Magic, along with its subgenres of, sometimes referred to as illusion, stage magic or close up magic is a performing art in which audiences are entertained by staged tricks or illusions of impossible feats using natural means. It is to be distinguished from paranormal magic which are effects claimed to be created through supernatural means, it is one of the oldest performing arts in the world. Modern entertainment magic, as pioneered by 19th-century magician Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin, has become a popular theatrical art form. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, magicians such as Maskelyne and Devant, Howard Thurston, Harry Kellar, Harry Houdini achieved widespread commercial success during what has become known as "The Golden Age of Magic". During this period, performance magic became a staple of Broadway theatre and music halls. Magic retained its popularity in the television age, with magicians such as David Copperfield, Doug Henning, Penn & Teller, David Blaine modernizing the art form.
The term "magic" etymologically derives from the Greek word mageia. In ancient times and Persians had been at war for centuries, the Persian priests, called magosh in Persian, came to be known as magoi in Greek. Ritual acts of Persian priests came to be known as mageia, magika—which came to mean any foreign, unorthodox, or illegitimate ritual practice. During the 17th century, many books were published; until the 18th century, magic shows were a common source of entertainment at fairs. A founding figure of modern entertainment magic was Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin, who had a magic theatre in Paris in 1845. John Henry Anderson was pioneering the same transition in London in the 1840s. Towards the end of the 19th century, large magic shows permanently staged at big theatre venues became the norm; as a form of entertainment, magic moved from theatrical venues to television magic specials. Performances that modern observers would recognize as conjuring have been practiced throughout history. For many recorded centuries, magicians were associated with the occult.
During the 19th and 20th centuries, many stage magicians capitalized on this notion in their advertisements. The same level of ingenuity, used to produce famous ancient deceptions such as the Trojan Horse would have been used for entertainment, or at least for cheating in money games, they were used by the practitioners of various religions and cults from ancient times onwards to frighten uneducated people into obedience or turn them into adherents. However, the profession of the illusionist gained strength only in the 18th century, has enjoyed several popular vogues since. Opinions vary among magicians on how to categorize a given effect, but a number of categories have been developed. Magicians may pull a rabbit from an empty hat, make something seem to disappear, or transform a red silk handkerchief into a green silk handkerchief. Magicians may destroy something, like cutting a head off, "restore" it, make something appear to move from one place to another, or they may escape from a restraining device.
Other illusions include making something appear to defy gravity, making a solid object appear to pass through another object, or appearing to predict the choice of a spectator. Many magic routines use combinations of effects. One of the earliest books on the subject is Gantziony's work of 1489, Natural and Unnatural Magic, which describes and explains old-time tricks. In 1584, Englishman Reginald Scot published The Discoverie of Witchcraft, part of, devoted to debunking the claims that magicians used supernatural methods, showing how their "magic tricks" were in reality accomplished. Among the tricks discussed were sleight-of-hand manipulations with rope and coins. At the time and belief in witchcraft was widespread and the book tried to demonstrate that these fears were misplaced. Popular belief held that all obtainable copies were burned on the accession of James I in 1603. During the 17th century, many similar books were published that described in detail the methods of a number of magic tricks, including The Art of Conjuring and The Anatomy of Legerdemain: The Art of Juggling.
Until the 18th century, magic shows were a common source of entertainment at fairs, where itinerant performers would entertain the public with magic tricks, as well as the more traditional spectacles of sword swallowing and fire breathing. In the early 18th century, as belief in witchcraft was waning, the art became respectable and shows would be put on for rich private patrons. A notable figure in this transition was the English showman, Isaac Fawkes, who began to promote his act in advertisements from the 1720s – he claimed to have performed for King George II. One of Fawkes' advertisements described his routine in some detail: He takes an empty bag, lays it on the Table and turns it several times inside out commands 100 Eggs out of it and several showers of real Gold and silver the Bag beginning to swell several sorts of wild fowl run out of it upon the Table, he throws up a Pack of Cards, causes them to be living birds flying about the room. He causes living Beasts and other Creatures to appear upon the Table.
