Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Fetishism
(1,445 words)

1. Concept

The word ‘fetish’ derives from the Portugues feitiço (“spell”, “amulet”), which in turn derives from the Latin facticius (“artificial”) and is related to feitiçeiro (“sorcerer”) and feitiçaria (“sorcery”). The term became established in Portugal from the Late Middle Ages, and subsequently enjoyed an astonishing career in the early modern period, through to Karl Marx’ “commodity fetishism” in the 19th century [5. 13 f.].

2. Africa

Feitiços were already…

Cite this page
Sieglerschmidt, Jörn, “Fetishism”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 17 October 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_019225>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20180126



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