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by Archaeology Newsroom

The Enchanted Garment

This article refers to a version of magic, present throughout Greek civilization: the fetishism of cloth, the imprisoned fairy, the substitute of erotic desire, the “instrument” of veil. In many traditions we find folk and learned narrations about magical practices related to clothes. The garment also has its own symbolism in the language of dreams (Jung), where it takes on the features of an archetype, and shares with nudity the same anthropological gravity. “Homeopathic” magic includes many individual performances and regional versions of an actual practice. The garment is charged by “primitive” civilizations with ethical qualities, that have survived until today, it functions as a vehicle of many magical properties, and, through a magic-like way, it passes these properties on to its user. The impregnation of a garment with a magic potion belongs, according to social anthropologists, to the “private” version of magic, which can also be considered as “black” magic.