He blows the spots of the Cards off and on, changes them to any pictures. From 1756 to 1781, Jacob Philadelphia performed feats of magic, sometimes under the guise of scientific exhibitions, throughout Europe and in Russia. A founding figure of modern entertainment magic was Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin a clockmaker, who opened a magic theatre in Paris in 1845, he transformed his art from one performed at fairs to a performance that the public paid to see at the theatre. His
Beni Hasan is an Ancient Egyptian cemetery site. It is located 20 kilometers to the south of modern-day Minya in the region known as Middle Egypt, the area between Asyut and Memphis. While there are some Old Kingdom burials at the site, it was used during the Middle Kingdom, spanning the 21st to 17th centuries BCE. To the south of the cemetery is a temple constructed by Hatshepsut and Thutmose III, dedicated to the local goddess Pakhet, it is known as the Cave of Artemis, because the Greeks identified Pakhet with Artemis, the temple is subterranean. Provincial governors in the Middle Kingdom continued to be buried in decorated rock-cut tombs in their local cemeteries, carried over from the First Intermediate Period, at sites such as Beni Hasan. There is evidence of a re-organization of the system of government during the 12th Dynasty. During the First Intermediate Period and for some of the Middle Kingdom period it was common for Nomarchs to be hereditary positions. In the 12th Dynasty the power of the Nomarchs began to be curtailed, provincial governors were appointed or at least confirmed by the king.
There are 39 ancient tombs here of Middle Kingdom nomarchs of the Oryx nome, who governed from Hebenu. Due to the quality of, distance to the cliffs in the west, these tombs were constructed on the east bank. There is a spatial distribution in this cemetery associated with the different levels of resources available to the deceased. In the lower cemetery there are 888 shaft tombs, dating to the Middle Kingdom, that were excavated by John Garstang. In the upper cemetery members of the elite class built striking tombs to represent their social and political positions as the rulers and officials of the Oryx Nome, the 16th Nome of Upper Egypt. At this site, the provincial high elite were buried in large and elaborately decorated tombs carved into the limestone cliffs near the provincial capital, located in the upper cemetery area; these tombs lie in a row on a north-south axis. There is a slight break in the natural rock terrace, on to which they open, that divides the thirty-nine high status tombs into two groups.
The basic design of these elite tombs was an outer court and a rock-cut pillared room in which there was a shaft that led to the burial chamber. Some of the larger tombs have biographical inscriptions and were painted with scenes of daily life and warfare, they are famous for the quality of their paintings. Nowadays, many of these scenes are in poor condition, though in the 19th century copies were made of several of them. Four out of the 39 tombs are accessible to the public. Notable tombs are: Tomb 2 – Amenemhat, known as Ameny, nomarch under Senusret I. Tomb 3 – Khnumhotep II, notable for the depiction of caravans of Semitic traders. Tomb 4 – Khnumhotep IV, nomarch during the late 12th Dynasty. Tomb 13 – Khnumhotep, royal scribe during the 12th Dynasty. Tomb 14 – Khnumhotep I, nomarch under Amenemhat I. Tomb 15 – Baqet III, notable for the depiction of wrestling techniques. Tomb 17 – Khety, nomarch during the 11th Dynasty, son of Baqet. Tomb 21 – Nakht, nomarch during the 12th Dynasty. Tomb 23 – Netjernakht, overseer of the Eastern Desert during the 12th dynasty.
