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Animatism is a term coined by R. R. Marett to refer to the belief of certain cultures in supernatural forces and powers.

These forces are inanimate and impersonal, which is not the case with the beliefs classed as animism. For example. the Melanesians, believe in mana as a force inherent in all objects. It is not physical per se, but may manifest itself physically. So, in their system of belief, a warrior who performs bravely in battle does so because of a mana-containing amulet he wears, and not because of his prowess.