The Malay Magician

The Malay Magician

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From the Preface:


“The aim of this book has been to employ historical and comparative data for unraveling the different elements in a complex system of magic, which scholars working in Europe are apt to summarize as Malay. For the benefit of students of the language I have added in an appendix the Malay original of all spells quoted in the text. Chronological order is difficult to observe in analyzing a system which even in historical time has comprised three elements, pagan, Hindu and Muslim. Hindu influence, for example, has so infected the shaman’s séance and sacrifice that the chapters on it precede what were parts of Malay magic in prehistoric days.

In the last chapter any attempt at chronological order has been abandoned and magic is described as it is applied now to the main problems of life. Every race has its lumber-room of magical beliefs and practices, and many such survivals are gracious and beautiful and maintain the continuity of a civilization. It is to be hoped that modern materialist ideas will not obliterate them entirely and leave Malay culture jejune.

Oxford in Asia Paperback. Oxford University Press


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