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- (religion) The belief that a person or group has a special mystical relationship to a totem
- 1883, R. Heber Newton, The Right and Wrong Uses of the Bible:
- This is the common story of superstition, from the totemism of savage tribes and the image-worship of semi-civilized peoples on to the heathenism of the Mass.
- 1995 July 21, Sarah Bryan Miller, “What's New in Ancient Egypt”, in Chicago Reader:
- Although you see some representations of animals or gods in the form of animals, there's really no totemism or animism in Egyptian religion.
- 2007 May 18, Martha Schwendener, “Proof That Things Are People Too (Well, Almost)”, in New York Times:
- “The Happiness of Objects” doesn’t make it easy on the viewer. Mr. Mitchell’s book is, after all, an academic tome (though quite readable) that delves into complex discussions of everything from pictures, objects and materials to their relationship with totemism, fetishism and idolatry.
belief in a special relationship to a totem
totemism n (uncountable)