SHAMAN, SAIVA AND SUFI

IX. MAGIC AND MAN

To protect the soul−substance of his staple food−plant the Malay peasant, conservative as agriculturists all the
world over, is content with the primitive ritual of the animist, covered for decency's sake with a thin veneer of his
later religions. Courts and ports, where new faiths first found acceptance, are more open to liberal influences, and
to safeguard the body and soul of man the Malay has added to the practices of the animist all the magic that Hindu
and Muslim could teach him. Like all primitive peoples, he believes that evil spirits are especially active on the
abnormal occasions of life, so that birth, puberty and marriage are invested with the most lavish ceremonial. For
the dead he accepts Muhammadan rites almost unalloyed.




Shaman, Saiva and Sufi

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