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October 2021

Int J Circumpolar Health. 1998 ; 57 Suppl 1(): 67-71.

The illness known as "twisted mouth" among the Nêhinaw (Cree).

Bruyere J, Garro LC.

Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, Canada.

This paper is based on interviews with two individuals who talked about their experiences with a condition known as "twisted mouth." While the biomedical label of Bell's palsy is often applied to such cases, the appropriateness of this label is not explored here. Rather, the focus is on how Nêhinaw (Cree) cultural understandings frame the experience of and response to illness, even when biomedical practitioners were consulted. The interviews were carried out by the first author using the Nêhinaw language as much as possible. Subtle linguistic clues within the interviews point to the pervasiveness of Nêhinaw cultural understandings.


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