Tomb 27 – Ramushenty, nomarch during the 11th Dynasty. Tomb 29 – Baqet I, nomarch during the 11th Dynasty. Tomb 33 – Baqet II, nomarch during the 11th Dynasty. Baines and Jaromir Malek. Cultural Atlas Of Ancient Egypt. Revised Edition ed. Oxfordshire, England: Andromeda Oxford Limited, 2000. Bard, Kathryn A. An Introduction To The Archaeology Of Ancient Egypt. Oxford, United Kingdom: Blackwell Ltd, 2008. Garstang, John; the Burial Customs of Ancient Egypt. London, England: Archibald Constable & Co Ltd, 1907. Kamrin, Janice; the Cosmos of Khnumhotep II at Beni Hasan. London, England: Kegan Paul International, 1999. Newberry, Percy E. Beni Hasan. Part I–IV. London, England: Kegan Paul, Tubner & Co. Ltd. 1893–1900. Richards, Janet. Society And Death In Ancient Egypt. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge UP, 2005. Robins, Gay; the Art Of Ancient Egypt. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1997. Beni Hasan by Percy Newberry, et al
Mentalism is a performing art in which its practitioners, known as mentalists, appear to demonstrate developed mental or intuitive abilities. Performances may appear to include hypnosis, clairvoyance, precognition, mediumship, mind control, memory feats and rapid mathematics. Mentalists are sometimes categorized as psychic entertainers, although that category contains non-mentalist performers such as psychic readers and bizzarists. Much of what modern mentalists perform in their acts can be traced back directly to "tests" of supernatural power that were carried out by mediums and psychics in the 19th century. However, the history of mentalism goes back further. Accounts of seers and oracles can be found in works by the ancient Greeks and in the Old Testament of the Bible. Among magicians, the mentalism performance cited as one of the earliest on record was by diplomat and pioneering sleight-of-hand magician Girolamo Scotto in 1572; the performance of mentalism may utilize these principles along with sleights, feints and other skills of street or stage magic.
Styles of presentation can vary greatly. Traditional performers such as Dunninger and Annemann attributed their results to supernatural or psychic skills; some contemporary performers, such as Derren Brown, attribute their results to natural skills, such as the ability to read body language or to manipulate the subject subliminally through psychological suggestion. Others, including Chan Canasta and David Berglas would make no specific claims but leave it up to the audience to decide. Contemporary mentalists take their shows onto the streets and perform tricks to a live, unsuspecting audience, they do this by approaching random members of the public and ask to demonstrate their supernatural powers. Performers such as Derren Brown who adopt this method of performance tell their audience before the trick starts that everything they see is an illusion and that they are not "having their mind read." This has been the cause of a lot of controversy in the sphere of magic as some mentalists want their audience to believe that this type of magic is'real' whilst others think that it is morally wrong to lie to a spectator.
Mentalists do not mix "standard" magic tricks with their mental feats. Doing so associates mentalism too with the theatrical trickery employed by stage magicians. Many mentalists claim not to be magicians at all, arguing that it is a different art form altogether; the argument is that mentalism invokes belief and when presented properly, is offered as being "real" be it a claim of psychic ability, or proof that supports other claims such as a photographic memory, being a "human calculator", the power of suggestion, NLP, etc. Mentalism plays on a spectator's perception of tricks. Magicians ask the audience to suspend their disbelief and allow their imagination to play with the various tricks they present, they admit that they are tricksters and entertainers, know the audience understands it's an illusion and the magician cannot achieve the impossible feats shown, such as sawing a person in half and putting them back together without injury. However, many magicians mix mentally-themed performance with magic illusions.
For example, a mind-reading stunt might involve the magical transposition of two different objects. Such hybrid feats of magic are called mental magic by performers. Magicians who mix magic with mental magic include David Copperfield, David Blaine, The Amazing Kreskin, Dynamo.. Notable mentalists who mix magic with mentalism include The Amazing Kreskin, Richard Osterlind, David Berglas, Derren Brown, Joseph Dunninger. Mentalism techniques have, on occasion, been used outside the entertainment industry to influence the actions of prominent people for personal and/or political gain. Famous examples of accused practitioners include: Erik Jan Hanussen, alleged to have influenced Adolf Hitler Grigori Rasputin, alleged to have influenced Tsarina Alexandra Wolf Messing, alleged to have influenced Joseph Stalin Count Alessandro di Cagliostro, accused of influencing members of the French aristocracy in the Affair of the Diamond Necklace"The Amazing Kreskin" has audience members hide his cheques before the show.
