures and not others. Answers are beginning to emerge from cross-cultural research. A notable study examined 47 societies spanning approximately 4000 years from 1750, ie, the Babylonians, to the present century (Winkelman, 1984, 1989). It is interesting to note that, prior to Western influence, all 47 of these cultures used altered states of consciousness as the basis for religious and medical practices. Although shamanic practices were found in most regions of the world, they occurred only in certain types of societies. These were mainly simple nomadic hunting and gathering societies. These people depended little on agriculture and had almost no social class or political organization. Within these tribes the shaman played many roles, both sacred and mundane: medicine taker, healer, ritual performer, keeper of cultural myths, medium, and master of spirits. With his multiple roles and the power vacuum introduced by a classless society, the shaman exerted a great influence on his tribe and people.

However, as societies develop and become more complex, it appears that this situation changes dramatically. Indeed, as societies become sedentary rather than nomadic, agricultural rather than agricultural, and socially and politically classless rather than stratified, then shamanism seems to have disappeared (Winkleman, 1984, 1989). In its place appear a variety of specialists who focus on one of the magician’s many roles. Thus instead of shamans we find healers, priests, mediums and sorcerers/witches. They specialize in the practices of medicine, ritual, exorcism and malevolent witchcraft, respectively. An obvious contemporary western parallel to the older medical general practitioner or G.P. has to disappear. and the presence of diverse experts.

Some of these ancient experts have been compared to the shaman G.P. It is interesting to do with those who preceded them. Priests have emerged as representatives of organized religion and are often religious, moral and even political leaders. He is the leader of social rites and rituals. On behalf of their society, they pray to and propagate spiritual powers. However, unlike their demonic ancestors, they usually have little training or experience in altered states. (Hoppel, 1984).

while priests inherit a socially beneficial religious

Other magical roles of magicians, magicians inherit malevolent ones. Shamans were often hermaphrodite figures to their people, revered for their healing and helping powers, sorcerers and witches feared for their malevolent magic (Rogers, 1982), at least as they note in Winkleman (1984) and other anthropological studies. are experts in malevolent magic and as such they are feared, loathed and persecuted.


Origin of Religion (Evolutionary)

The sociology of religion in the nineteenth century was concerned with two main questions. ‘How did religion begin?’ and ‘How did religion develop?’ This evolutionary view was influenced by Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, published in 1859. Just as Darwin attempted to explain the origin and evolution of species, sociologists attempted to explain the origin and evolution of social institutions and society. In the context of religion, two main theories for its origin, animism and animism, were advanced.



animism, naturalism

1) Animism means belief in souls. Edward B. Tylor considers it the oldest form of religion. He argues that animism

derives from attempts to answer two questions, ‘What is it that differentiates between a living body and a dead one?’ and ‘What are those human shapes that appear in dreams and visions?’ To make sense of these phenomena, early philosophers invented the idea of the soul. A soul is a soul that leaves the body temporarily during dreams and visions, and permanently at death. Once invented, the idea of spirits was applied not only to humans, but also to many aspects of the natural and social environment. Thus animals were invested with a soul, as were man-made objects such as the bowler of the Australian Aborigines. Tylor argues that religion, in the form of animism, arose to satisfy man’s intellectual nature, to satisfy his need for death, dreams, and visions.

2) Naturism means the belief that the forces of nature have supernatural powers. F. Max Müller considers it the oldest form of religion. He argues that naturalism arose out of man’s experience of nature, particularly the effect of nature on man’s emotions. Wonder, terror, wonders and miracles happen in nature, such as volcanoes, thunder and lightning. Amazed by the power and wonders of nature, early man transformed abstract forces into personal agents. Man humanized nature. The force of the wind became the life of the wind, the force of the sun became the life of the sun. Where animism seeks the origin of religion in man’s intellectual needs, extremism seeks it in his emotional needs. Naturalism is man’s response to the effect of the power and wonder of nature on his senses.

3) From the origin of religion, the sociologists of the nineteenth century turned to its development. Many plans were developed, Tyler being one example. Tylor believed that human societies developed through five major stages, starting with simple hunting and gathering bands, and ending with the complex nation state. Similarly, religion developed through five stages, which corresponded with the development of society. Animism, the belief in a multitude of spirits, constituted the religion of the simplest societies; monotheism, the belief in a single supreme god, constituted the most complex religion. Tylor believed that each stage in the development of religion arose out of preceding stages and that the religion of modern man, ‘can be traced largely to only one god’.

4) A runaway product of an old and uncivilized system’.

5) There are several criticisms of the evolutionary approach. The origins of religion are lost in the past. The first indication of a possible belief in the supernatural dates from about 60,000 years ago. Archaeological evidence suggests that Neanderthals in the Near East buried their dead with flowers, stone tools, and jewelry. However, theories of the origin of religion can only be based on speculation and intelligent guesswork.


6) Evolutionists such as Tylor and Muller came up with plausible reasons for why certain beliefs were held by members of particular societies but this did not necessarily explain why those beliefs originated in the first place. Nor can it be argued that all religions are of the same origin. In addition, the clear, precise stages of the development of religion do not correspond to the facts. As Andrew Lang points out, many of the simplest societies have religions based on monotheism, which Tylor claimed was limited to modern societies.





7) Magic

8) Magic is practiced in many cultures, and uses methods to understand, experience, and influence the world in ways similar to religion. Hanegraaf argues that magic is in fact “…a largely controversial concept that has been used by various religious interest groups to describe either their own religious beliefs and practices or – more often – those of others”. to defame”.


9) The belief in and practice of witchcraft has existed since the earliest human cultures and continues to play an important religious and medicinal role in many cultures today.

