National Geographic Taboo Witchcraft Video Analysis Paper


  1. Why do people often combine two or more different faiths—like Paganism and Christianity—when combating witchcraft ?
  2. How can magic, like curses and hexes, have a physiological and/or psychological effect?
  3. Why did Anthropologist, Dr. Edward Evans Pritchard, eventually start consulting with an oracle in his personal life?
  4. Dr. Isac Niehaus explains that in some cultures, like in Zimbabwe, witchcraft can be unknowingly activated by what?
  5. How is witch “cleansing” used in Zaka village society, and in other similar villages that believe in witchcraft?
  6. Fill in the blank:
    a) Accusations of witchcraft often bring to the surface the social _________ that already existed.

    b) In order to leave the village happy, peaceful, and unified, witches are usually not punished, but instead treated more like a mentally ill person and encouraged to ask the public/community for _________.

  7. In Europe and the U.S., how (and of whom) did the church use accusations of witchcraft?
  8. In Europe, what do wiccans believe they have to do in order to gain the power of magic?
  9. Why does the pagan witch Nathan use a psalm from the bible? How does he explain it?
  10. What is Beltane? Why is it so important to European witches?
  11. Explain how the recent Coronavirus Pandemic has changed your viewpoint, belief, or understanding of health and illness
  12. During the synchronous session I got the notion that this might be a lot of information for many of you, so I am reducing the ethnography reading this week. Questions only come from the “Shaman” article. The Viral Superhighway is still included for optional reading. The questions are as follows:

    Shamans1. The author Mark Plotkins, experienced which kind of a shaman trance/session where he “lay face down” and “died” on the forest floor? What is the name of the ceremony/medicine (1 pt)?

    2. Who or what are the Evenk, and how do they contribute to shamanism (2 pts)?

    3. “The shaman’s genius as a healer stems from his (or her) ability to combine” which two aspects of healing (1 pt) ?

    4. How does the “Western medicine tendency to adopt a reductionist approach . . . underestimate or even deny the shaman’s healing wisdom” (1 pt)?

    5. The article lists at least 5 different ways in which the shaman (each worth 1pt for 5 total points)?

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