Eric Dittelman, a mind reader, performed on Season 7 of the NBC talent competition America's Got Talent. He made it to the semifinals, was the first mentalist to be featured on the show. Cristian Gog, a mentalist, won the big prize on Romania's Got Talent. Tricks of the Mind: a British TV show starring Derren Brown Pasąmonės Kontrolė: Kobra TV Channel by Nicholas Kin Katherine Mills: Mind Games: a British TV show Spidey Mentalist performed on Penn & Teller: Fool Us on CW and Wizard Wars on SyFy The Mentalist: an American crime procedural television series in which the main character, Patrick Jane, worked as an independent consultant for the California Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, solving serious crimes by using his skills of observation and his frequent use of his abilities as a former professional mentalist. Psych: an American criminal comedy television series in which the main character, Shawn Spencer, works as a consultant to the Santa Barbara Police Department as a "psychic detective."
Though he purports to be a psychic, the truth is that his exceptional observational skills, amazing vision, near-photographic memory allow him to portray himself as such. Now You See Me: Merritt McKinney, played by Woody Harrelson, performs as a mentalist. Pretham: John Don Bosco, played by Jayasurya, performs as a mentalist in the Malayalam movie released in August 2016. Raju Gari Gad
Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin
Jean-Eugène Robert-Houdin was a French magician. He is considered the father of the modern style of conjuring. Robert-Houdin was born Jean-Eugène Robert in Blois, France, on 6 December 1805—a day after his autobiography said he was, his father, Prosper Robert, was a watchmaker in Blois. Jean-Eugene's mother, the former Marie-Catherine Guillon, died. At the age of eleven, Prosper sent his son Jean-Eugène to school thirty-five miles up the Loire to the University of Orléans. At 18, he returned to Blois, his father wanted him to be a lawyer, but Robert-Houdin wanted to follow into his father's footsteps as a watchmaker. His penmanship was excellent, it landed him a job as a clerk for an attorney's office. Instead of studying law, he tinkered with mechanical gadgets, his employer sent him back to his father. He was told that he was better suited as a watchmaker than a lawyer, but by Jean's father had retired, so he became an apprentice to his cousin who had a watch-shop. For a short time, Jean-Eugène worked as a watchmaker.
In the mid-1820s, he saved up to buy a copy of a two-volume set of books on clockmaking called Traité de l'horlogerie, or Treatise on Clockmaking, written by Ferdinand Berthoud. When he got home and opened the wrapping, instead of the Berthoud books, what appeared before his eyes was a two-volume set on magic called Scientific Amusements. Instead of returning the books, his curiosity got the better of him. From those crude volumes, he learned the rudiments of magic, he practiced at all hours of the day. From that point on, he became interested in the art, he was upset that the books he got only revealed how the secrets were done but did not show how to do them. He found that learning from the books available in those days was difficult due to the lack of detailed explanations provided, but the books piqued his interest in the art. So Jean-Eugène began taking lessons from a local amateur magician, he paid ten francs for a series of lessons from a man named Maous from Blois, a podiatrist but entertained at fairs and parties doing magic.
He was proficient at sleight of hand, taught Jean-Eugène how to juggle to improve his hand-eye coordination. He taught him rudiments of the cups and balls, he told young Jean-Eugène that digital dexterity came with repetition, as a direct result, Jean-Eugène practiced incessantly. Magic was his pastime, meanwhile, his studies in horology continued; when he felt he was ready, he moved to Tours and set up a watchmaking business, doing conjuring on the side. Much of what we know about Robert-Houdin comes from his memoirs—and his writings were meant more to entertain than to chronicle, rendering it difficult to separate fact from fiction. Robert-Houdin would have readers believe that a major turning point in his life came when he became apprenticed to the magician Edmund De Grisi, Count's son and better known as Torrini. What is known is that his early performing came from joining an amateur acting troupe, he performed at social parties as a professional magician in Europe and The United States. It was during this period while at a party that he met the daughter of a Parisian watchmaker, Monsieur Jacques François Houdin, who had come from Jean-Eugène Robert's native Blois.
