Performativeness of Polish magic healing spells
The article analyses the performative aspects of Polish healing spells used by folk doctors. The healing ritual may be seen as an act of communication between participants, between participants and the illness, between participants and the saints who are called in order to protect the healer from the destructive powers of the illness itself. But in fact, this ritual is acomplex performance that cannot be reduced to words only as it unifies verbal and non-verbal actions and indicates the causative capacity of words and gestures in folk culture, especially in magic rituals. The main intention of the healing ritual is clear: to eliminate the sickness and send it to the remote land of death by using both verbal formulas and symbolic non-verbal actions that are connected with the system of values and beliefs shared by the cultural community.