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Bantu Beliefs and Magic

Nature volume 142, page 594 (01 October 1938) | Download Citation



MR. HOBLEY'S study of Bantu beliefs and magic, dealing more specifically with the Kikuyu and Kamba peoples of Kenya, was first published in 1922. It was at once recognized as work of the first order, both as a study of these African peoples, and as a contribution to the general stock of anthropological material, most notably perhaps in its observation and interpretation of the place of the concept of thahu, the 'curse', as an element in their life and thought. The importance of this concept was duly stressed by Sir James Frazer in his preface to the original edition. The book has long been out of print. A new edition is welcome, not only because it makes accessible once more a book essential for the student, but also because much water has passed under the bridge since its original appearance. Mr. Hobley can now compare present-day conditions with his diagnosis of the native situation in the immediate post-War years.

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