Umhlonyane, also known as Artemisia afra, is one of the oldest and best-documented indigenous medicines in South Africa. This bush, which grows wild throughout the sub-Saharan region, smells and tastes like “medicine,” thus easily making its way into people’s lives and becoming the choice of everyday healing for Xhosa healer-diviners and Rastafarian herbalists. This “natural” remedy has recently sparked curiosity as scientists search for new molecules against a tuberculosis pandemic while hoping to recognize indigenous medicine. Laplante follows umhlonyane on its trails and trials of becoming a biopharmaceutical — from the “open air” to controlled environments — learning from the plant and from the people who use it with hopes in healing.
Author: Arielle A. Smith
Publisher: Berghahn Books
Release Date: 2018-05-24
Genre: Social Science
Since the turn of the century Singapore has sustained a reputation for both austere governance and cutting-edge biomedical facilities and research. Seeking to emphasize Singapore’s capacity for “modern medicine” and strengthen their burgeoning biopharmaceutical industry, this image has explicitly excluded Chinese medicine – despite its tremendous popularity amongst Singaporeans from all walks of life, and particularly amongst Singapore’s ethnic Chinese majority. This book examines the use and practice of Chinese medicine in Singapore, especially in everyday life, and contributes to anthropological debates regarding the post-colonial intersection of knowledge, identity, and governmentality, and to transnational studies of Chinese medicine as a permeable, plural, and fluid practice.
Belian is an exceptionally lively tradition of shamanistic curing rituals performed by the Luangans, a politically marginalized population of Indonesian Borneo. This volume explores the significance of these rituals in practice and asks what belian rituals do – socially, politically, and existentially – for particular people in particular circumstances. Departing from the conception that rituals exist as ethereal, liminal or insulated traditional domains, this volume demonstrates the importance of understanding rituals as emergent within their specific historical and social settings. It offers an analysis of a number of concrete ritual performances, exemplifying a diversity of ritual genres, stylistic modalities and sensual ambiences, from low-key, habitual affairs to drawn-out, crowd-seizing community rituals and innovative, montage-like cultural experiments.
Focusing on practice more than theory, this collection offers new perspectives for studying the so-called "humoral medical traditions," as they have flourished around the globe during the last 2,000 years. Exploring notions of "balance" in medical cultures across Eurasia, Africa and the Americas, from antiquity to the present, the volume revisits "harmony" and "holism" as main characteristics of those traditions. It foregrounds a dynamic notion of balance and asks how balance is defined or conceptualized, by whom, for whom and in what circumstances. Balance need not connoteegalitarianism or equilibrium. Rather, it alludes to morals of self care exercised in place of excessiveness and indulgences after long periods of a life in dearth. As the moral becomes visceral, the question arises: what constitutes the visceral in a body that is in constant flux and flow? How far, and in what ways, are there fundamental properties or constituents in those bodies?
Author: Patrick E. Iroegbu
Publisher: Xlibris Corporation
Release Date: 2010-06-01
Healing Insanity: A Study of Igbo Medicine in Contemporary Nigeria is an original and in-depth study on endogenous medical system in an African society. It is craftily written and provides solid insight, through case studies and theory, into how insanity affects patients and the society. Particularly, it explores various collective representations and strategies regarding insanity and healing as it examines the healing institutions, healers, and ritual cults. The central question is, given the patterns of healing, how do the Igbo shape the incidence and symptoms of insanity, define its aetiology, and provide healers with culture-specific resources and skills to address this illness? The focus became increasingly centred on bodily semantics and endogenous knowledge systems and practices. Dr. Patrick Iroegbu's work is a very valuable and rare study and has appeared at a desirable time. It is, for an African society, a comprehensive study of the many ways Igbo people, in their practical, routinelike attitudes and body-centred experiences, as well as in their more reflective aetiologic knowledge and healing institutions, relate to the phenomenon of insanity, or ara, in the cultural parlance. As the first of its kind, reminiscent of, and assured by, the various remarks of Igbo scholars and leaders at various meetings and discourses, the task this work has set out to accomplish is a very brave one. The author's account of his fieldwork experiences and adopted techniques illustrates his initiation, revealing him as a genuine ethnographer who is a "friend of people and at ease with his field." With both the far-seeing and inspiring analysis of Igbo medicine, life, and culture accounted for in the work, the book stands out for ethnographers, teachers, students, leaders, policymakers, and the general public. This is a book that deserves to be read as it shapes the critical path toward understanding ways of healing insanity in a culture-specific context, crosscutting perspectives for a relationship between indigenous healing and the biomedical sphere. Prof. René Devisch (Africa Research Centre, University of Leuven) This book is written with a clear purpose for everyone to read to understand and heal insanity and indeed provides a thick piece of cultural philosophy and vernacular of Igbo medicine in hopes of putting cultural wisdom in pursuit of integral health care development. Prof. Pantaleon Iroegbu (Professor of Philosophy, Major-Seminary, Ekpoma, January 2006) To read this book, as I did, is to get the benefit of Dr. Patrick Iroegbu's ethnographic insight for an archetypical African healing system in Igboland. It offers a fascinating theory of symbolic release that speaks of African symbolic action and knowledge system. Dr. Paul Komba, Esq. (University of Cambridge)
Author: Michael Winkelman
Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group
Release Date: 2000
Genre: Body, Mind & Spirit
Shamanism, humanity's most ancient spiritual practice, has achieved a dramatic modern resurgence. The foundations and appeal of shamanism are rooted in human nature, the psychobiology of consciousness, and archetypal structures of the brain and mind. The classic shamanic motif of death and rebirth represents the development of self through the symbolic death of the old self to permit the emergence and integration of a higher order self.
Author: Leo P. Chall
Release Date: 2001
CSA Sociological Abstracts abstracts and indexes the international literature in sociology and related disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences. The database provides abstracts of journal articles and citations to book reviews drawn from over 1,800+ serials publications, and also provides abstracts of books, book chapters, dissertations, and conference papers.
The popularity of Tibetan medicine plays a central role in the international market for alternative medicine and has been increasing and extending far beyond its original cultural area becoming a global phenomenon. This book analyses Tibetan medicine in the 21st century by considering the contemporary reasons that have led to its diversity and by bringing out the common orientations of this medical system. Using case studies that examine of the social, political and identity dynamics of Tibetan medicine in Nepal, India, the PRC, Mongolia, the UK and the US, the contributors to this book answer the following three, fundamental questions: What are the modalities and issues involved in the social and therapeutic transformations of Tibetan medicine? How are national policies and health reforms connected to the processes of contemporary redefinition of this medicine? How does Tibetan medicine fit into the present, globalized context of the medical world? Written by experts in the field from the US, France, Canada, China and the UK this book will be invaluable to students and scholars interested in contemporary medicine, Tibetan studies, health studies and the anthropology of Asia. 'Winner of the ICAS Colleagues Choice Award 2009"