Hunting magic

Hunting magic is the magic associated with hunting in hunter-gatherer cultures, both contemporary and prehistoric.

In rock artEdit

The hunting magic hypothesis, in the archaeology of rock art, is one of the functionalist approaches to explaining why rock art was created in ancient cultures. It originated from ethnographies of modern hunter-gatherers,[a] who used their rock art in the hopes that it would improve their prowess on the hunt. The theory has been traditionally supported by violent imagery found in some rock art alongside animals.[1]

In the history of religionEdit

Walter Burkert in Homo Necans (1972) suggested that rituals associated with hunting magic are at the origin of religion. Henri Breuil interpreted the paleolithic cave paintings as hunting magic, meant to increase the number of animals.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ More specifically, hunter-gatherer societies that used stone tools.[1]


  1. ^ a b Cooke, Amanda; Tripp, Allison; von Petzinger, Genevieve (2014). "Art, Paleolithic". In Smith, Claire (ed.). Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology. 1. New York, NY: Springer. p. 535. doi:10.1007/978-1-4419-0465-2. ISBN 978-1-4419-0426-3. LCCN 2013953915.