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THE ELECTRONIC LIVEIBIZA

Weekly Edition 052: Saturday 23th February 2002

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An Anthropological View
by Kirk W Huffman

 
Apologies to Readers
 

I must apologize to readers this week for not having had time to write a column. Times are a little bit hectic at the moment, with urgent 'press deadlines' for a number of other articles plus I am due to give three major lectures early next week here in Ibiza that need a certain amount of preparation. These lectures are organized by the Society of Friends of the Archaeological Museum of Eivissa and Formentera and are a continuation of a series of lectures that I gave for them in May 2000.

I would, though, just like to make a short note about our friend JosÚ P Ribas' fascinating article on various Eivissenc spirits in last week's publication, Weekly Edition 051 Saturday 16th February 2002. Well done, JosÚ! Most readers in England might say 'What fascinating folklore', or words to that effect. I would however, like to point out to readers that to the oldest surviving generation of rural peasants here, beliefs in such spirits is/was not 'folklore': it was part and parcel of normal life and a part of their real world. For the oldest inhabitants of the island these spirits still exist and perform their works, or 'tricks', in some cases. Some of the oldest say that they still exist, but that the younger people today cannot see them, only the oldest inhabitants can. One old shepherd friend of mine here mused, "When I was born, all these things really existed, we saw proofs of their existence and we believed in them. Nowadays we are told that all this is not true.... But are the people telling us this wrong?".

There are many aspects to deal with in looking at spirit beliefs amongst traditionally oriented societies. All societies in the world had or have beliefs in certain types of spirit beings. It is only our modern Euro-American type of societies that have sort of consigned these fascinating beings to the cultural rubbish dump. In doing so, we have lost a lot of our own cultural identity and impoverished our own culture(s). The existence of such beings is a worldwide phenomenon encompassing all the worlds' cultures over untold thousands of years. I must admit it rather sad to see the normal traditional beliefs of innumerable cultures around the world being replaced by an almost religious belief in materialism, money, pop stars and fashion logos. But then the disappearance of such rich cultural aspects may in fact psychologically force our culturally impoverished youth to believe in the above-mentioned superficial materialistic trivia. I may have some more thoughts on this in the future.


Barruguet

Picture ę Mariano Planells Book - Dicionario de Secretos de Ibiza
First Published March 1982 Mariano Productions

 
Kirk W Huffman
kirkwhuffman@liveibiza.com
 

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