Death in Abeyance: Illness and Therapy among the Tabwa of by Christopher Davis

By Christopher Davis

This can be a accomplished survey, in either its concept and its perform, of the Tabwa who survive the western shore of Lake Tanganyika within the Democratic Republic of Congo (fomerly Zaire). the subsequent themes are coated: recommendations of the physique and of disorder, affliction different types and techniques to analysis, divination and the that means of disease within the life-histories of people and lineage teams. relocating to a broader viewpoint, it embraces remedies either one of physically occasions ('medicine') and of social situations ('magic' and 'religion'), and relates them to the cosmological ideals which hyperlink and underwrite all three.Based on approximately 4 years of fieldwork, Dr Davis' e-book is the main entire learn thus far of an African healing procedure. unlike so much ethnographies of drugs, which take social constructions as fundamental and deal with clinical wisdom as an extension or mirrored image of it, this examine makes a speciality of the scientific approach itself. whilst medication is hence thought of first as an indigenous or vernacu

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Extra info for Death in Abeyance: Illness and Therapy among the Tabwa of Central Africa

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Rather, its aim was an understanding of Tabwa medical culture and its systematics, depicting, among other things, illness categories as defined by people themselves. However, I will briefly note here that the following were the major infectious and parasitic diseases in the community: measles, tuberculosis, polio, syphilis, gonorrhoea, mumps, malaria, intestinal parasites (askaris, hookworm, whipworm), schistosomiasis (both S. haematombum and S. mansoni), trichomonas vaginalis, ringworm and scabies.

At the time of my stay, however, almost all the game in the area was gone. The Belgian priests’ method of hunting at night with headlamps (to provide meat for the large number of children in their charge as orphans and pupils), coupled with the technique of the Armée Nationale Congolaise, who, during the disruptions following Independence, machine-gunned whole herds from light planes, functioned gradually to diminish and finally to eliminate an animal population already decimated by the rinderpest murrain of the turn of the century.

We also become conscious of the ‘economy’ tacit in our combinations and compositions: that is, we become aware that the domain or order which will be the foundation of our study (‘knowledge’, ‘the social’, ‘the political’, ‘the religious’) is our choice; we are conscious of whether we are emphasising the determinacy or indeterminacy of the knowledge; whether we view its end as the (re)production of itself, or of innovation and the production of a new social moment, and of the amenability of each approach to the process not of non-fiction writing but rather of non-fiction reading.

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