The daughter's name was Josèphe Cecile Houdin, Jean-Eugène fell in love with her at their first meeting. On July 8, 1830, they were married, he became Robert-Houdin. He worked in his father-in-law's wholesale shop. Jacques François was among the last of the watchmakers to use the old methods of handcrafting each piece and embraced his new son-in-law's ambitions for mechanism. While M. Houdin worked in the main shop, Jean-Eugène was to tinker with mechanical toys and automatic figures, he and Josèphe had eight children. With his work in the shop, Jean-Eugène was still practicing magic. Quite by accident, Robert-Houdin walked into a shop on the Rue Richelieu and discovered it sold magic, he visited the store, owned by a Père Roujol. There, he met fellow magicians, both amateur and professional, where he engaged in talk about conjuring, he met an aristocrat by the name of Jules de Rovère, who coined the term "prestidigitation" to describe a major misdirection technique magicians used. At Papa Roujol's, Robert-Houdin learned the details to many of the mechanical tricks of the time as well as how to improve them.
From there, he built his own mechanical figures, like a singing bird, a dancer on a tightrope, an automaton doing the cups and balls. His most acclaimed automaton was his drawing figure, he displayed this figure before King Louis Philippe and sold it to P. T. Barnum. On October 19, 1843, Josèphe died at the age of thirty-two. At her death, she left him with three young children to take care of; the new Madame Robert-Houdin soon took over the household. Robert-Houdin loved to watch the big magic shows, he dreamed about some day opening his own theatre. In the meantime, he was hired by a friend by the name of Count de l'Escalopier to perform at private parties. Now that he had free time, he began constructing equipment for his own use instead of selling it to others; the income from the shop and his new inventions gave him enough money to experiment on new tricks using glass apparatus that would be free of trickery. He envisioned a stage that would be as elegant as the drawing rooms in which he was hired to perform.
He thought that a magicia
Nevil Maskelyne (magician)
Nevil Maskelyne was a British magician and inventor. Maskelyne was born in 1863 to stage magician John Nevil Maskelyne. Following his father's death he assumed control of Maskelyne's Ltd. In wireless telegraphy he was the manager of Anglo-American Telegraph Company which controlled the Valdemar Poulsen patents, he was a public detractor of Guglielmo Marconi in the early days of radio. In 1903 he hacked into Marconi's demonstration of wireless telegraphy, broadcast his own message, hoping to make Marconi's claims of "secure and private communication" appear foolish, he married Ada Mary Ardley about 1890 in United Kingdom. They had three sons, John Nevil Maskelyne, to become a noted author on railway matters in the early 20th century, Noel Maskelyne and Jasper Maskelyne, who continued the family tradition of professional magic, he died in 1924. Maskelyne wrote several books on magic, including Our Magic: The Art in Magic, the Theory of Magic, the Practice of Magic and On the Performance of Magic.
Our Magic: The Art in Magic, the Theory of Magic, the Practice of Magic
Dorothy Dietrich is an American stage magician and escapologist, best known as the first and only woman to have performed the bullet catch in her mouth, the first woman to perform a straitjacket escape while suspended hundreds of feet in the air from a burning rope. She was the first woman to gain prominence as an escape artist since the days of Houdini, breaking the glass ceiling for women in the field of escapes and magic; the 2006 Columbia Encyclopedia included Dietrich among their "eight most noted magicians of the late 20th century", entertainment writer Samantha Hart called her a "world-class magician" and "one of the world's leading female magicians". Dietrich called the female Houdini, has duplicated many of Houdini's original escapes, has gone one step further by doing the Jinxed Bullet Catch Stunt – the one that Houdini backed away from. Dorothy Dietrich is a native of Pennsylvania. In a six-page article about the history of women in magic in the women's magazine, which contained only two full-page pictures, one of Adelaide Herrmann and the other of Dietrich, Nichole Summer writes: Among the books that inspired her as a child was a biography of Houdini, who became a childhood idol, a fact that influenced her desire to perform magic and escapes.
