Ethno Medicine October 4 th
Najar/Bhut cause illness.
Najar Evil Eye
The study of:
1. How well being & suffering is experienced.
2. How illness is addressed.
3. How illness is contextualized around the world.
Ex The Deity Shapona. The Yoruba’s of Nigeria believed that if they offended
the goddess Shapona she would give them smallpox.
Categories of ethno medicine?
- Conventional medicine
- Folk healers
- Traditional healers such as shamans, curandero’s, isangorra’s & body workers.
“Traditional” societies emphasize magic & religion as a dominant aspect of their
healing. – Ackerknecht, 1978
Their medical system is efficacious.
Folk healing confronts many issues of wellbeing in society.
Magic – the attempt to address worldly phenomena through supernatural brings.
Witchcraft & Sorcery are different things. In witchcraft they believe that the power
comes from within; whereas, in sorcery manipulates objects.
How did ethno medical systems emerge?
Fabrega – Evolutionary model of disease
Presence of health behaviour among non-human animals
Neanderthals (125-25,000 BCE)
Shandar caves trauma – paralyzed on ones side of body primary healthcare lived
Homo sapiens sapiens foraging (shaman emerges)
!Kung – boil energy (num)/kia
Theories of disease Deities
– a god that is responsible for creation or in part
– become angered when laws are broken
– sickness is a result of gods anger/broken law
- dead people often play a role in human affairs
- offending ancestors many results in sickness
Imical ghosts (ex. Zar & Shatani possession in Africa)
- Supernatural beings affect the lives of the living
- May be envious, disruptive or attracted to immortality
- People who manipulate supernatural forces with magic or society
- Anger, jealousy, or hatred causes people to make others sick.
Zar (female)– polygamy women need equal treatment ‘cures’ them
Shatani (male)- low social economic status sayance soul says it wants regular
grains, meat, butter etc (welfare management)
- Animals have basic sickness & healing (SH) responses.
- SH responses are basic behaviours selected for
- These SH adaptations were refined by early hominids
Disease Theory System
Foster & Anderson (1978)
a) Personalistic causes – Agen