Indigenous Theories of Contagious Disease

By (author) Edward C. Green

Publication date:

14 January 1999

Length of book:

311 pages


AltaMira Press

ISBN-13: 9780761991991

Far from being the province of magic, witchcraft, and sorcery, indigenous understanding of contagious disease in Africa and elsewhere in the developing world very often parallels western concepts of germ theory, according to the author. Labeling this 'indigenous contagion theory (ICT),' Green synthesizes the voluminous ethnographic work on tropical diseases and remedies_as well as 20 years of his own studies and interventions on sexually transmitted diseases, AIDS, and traditional healers in southern Africa_to demonstrate how indigenous peoples generally conceive of contagious diseases as having naturalistic causes. His groundbreaking work suggests how western medical practitioners can incorporate ICT to better help native peoples control contagious diseases.
Anthropologist Edward Green offers here a highly readable contribution to medical and applied anthropology. Based on over twenty-five years of fieldwork and development assistance in Africa, Southeast Asia and other regions, the author of the authoritative sourcebook STD and AIDS in Africa deepens his examination of indigenous healing and disease prevention strategies. ....Anthropologists and other readers interested in the evolutionary and other bio-cultural underpinnings of indigenous systems ofcontagious illness will find the book's theoretical reflections, summarized in the final chapter, especially thought-provoking...