The Ancient Library
 

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CHAP. II

MAGIC ii

never the logical connection of cause and effect which makes its formulae or its rites efficacious, but the power of the magician, or that inherent in the rites or formulae in virtue of their abnormal character. For this power, which lends efficacy to the magic act, the Melanesian word mana has been adopted by ethnologists as a convenient term.

Among many of the lower races with whom we are acquainted, everything and everybody has this mana, and the difference between the magician and his fellows is one of degree rather than of kind.1 The ordinary man can work magic, but the magician has stronger mana and can work more powerful magic. And this force can be acquired or increased. A Haida shaman, for instance, " may start with a com­paratively feeble spirit and acquire stronger and stronger ones."2 It is obvious that the proportion of power which belongs to the magician per se, and the amount which is due to spiritual inspiration or to acquisition, will vary in different stages of culture and theology, and is often indeed but ill-defined. " L'esprit que possede le sorcier, ou qui possede le sorcier se confond avec son ame et sa force magique :

1 See Hartland, Address to the British Association, 1906, pp. 4-6. 2 Swanton, Jesup North Pacific Expedition, v. I, p. 38.

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