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September 2022

Soc Sci Med. 1986 ; 23(9): 841-5.

The performing patient in ritual healing.

Joralemon D.

A Peruvian curandero carries out curing rituals in two distinct coastal communities. The unprogrammed component of patient ritual involvement differs between the two settings, while the formal ritual 'script' is identical. The contrast, between active engagement and passive participation, is attributed to the social context from which patients are drawn in each ritual location. This evidence suggests that patients as well as specialists contribute to the modification of folk healing practices in changed social and cultural circumstances.


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