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January 2022

Soc Sci Med. 1984 ; 18(2): 167-72.

Healing as a sign of power and status in Bali.

McCauley AP.

In Bali individuals who are able to communicate with the supernatural are said to have sakti, power which they are expected to use on behalf of the community. The ability to heal is one indication that a person has such power which, because it is undifferentiated, is also a qualification for positions of economic and political leadership. Case histories of two successful Balinese healers illustrate how the healing role can legitimize high status or lead to upward social mobility.

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