An article that I wrote about performing magic for natives in the South Pacific will be published by the New York Daily News on Sunday, October 31--Halloween. If you're in the New York area, you can just pick it up on the newsstand. Otherwise, you can access it online at nydailynews.com until Saturday.
You may remember that I chatted somewhat on the Genii forum about "Magic for the Primitives" before my trip to Vanuatu in the South Pacific in May. The trip was eye opening and absolutely riveting. Vanuatu is an island chain 800 miles west of Fiji, which is right smack in the middle of nowhere, and where there may still be cannibalism on remote islands. While there, I collected eyewitness stories of real magic by locals and indigenous peoples.
Eventually, I screwed up my courage to perform for native people on Tanna, an island where there is largely no electricity, and where the natives live in the middle of the jungle, cracking coconuts with sharp sticks and catching their lunch with a bow and arrow. It is remote, remote, remote. They all believe in real magic, and I did a whole show for them.
A much longer version of the New York Daily News article (five times longer) will appear in Genii in January, complete with magical references and some thoughts about what belief means. My new lecture notes,
The People Whose Eyes Shone Wide and Bright Like True Belief, will contain a more in-depth essay on belief, along with 100 pages of magic tricks.