Superstition and Necessity

Mythology and folklore can be seen as a window into a culture. When certain areas are affected by certain factors, the people living in these areas feel the need to explain the cause of an amazing or catastrophic event. These events are often regarded as a case of Deus Ex Machina, which is a term for gods or other deities interfering with mortal life, sometimes in an ominous or harmful manner. Such was the case with anthropologist Diana Espírito Santo. She was approached by a man with “transparent green eyes, and patchy hair,” who told her he loved her. Naturally disturbed by this encounter, she left quickly. She was later informed by a local medium that the man was not a man at all, but a “wandering spirit.” After this shocking revelation, the medium informed Santo that the spirit was “malevolent” and had a evil or harmful intent. The spirit was a messenger for a wizard sent to inform Santo of his love of her. The spirit is identified as a inhabitant of a Nganga, which is a charm that consists of a “myriad plants, sticks, herbs, stones, metals, animal remains, and the bones of a defunct person” These spirits are little more than slaves, sent to do the bidding of their masters. I believe that in most cases, superstition or religion can often be seen as a product of times of desperation or negativity. By placing one’s faith in a higher power, it is easier for humans to find hope in dark times. Sources: Unmaking spirits? A case of witchcraft in Cuba by DIANA ESPÍRITO SANTO on NOVEMBER 27, 2012 in THE HUMAN BODY