World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0000096458
Reproduction Date:

Title: Makutu  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Witchcraft, Wainuiomata mākutu lifting, Māori religion, Kitchen witch, Datura ferox
Collection: Māori Mythology, Māori Religion, Witchcraft
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Mākutu in the Māori language of New Zealand means "witchcraft", "sorcery", "to bewitch"; and also a "spell or incantation".[1][2] It may also be described as a belief in malignant occult powers possessed by certain people.

Elsdon Best (1859-1931) portrayed the belief in mākutu as "universal and prominent in pre-European times", stating that it acted as "a disciplinary force in the old days; it was one of the substitutes for civil law that preserved order in a Māori community".[3] Best noted that the effectiveness of mākutu was heightened by the fact that it could be carried out in secret; the element of uncertainty produced caution on the part of those who might otherwise transgress the laws of the community. It was widely believed that those expert in mākutu were able to use the art to kill people. But there were limits on their freedom to act: should an irresponsible practitioner of the dark arts become a nuisance to a tribe, the solution to the problem simply involved killing the errant magician without delay. The training undergone by an apprentice was long and difficult, involving secret rituals and tests.[3]

An October 2007 mākutu-lifting in the Lower Hutt suburb of Wainuiomata led to the death by drowning of a woman and the hospitalisation of a teen, allegedly due to attempts to remove such a curse.[4]

See also


  1. ^ Williams, Herbert W., 1975. A Dictionary of the Māori Language. 7th edition. Wellington: Government Printer
  2. ^ The Maori: Yesterday and To-day Chapter VI. – Makutu: – The Belief in Witchcraft
  3. ^ a b Best, Elsdon, 1982. Māori Religion and Mythology, Part 2. Dominion Museum Bulletin No.11. Museum of New Zealand: Wellington.
  4. ^
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.