Early on, she learned her craft from books. In New York, she auditioned for Westchester Department of Parks from an ad in a show business newspaper and was booked on the spot for a full summer of work, was recommended to the school district for the winter months, re-booked the following summer for an increase in dates and price. Around this same time she earned her performing chops working a dime museum "grind show" Ten-in-One operation in hectic Times Square run by legendary mouse pitchman Tommy Laird with such performers as Earl "Presto" Johnson, Lou Lancaster, Chris Capehart, Dick Brooks and others. Showcasing for the Parent Assembly of the Society of American Magicians at about the same time, well-known magicians Russell Swann and Walter B. Gibson, captivated by her performance style, took her under their wing. Walter Gibson, a confidant and biographer of Houdini's, said "What you have is reminiscent of Houdini, when Houdini came out on stage, the audience automatically fell in love with him.
In my long years I've never seen anyone who had that." Dietrich studied with "Coney Island Fakir" Al Flosso, a regular performer on the Ed Sullivan television show, Jack London and Lou Lancaster with the Milk Can and the Straitjacket escape, as well as sleight-of-hand magic. "The recognition put Dorothy Dietrich and her magic into resort hotels, nightclubs and college auditoriums, trade shows." She became a favorite of several New York booking agents. She developed what is known as a flash act that included a rabbit, a duck and two poodles. Early on she was considered a "leading dove worker", she developed several routines few women had attempted. Sawing men in half, escaping from a straitjacket, sleight of hand with coins via the Misers Dream, The Bullet Catch, levitating audience members, it was her goal to level the playing field between men and women in the field of magic, to innovate and break barriers where no women, in some cases no men, have gone. Until she broke many of these barriers, women were not allowed full membership in such organizations as The Society of American Magicians and London's Magic Circle, which early on she tried to join.
She has paved the way for women in the field today. Dietrich has created special shows for such companies as Maidenform, Yago Sangria, Manhattan Shirts, as well as fashion and cosmetic companies, she is a regular performer for trade and industrial events. On television, Dorothy Dietrich won attention as a woman who, instead of allowing herself to be sawed in half, reversed the traditional illusion and severed into two parts the male hosts of talk shows and network specials; as word got around she was called to do a Bill Cosby special while still in her early teens, but with the help of her sophisticated style and makeup she passed as an adult and was able to work night clubs and banquets in the best hotels and venues. Cosby was so impressed. At this same time she performed with Dick Van Patten and Tony Randall. Dietrich was co-editor and publisher of Hocus Pocus Magazine along with magician/mentalist Dick Brooks. In addition to escapes and large-scale stunts, Dietrich has performs illusions with live animals such as doves, rabbits and ducks.
She is known for sawing men in half. She does an updated version of the classic Miser's Dream, plucking coins from the air, nose and pockets of a youngster from the audience, she is known for levitating volunteers from the audience. Dietrich was a founder along with Dick Brooks of New York's Magic Towne House a popular magic show spot in New York City, the longest-running magic show in New York City history. Always interested in magic history and innovation, Dorothy Dietrich learned that opening a magic show spot in New York City was a dream of legendary magicians Houdini, David Copperfield and Doug Henning. At the same time she wanted a place where best known magicians could be seen, as well as to help to develop future generations of magicians. Along with partner Dick Brooks, she accomplished this goal with The Magic Towne House; some of the magicians who got their early start at The Magic Towne House are Eric DeCamps, Jeff McBride and George, Johnny Ace Palmer, Joseph Pepitone, Joe Raven, David Regal, Rocco Silano, Peter Samelson and Meir Yedid.
