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September 2019

Med Anthropol. 1995 Feb; 16(2): 119-39.

Illness and response among south Indian foragers.

Gardner PM.

Department of Anthropology, University of Missouri, Columbia 65211-0001.

The medical system of Paliyan foragers of south India is described on the basis of ethnographic field study. Observational and interview data on etiological theories, shamanistic diagnostic practices, and measures for prevention and treatment of illness and injury are examined in relation to one another. Paliyans give considerable importance to naturalistic as well as personalistic etiologies. They regard diagnosis of efficient causes as a matter of practicality; case studies illustrate how such causes are diagnosed. Aspects of the system are examined in global and regional comparative perspective.


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