Magic and Fetishism - 1906 (Haddon A.C.)

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'A pioneer of modern anthropology', A. C. Haddon (1855–1940) contributed to the fields of embryology and evolutionary science before turning his interests to human civilisation and its history. In this work, first published in 1910, Haddon makes use of his wide-ranging knowledge of folk rituals and religious beliefs to introduce readers to basic principles of sympathetic magic, divination, talismanic powers and fetishism. A strong believer in the importance of preserving local religious practices and beliefs, Haddon uses the work to document customs from Britain to West Africa, America to Australia. Topics include forms of contagious magic, premised on a mutual influence between objects; amulets and talismans; magical names and words; and divination. In the second portion of the book, devoted to fetishism, Haddon offers an authoritative description of the fetish as a 'habitation, temporary or permanent, of a spiritual being', establishing basic definitions for an important field of cultural research.


  1. Magic:
    1. Sympathetic magic;
    2. Magical power or names and words;
    3. Talismans and amulets;
    4. Division;
    5. Public and private magic;
    6. Magicians;
    7. Psychology of magical practices;
  2. Fetishism:
    1. Definition;
    2. Essential characteristics of fetishism;
    3. Fetishism as a form of religious worship;
  3. Bibliography.


Magic and Fetishism - 1906 (Haddon A.C.)