THE WAYS OF RECOGNISING SUPPOSED WITCHES (IN THE LIGHT OF THE STUDY OF THE POLISH ETHNOGRAPHIC ATLAS) (Sposoby rozpoznawania domniemanych czarownic (w swietle badan Polskiego Atlasu Etnograficznego))
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Descriptions of different forms of traditional witchcraft in Poland can be found in the earliest ethnographic works. However, they are fragmentary and often presented as part of a broader discussion of beliefs, magic and fortune telling. The article is based on unpublished materials of the Polish Ethnographic Atlas, collected in the 1980s of the 20th C. One of the main assumptions of the Atlas was to show the cultural diversity of different elements of traditional culture. Belief in witchcraft became very strong particularly in the 16th and 17th centuries, mainly because of the bad economic situation. Even as late as the second half of the 20th c. in rural communities some people were suspected of witch practices. The article discusses selected aspects of traditional witchcraft, in particular ways of recognising witches (on the basis of the external appearance, characteristic objects, profanation of religious practices etc.). Some of the beliefs analysed in the article are still present, particularly in eastern Poland. However, the material gathered in the Atlas is rather fragmentary.
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