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I.5.5.2 Animatism


It is an earliest form of religion consisted of the worship of various objects in nature. An attitude of awe and reverence worked in the mind of the people regarding the diversified natural objects and phenomena. Being perplexed, they ascribed life to the lifeless things and correlated the unseen source of power with god. Specialised form of animistic theory is called Manaism. Mana is a Melanesian term meaning power. According to professor Merett, the primitive people through world believe in the existence of an impersonal non-material supernatural power which belongs to all objects- Animate and inanimate. The power of mana is sometimes referred as “Fetish”. A fetish is an object like stone, shell necklace or a piece of carved stone , which is believed to have power, capable of helping its possessor. The fetish is therefore, adored, placated, insulted or illtreated according to its behavior whether it fulfills or does not fulfill its possessors wish.

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