Animatism is a term coined by British anthropologist Robert Marett to refer to "a belief in a generalized, impersonal power over which people have some measure of control". Marett argues that certain cultures believe "people, animals, plants, and inanimate objects were endowed with certain powers, which were both impersonal and supernatural."
Mana, Marett states, is a concentrated form of animatistic force found within any of these objects that confer power, strength, and success. To various cultures, animatism and mana are visible through the successes and failures of these various objects. Success equals a high amount of animatism, or mana, whereas failure is the result of animatism, or mana, being lost.
- Ferraro, Gary. 2008. Cultural Anthropology: An Applied Perspective, 7th ed. Belmont, CA: Thompson Wadsworth. p. 340
- Ferraro, Gary. 2008. Cultural Anthropology: An Applied Perspective, 7th ed. Belmont, CA: Thompson Wadsworth.