Traditional and Cultural Beliefs on Magical Prayers (Ethiopic Amulets) and Their Influences on Women's Life

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Addis Ababa Universiy


This thesis deals with the traditional and cultural beliefs on magical prayers in Ethiopia, and their influence and connection on women's life. Amulets and scrolls which are composed with different magical prayers or spells or charms have played a great role on the life of women. Most cultures and traditions in Ethiopia have connections to religious beliefs that supernatural powers can be compelled or influenced, to act in certain ways for good or evil purposes, by using ritual formulas. These formulas are, in a sense, magic. By performing certain magical acts in a particular way, misfortunes are broken, illness cured or avoided, women made fertile, evil spirits can be defended or possessed. In this thesis I tried to list out and discuss many magical prayer texts. Especially my explanation depend on the traditional and cultural phenomena of magical prayers. I tried to examine the contents of the various works of magical prayer texts. I tried to show the characters of magical prayers and how they are connected to the life of women. In other words I tried to indicate the linguistic, historical, and anthropological features of magical prayers related to women. The connection between magical prayers and evil spirits (demons, Zars,) are strongly elaborated. Some ideological words which are composed together with magical prayers are examined as to how they were used as ideological intensions among different ethnic groups.



Traditional and Cultural Beliefs on Magical Prayers (Ethiopic Amulets)