By J. Roper

Charms, Charmers, and fascinating brings jointly the paintings of lots of trendy key students within the box of verbal captivating. The essays it comprises hide vernacular magical texts and perform from Malaysia to Madagascar, and from England to Estonia. because the so much accomplished selection of study on charms, charmers, and captivating to be had within the English language, it kinds a vital reader at the subject.

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Additional resources for Charms, Charmers and Charming: International Research on Verbal Magic (Palgrave Historical Studies in Witchcraft and Magic)

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Some tietäjäs in the 19th century also worked as gravediggers, and thus had easy access to corpses. Parkano. 1958. Impi Kyrönviita MT 5: 664. Kuopio. 1946. Otto Räsänen 724 – Antti Räsänen, cobbler. Hankasalmi. 1961. Hankasalmi Folk School. Tuula Tarvainen TK 13:27 – Alma Tarvainen, farm mistress, b. 1887. Another man from Eastern Finland explained the idea of a snake’s assembly stone as follows: ‘When I was a child the old people told how snakes would gather to hold their general assembly in a fixed place where there was a round, egg-shaped stone.

12 In many of the narratives, too, rats embody the threat of itinerant populations for a settled community. Although beyond the scope of Identifying the Common Elements of Rat Charms 21 this paper, that does have some bearing on some of the charms we will see. It is in this movement of rats that the difference between rural and urban beliefs is clearest. My informants unanimously saw rats as endemic: within a city they are merely an affirmation of urban life. On a 2005 BBC World Service radio programme, speakers from US cities boasted of their rat populations (‘We’ve just as many rats as in New York’, said one), while one New Yorker called her home city ‘ratropolis’.

23 The Pied Piper of Hameln may be the best-known version of this story, but there are a number of interesting variations. 25 Some variants of the story do not even feature rats, but are solely about child abduction. 26 Many of the musical motif stories also involve the conjuring of rats into or across water: the Grimms’ rattenfänger can make them go ‘wherever he wants . . into a pond or pool’; the rats of Neustadt-Eberswalde swam into the Finow River; a foreign sorcerer drives all the rats to the southern tip of the Isle of Ummanz, whence they fled into the water.

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