Culture and medicine men

Published online Winter Abstract American Indian and Alaska Native Native people experience more traumatic events and are at higher risk for developing posttraumatic stress disorder compared with the general population. We conducted in-depth interviews with six Native healers about their perspectives on traumatic injury and healing.

Culture and medicine men

Image available for photo prints HERE. Medicine is an agent or influence employed to prevent, alleviate, or cure some pathological condition or its symptoms.

The scope of such agents among the Indians was extensive, ranging from magic, prayer, force of suggestion, and a multitude of symbolic and empirical means, to actual and more rationally used remedies.

Where the Indians were in contact with whites the old methods of combating physical ills slowly gave way to the curative agencies of civilization. The white man, in turn, adopted from the Indians a number of valuable medicinal plants, such as cinchona, jalapa, hydrastis, etc.

In general, tribes showed many similarities in regard to medicine, but the actual agents employed differed between tribes and localities, as well as with individual healers. Magic, prayers, songs, exhortation, suggestion, ceremonies, fetishes, and certain specifics and mechanical processes were employed only by the medicine-men or medicine-women; other specific remedies or procedures were proprietary, generally among a few old women in the tribe; while many vegetal remedies and simple manipulations were of common knowledge in a given locality.

The employment of magic consisted in opposing a supposed malign influence, such as that of a sorcerer, spirits of the dead, mythic animals, etc.

Prayers were addressed to benevolent deities and spirits, invoking their aid. Healing songs, consisting of prayers or exhortations, were sung and lectures and noises were directed to evil spirits thought to have caused the sickness. Suggestion was exercised in many ways directly and indirectly.

Curative ceremonies usually combined all or most of the above mentioned practices, some of which were very elaborate, prolonged, and costly.

The fetishes used might be peculiarly shaped stones or wooden objects, lightning-riven wood, feathers, claws, hair, figurines of mythic animals, representations of the sun, of lightning, etc, which were supposed to embody a mysterious power capable of preventing disease or of counteracting its effects.

Mechanical means of curing consisted of rubbing, pressure with the hands or feet, or with a sash or cord; bone setting, cut sucking, cauterizing, scarifying, blood-letting, poulticing, sweat baths, sucking of snake poison or abscesses, counter irritation, tooth pulling, bandaging, etc.

Dieting and total abstinence from food were forms of treatment in various localities. Vegetal medicines were numerous. Some of these are employed by reason of a real or fancied resemblance to the part affected, or as fetishes, because of a supposed mythical antagonism to the cause of the sickness.


Thus, a plant with a worm-like stem might be given to expel parasitic worms, one that has many hair-like properties might be used to cure baldness. Among the Apache the sacred tule pollen known as ha-dn-tin was given or applied because of its supposed supernatural beneficial effect.

Other plants were employed as remedies simply for traditional reasons, without any formulated opinion as to their modes of action. Finally, all the tribes were familiar with and employ plants remedies that provided emotional release and induced vomiting, and in some cases also remedies that could induce sweating, cough medicines, etc.

Every tribe also had knowledge of some of the poisonous plants in its neighborhood and their antidotes.

The parts of plants used as medicines were most often roots, occasionally twigs, leaves, or bark, but rarely flowers or seeds. They were used either fresh or dry, and most commonly after mashing and then boiling the items to extract the oils or other organic compounds.

Of this, a considerable quantity, as much as a cupful, was administered, usually in the morning. Only exceptionally was the dose repeated. Generally only a single plant was used, but among some Indians, as many as four plants were combined in a single medicine.fortress of Nebuchadnezzar, and the Greek amphitheater.

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Dear Twitpic Community - thank you for all the wonderful photos you have taken over the years. We have now placed Twitpic in an archived state. Somali traditional medicine is practiced by "traditional doctors" who are usually older men of the community who have learned their skills from older family members.

They are especially adept at treating hepatitis, measles, mumps, chicken pox, hunch-back, facial droop, and broken bones.

Navajo medicine-men (singers,hatáli­)

A classic comparative study of medicine and national culture, Medicine and Culture shows us that while doctors regard themselves as servants of science, they are often prisoners of custom. Prehistoric medicine is any use of medicine from before the invention of writing and the documented history of plombier-nemours.come the timing of the invention of writing varies per culture and region, the term "prehistoric medicine" encompasses a wide range of time periods and dates..

The study of prehistoric medicine relies heavily on artifacts and human remains, and on anthropology.

Culture and medicine men
Koro (medicine) - Wikipedia