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October 2022

Cult Med Psychiatry. 1979 Jun; 3(2): 153-66.

Variations regarding susto causality among the Cakchiquel of Guatemala.

Logan MH.

George Foster's model of 'personalistic' and 'naturalistic' disease theories is employed in the present analysis of fright-sickness among Cakchiquel villagers in highland Guatemala. Field data from Panajachel and San Antonio Aguas Calientes suggest that pronounced intrasocietal competition favors personalistic interpretation, with sorcery cited as the ultimate source, rather than naturalistic interpretation, which emphasizes chance or destiny. Village differences in subsistence echology and internal competition apparently underlie variations in both the social function and assumed etiology of fright-sickness.

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