Established performers of the era performed with them, including Bobby Baxter, Harry Blackstone, Jr
Witchcraft or witchery broadly means the practice of and belief in magical skills and abilities exercised by solitary practitioners and groups. Witchcraft is a broad term that varies culturally and societally, thus can be difficult to define with precision, cross-cultural assumptions about the meaning or significance of the term should be applied with caution. Witchcraft occupies a religious divinatory or medicinal role, is present within societies and groups whose cultural framework includes a magical world view; the concept of witchcraft and the belief in its existence have persisted throughout recorded history. They have been present or central at various times and in many diverse forms among cultures and religions worldwide, including both "primitive" and "highly advanced" cultures, continue to have an important role in many cultures today; the predominant concept of witchcraft in the Western world derives from Old Testament laws against witchcraft, entered the mainstream when belief in witchcraft gained Church approval in the Early Modern Period.
It posits a theosophical conflict between good and evil, where witchcraft was evil and associated with the Devil and Devil worship. This culminated in deaths and scapegoating, many years of large scale witch-trials and witch hunts in Protestant Europe, before ceasing during the European Age of Enlightenment. Christian views in the modern day are diverse and cover the gamut of views from intense belief and opposition to non-belief, in some churches approval. From the mid-20th century, witchcraft – sometimes called contemporary witchcraft to distinguish it from older beliefs – became the name of a branch of modern paganism, it is most notably practiced in the Wiccan and modern witchcraft traditions, no longer practices in secrecy. The Western mainstream Christian view is far from the only societal perspective about witchcraft. Many cultures worldwide continue to have widespread practices and cultural beliefs that are loosely translated into English as "witchcraft", although the English translation masks a great diversity in their forms, magical beliefs and place in their societies.
During the Age of Colonialism, many cultures across the globe were exposed to the modern Western world via colonialism accompanied and preceded by intensive Christian missionary activity. Beliefs related to witchcraft and magic in these cultures were at times influenced by the prevailing Western concepts. Witch hunts and killing or shunning of suspected witches still occurs in the modern era, with killings both of victims for their magical body parts, of suspected witchcraft practitioners. Suspicion of modern medicine due to beliefs about illness being due to witchcraft continues in many countries to this day, with tragic healthcare consequences. HIV/AIDS and Ebola virus disease are two examples of often-lethal infectious disease epidemics whose medical care and containment has been hampered by regional beliefs in witchcraft. Other severe medical conditions whose treatment is hampered in this way include tuberculosis, leprosy and the common severe bacterial Buruli ulcer. Public healthcare requires considerable education work related to epidemology and modern health knowledge in many parts of the world where belief in witchcraft prevails, to encourage effective preventive health measures and treatments, to reduce victim blaming and stigmatization, to prevent the killing of people and endangering of animal species for body parts believed to convey magical abilities.
The word witch is of uncertain origin. There are numerous etymologies. One popular belief is that it is "related to the English words wit, wisdom," so "craft of the wise." Another is from the Old English wiccecræft, a compound of "wicce" and "cræft". In anthropological terminology, witches differ from sorcerers in that they don't use physical tools or actions to curse; this definition was pioneered in a study of central African magical beliefs by E. E. Evans-Pritchard, who cautioned that it might not correspond with normal English usage. Historians of European witchcraft have found the anthropological definition difficult to apply to European witchcraft, where witches could use physical techniques, as well as some who had attempted to cause harm by thought alone. European witchcraft is seen by historians and anthropologists as an ideology for explaining misfortune; the witchcraft label has been applied to practices people believe influence the mind, body, or property of others against their will—or practices that the person doing the labeling believes undermine social or religious order.
Some modern commentators believe. The concept of a magic-worker influencing another person's body or property against their will was present in many cultures, as traditions in both folk magic and religious magic have the purpose of countering malicious magic or identifying malicious magic users. Many examples appear in early texts, such as those from ancient Babylonia. Malicious magic users can become a credible cause for disease, sickness in animals, bad luck, sudden death, impo