I had the opportunity to interview Murph Pizza in August at the Sacred Harvest Festival. She is affectionately called Paganistan’s own “resident anthropologist”. Murph secured her Doctor of Anthropology degree about a year ago. Her published thesis is called, “Paganistan, the growth and emergence of a contemporary Pagan community in Minnesota’s Twin Cities”. It is an ethnography, or recent history and an analysis of what kind of patterns, practices, and customs exist in the Twin cities. It is available through the University of Minnesota library, inter-library loan. She offers insights into Minnesota Pagans, that you may not know or have forgotten… Read on!
What is Pagan culture?
When we talk about in anthropology about, ‘what is culture’, we kind of have working definitions but what we try to instill, when we are talking about culture, is that culture is patterns of learned behavior. They are passed on from one generation to the next, and usually they are passed on systematically somehow. They could be religious traditions, they could be foods or recipes, but anything that is cultural is learned. To be able to see the emergence of Paganistan as a culture you need a long enough span of time to see what is continuing to be repeated, and when are the innovations in the community necessary. That is really interesting to watch.
Is Pagan culture something outside of mainstream culture, or is it totally contained within it?