An insight into the prehistoric occult practices still surviving in Corsica. The dream hunters, or mazzeri, are unknown outside Corsica, and probably date from prehistoric times. At night they go hunting - or dream they do so - and kill an animal, in whom they recognize a human face. The next day they announce the death, which always takes place within a year. Where the mazzeri are harbingers of death, the signadori are guardians of life - they practise folk medicine, but more importantly they secure release from the curse of the "Evil Eye". Unlike the mazzeri, who are mere servants of their dark visions, the signadori deliberately cast spells, which are infused with light and hope. Dorothy Carrington investigates these extraordinary phenomena, relics of past times peculiar to this wild, inhospitable land. She draws parallels with the shamanistic practices of the far north and Africa, and with what is known of prehistoric religion, and analyzes the odd and uneasy relationship between this pre-Christian religion and the Christianity imposed on Corsica through the centuries. In Corsica, the occult has retained its everyday place as an explanation of the mysteries of life and death.
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Corsica's unique occult inheritance, descended from the Megalithic cult of the dead, is threatening to disappear. So says Carrington, whose Granite Island: A Portrait of Corsica, won the Heinemann Award in 1971, and who here speculates eloquently on that inheritance's decline in the wake of the island's prosperity following WWII. Although much of the material presented here dates from the 1950s, Carrington meets her aim?to define and set down the islander's waning beliefs. Discussed in particular are the ways of the mazzeri, whose dreams predict illness and death; the ways of the signadori, or guardians of village life; the ways of the benandanti, who act deliberately to ensure prosperity; and the Evil Eye, vampires and sorcery. Also covered is the island's fatalistic form of Christianity, in which free will has little place, since Corsicans believe, like the mazzeri, that lives are programmed from birth. This is an engaging and useful resource for travelers and folklorists. Photos; map.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Corsica is a complex, enigmatic, and thoroughly fascinating place, as presented here by Carrington, whose intimate understanding of its history and culture is possessed by few others. In 1948 she first ventured to the intriguing island, beginning an enduring connection to it and its people. But it was the period of the 1950s when Carrington gathered substantial material on the mazzeri"those who hunt and kill by night in dreams." The megalithic faith, pagan cults, Christianity, and occult practices all figure prominently in the customs and beliefs of Corsicans. Still, it is rather wondrous to partake of Carrington's awesome depth of knowledge as she reveals traditions and tales, leading readers to confront the dream-hunters that have so mesmerized the author herself. Alice Joyce
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Book Description Trafalgar Square Publishing, 1995. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110297812602
Book Description Trafalgar Square Publishing, 1995. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0297812602