10) Magic is the concept by which supernatural powers

11) Can be contacted.


12) The word “magic” is derived from the French word “maggie” which is used to refer to occult actions. Unlike religion, rituals are performed here to compel the supernatural power to act in particular ways. It never involves praise or prayer, rather it orders the Supreme Nature to serve good or bad purposes. Although magic and religion are opposite viewpoints it seems they have always existed together

13) Exemplary magic is based on the principle of similarity, while contagious magic is based on the principle of contact. The first principle derives from the notion that, like objects and actions, there is a relationship with each other.

14) Contagious magic works differently. Uneducated are often afraid to use other’s clothes. This is not for hygiene-consciousness, but for the concern of causing harm. Clothes are considered to be part of the body of the person who uses them. so much harm can be done to them



15) Easily and user impressed. It is nail biting, hair trimming, bodily excretions and some other very personal

Same goes for accessories. Magicians are in the habit of collecting these things in order to harm an enemy or an unwanted person. The name of a person sometimes used in contagious magic.

16) Magic can be good or bad according to the values of the concerned society. Magic aimed at good ends is called “white” magic, where as “black” magic has an evil aim. Both of these are found in all societies but the standards of judgment differ from culture to culture. Counter “black magic”, charms, amulets and spells are widely used. These are protective equipment against demons, devils and other evil forces.


17) Wearing small things like talismans on talismans protects the believer from great danger. Sir Fraser compared magic with modern science, saying that the cause-effect phenomena of magic coincided with the observations of experiments—science. Frazer not only turned his magical theories into laws; He also made a distinction between the theoretical and practical aspects of magic. Practical magic includes some positive and negative tools including sorcery, witchcraft, etc., while negative tools have many taboos. However, both sorcery and sorcery are symptomatic expressions of social tension and conflict.





18) positive negative

19) (witchcraft, witchcraft) (prohibition)


20) Witchcraft is a positive magic used for evil purposes. It involves the use of certain materials, objects or drugs to invoke supernatural power to harm people. The material here is the body parts on which specific mantras are used. It is purely a ‘black’ magic. Sorcerers are experts in witchcraft. They are so clever that sometimes instead of using tangible remains such as hair or nails; They use the shadow or sleeping soul of man. Primitive people are often afraid of society, because they know its unpleasant incidents. In most primitive societies, such an act is not socially approved and is therefore considered a crime against society.

21) Witchcraft

22) Witchcraft is a malevolent practice with the help of spirits. Here diseases are done only through thoughts and feelings; Tangible items are not used at all. So when witchcraft works on the person, the person starts suffering but the evidence of witchcraft does not remain. The lack of visual evidence makes it difficult to prove or disprove an allegation. Among the Azande, witchcraft is a part of daily life. Whatever goes wrong – an ache or pain, a bad harvest, an accident, loss of cattle – everything is perceived as a malicious act of a personal enemy.



23) who has done witchcraft against him. Witchcraft is thus a part and parcel of all economic pursuits, domestic life and community life of the Azande.

24) Witch Doctor

25) The term witch doctor is sometimes used synonymously with shaman and refers specifically to the Negroid shamans of Africa and Melanesia. But in reality the witch doctor is a divine personality who exposes the witch. A man either acquires the skill from his parents or learns from someone else. In some societies, such as the American Indians, witch doctors are known as medicine men.

26) When someone suddenly falls ill, it is understood that a spell has been cast on him. So her friends and relatives try to care, protect and cure her with herbal medicines. But when all efforts go in vain and the symptoms become alarming, there is no way but to call a tantrik who knows how to cure the disease.


27) A person practicing witchcraft usually looks terrible because he paints his face and body brightly with clay of different colors. He burns mysterious perfumes around the patient, strange words bubble up; He twists his body and finally heals the patient with his occult power. He knows the medicine of witchcraft. sorceress

28) Exercising supernatural power over others with the help of spirits; Magic. Both the tantrik and the witch are malevolent practitioners. Hence they enjoy very low socio-economic status in all societies. A wizard and a witch can be of any gender and are usually part-timers. They are both feared, as they know how to invoke supernatural power to cause sickness, injury and death.


29) Magicians often use different ingredients for their magic, so when evidence of their misconduct is found, they are killed by sectarian retribution. But in the case of witchcraft, due to lack of evidence, actual witches are not always identified.


30) It is believed that witches have some bad substance inside their body due to which they harm other people. A magical performance is probably responsible for recognizable changes in the body’s internal organs, which can only be detected by post-mortem examination. Almost all primitive societies have either sorcery doctors or medicine men or shamans to act against the evils created by sorcery and sorcery.

31) Medium

32) Mediums are part-time religious practitioners and are mostly women. them

People are said to heal while in trance. A medium enters a hypnotic state and during that period is controlled by a spiritual force outside of itself. It is believed that different spirits communicate with people through this medium.

33) This process, often referred to as prophecy, can be a channel of connection with the supernatural to receive his guidance. Divination often points to a man the source of his misfortunes. The medium usually receives guidance through an oracle. Primitive people believe that most misfortunes arise from the practice of witchcraft.


34) priest

35) Priests are usually full-time male specialists who officiate at public events. They have a very high position in the society. Priesthood is an expression of developed religion. But it can also be found in relatively organized primitive societies where cultures are rich and complex. People respect him because he has the power to reach the Gods and Goddesses.


36) Priests are also found to organize and maintain certain permanent cults. A priest may have mana, but this power lies with the position he holds and not directly with him as a shaman. The succession to the office is hereditary. Priests have to work in a rigidly structured hierarchy, fixed in a firm set of tradition. agricultural or pastoral communities that perform politics

37) Integration with the community includes either shaman or witchcraft or medium with priest and shaman.






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