Health & Healing in Cross-Cultural Perspective Sept 6/12
Kuru Sorcery 1950’s papua new guinea – Women, Children & Elderly
are dying from this. Sorcery does kill people.
Gajdusek’s approach failed & they brought Lindenbaum in.
Shirley Lindenbaum uses approach of anthropology. [Anthro]human
[logos] the study of. Our approach is holistic meaning we’re broad in
our approach. We look at it from a psychological perspective,
sociological, biological, cultural, economical, and even political.
Ethnography live with them participate in way of life what do they do
what is society like and how do they think.
She begins to learn about the fore [this group of people]. She learns that
in many ways they are similar to us. There is a high degree of social
inequality; they are stratified just like us (people are treated
differently). Men have the most amount of status (higher status). [Men
in anthropology can be noted with a triangle/Women + Children with a
Food – Most important food in Papua New Guinea is pig. There is no
pork taboo here. Women, Children & Elderly do not get pig – ever – only
men do. They have “pig envy”.
Dead – How do they dispose of the dead? They dismembered their
dead. Men did not dismember the dead – women did & they also dealt
with burial practices. Lindenbaum heard rumors of Endo-Cannibalism
eating their kin after they’re deceased. Why do people eat people?
She looked at the social aspect, and why people do this. This has been
going on for a long time. Ex. Bodo Skull – has cut marks on the scalp
from people trying to remove meatier bits like the occipital lobe. Ex.
Collation Indians – engaged in cannibalism to gain knowledge and take
in the soul. Cannibalism also for survival Ex. Andes Mountain crash.
Lindenbaum finds out rumors are true. People are getting a disease
from cannibalism from TSE, which essentially turns the brain into a
sponge causing convulsions & death. The reason their engaging in
cannibalism is due to “Pig Envy” human meat tastes very similar to pig.
We are often called long pig and are very anatomically similar. Women,
Children & Elderly weren’t getting pig so they were getting their protein elsewhere. Endo-Cannibalism was at the heart of Kuru. Mortuary
practices and social inequality created an explosive situation.
Cultural Relativism – While engaging in fieldwork you must put beliefs
aside, & you “can’t judge”. The truth a