Burland, C(ottie) A(rthur) (1905–1983)
Ethnographer, author, and authority on mythology in relation
to the occult. He was born September 17, 1905, in Kensington,
London, and studied at Regent Street Polytechnic. Except
for his time of service in the Royal Air Force during World
War II, he served for 40 years as a civil servant in the Department
of Ethnography, British Museum, London (1925–65). He
was a fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute and a member
of the Société de Americanistes de Paris, the British Society
of Aesthetics, and the Folk-Lore Society (London). In 1965 he
received the Imago Mundi Award.
Burland authored numerous books about ancient civilizations
and primitive people, notably on the peoples of the ancient
Americas—the Mayans, Incas, and Aztecs. His studies in
these areas were of special importance, since the Incas had no
written language, while the Mayan language was virtually obliterated
by the destruction of Aztec manuscripts by early Spanish
His studies led him into the study of magical practice among
pre-industrial peoples, his 1953 Magic Books from Mexico being
a first product of this interest. He later produced a series of
books on magic in general including The Magical Arts A Short
History (1966), The Arts of the Alchemists (1967; 1968), Beyond Science
A Journey into the Supernatural (1972), Echoes of Magic A
Study of Seasonal Festivals Through the Ages (1972), and Secrets of
the Occult (1972). He was a member of the editorial board of the
comprehensive encyclopedia Man, Myth, and Magic (1970).

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