Malinowski’s magical puzzles

  title={Malinowski’s magical puzzles},
  author={Mark S. Mosko},
  journal={HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory},
  pages={1 - 47}
  • Mark S. Mosko
  • Published 2014
  • Sociology
  • HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory
Malinowski’s classic accounts of Trobriand sociality have left anthropology with many lasting conundrums. This two-part article examines two such puzzles revolving around contradictory reports over the agencies involved in magical chants (megwa). On the one hand, consistent with his pragmatic and functionalist theories of language and culture, Malinowski claimed that, although ancestral baloma and other spirits are typically invoked in most spells, those incantations’ efficaciousness derived… Expand