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Magic in North America Part 1: In Uncategorized by Adrienne K. You can read that here. So this morning at 9am, part one of this mess was released. There are a number of things that stand out and deeply concern me, but the response to my critiques on my twitter timeline is even worse.
This has the perfect storm of all of those categories. I really could write a dissertation about this, but I have a million papers to grade and work to do, so a quick rundown: Part 1 of MinNA, The 14th to 17th century, starts with this: Various modes of magical travel — brooms and Apparition among them — not to mention visions and premonitions, meant that even far-flung wizarding communities were in contact with each other from the Middle Ages onwards.
The Native American magical community and those of Europe and Africa had known about each other long before the immigration of European No-Majs in the seventeenth century.
They were already aware of the many similarities between their communities. The overall ratio of wizards to non-wizards seemed consistent across populations, as did the attitudes of No-Majs, wherever they were born.
In the Native American community, some witches and wizards were accepted and even lauded within their tribes, gaining reputations for healing as medicine men, or outstanding hunters.
However, others were stigmatised for their beliefs, often on the basis that they were possessed by malevolent spirits.
Even in a fictional wizarding world. A legend grew up around the Native American Animagi, that they had sacrificed close family members to gain their powers of transformation.
In fact, the majority of Animagi assumed animal forms to escape persecution or to hunt for the tribe. Such derogatory rumours often originated with No-Maj medicine men, who were sometimes faking magical powers themselves, and fearful of exposure. Where will this get us?
Who benefits from this and why? What did I decide? I am performing a refusal. What you do need to know is that the belief of these things beings? It is connected to many other concepts and many other ceremonial understandings and lifeways. The other piece here is that Rowling is completely re-writing these traditions.
Traditions that come from a particular context, place, understanding, and truth. Not by any stretch of the imagination. Here is how Rowling responded to questions online about the term: You can't just claim and take a living tradition of a marginalized people.
Native communities use reciprocity, respect, and relationships as benchmarks. So good luck with that. The Native American wizarding community was particularly gifted in animal and plant magic, its potions in particular being of a sophistication beyond much that was known in Europe.
The most glaring difference between magic practised by Native Americans and the wizards of Europe was the absence of a wand. The magic wand originated in Europe. Wands channel magic so as to make its effects both more precise and more powerful, although it is generally held to be a mark of the very greatest witches and wizards that they have also been able to produce wandless magic of a very high quality.
As the Native American Animagi and potion-makers demonstrated, wandless magic can attain great complexity, but Charms and Transfiguration are very difficult without one.
This whole wandless magic thing is bugging me. AKA colonial narrative The response online today has been awful. This is not the way to learn about or be introduced to contemporary and living Native cultures.Alec Baldwin, photographed by Steve Schofield.
Photo: Steve Schofield/ Steve Schofield As told to Joe Hagan.
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