Anthropology | Hektoen International

The evolution of attitude towards sexual health in the Netherlands

Olga Loeber Nijmegen, Netherlands (Winter 2018)   Reprinted from brochure Middelen ter voorkoming van groote gezinnen Introduction The Netherlands is thought of as a progressive society compared to other countries, but this is actually a recent development. In 1885, the Neo Malthusian League (NMB) published a brochure titled: “Means to prevent large families.” Founded in […]

Visitation from the village

David O. Irabor Oyo State, Nigeria (Winter 2018)   West African Masks The aim of a surgeon is to ameliorate the conditions of patients with the skills you have learned. Since surgery is a science involving aspects of the patient’s anatomy, physiology, and pathology, morbidity and mortality in most patients can be explained scientifically. What […]

African medicine

Sheillah Maonga London, UK (Fall 2017)   My mind  was always stubbornly set against African Medicine and I did not pay much heed to it even when I visited Africa for two weeks each year. It was something that had no bearing on me – until last year when I took my child to see […]

The thousand-year-old rainforest shamanistic tradition of healing touch

Søren Ventegodt Copenhagen, Denmark (Fall 2017)   Detail from Serpent and Ant-Eater c1997 by Allan Palm Island (private collection)   An interview with the last Aboriginal healer from the Kuku Nungl (Kuku Yalanji) tribe on the sacred art of healing touch in Far North Queensland, Australia.   The indigenous people of Australia, the Aboriginals, have […]

Nutritional disruption in the Marshall Islands

Carley Trentman University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas (Spring 2017)   When one mentions World War II, vivid images come to mind. The controversial decision to use the atomic bomb in Hiroshima and Nagasaki marked the end of the war in 1945. Subsequent testing of  hydrogen bombs occurred in the 1950s on the Marshall Islands, […]

Dead people healing alcoholism

Maria Barna Sibiu, Romania (Spring 2017)   In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, there were many villages in the Moldavia region of Romania where doctors hardly ever came. When people became ill they found hope  in prayers or in the secret knowledge of initiated women. Thus the treatment of alcoholism was based on […]

The lost papyrus? Eureka! An African voice

Ohakpougwu Chukwuebuka Emmanuel Accra, Ghana (Spring 2017)   Doctor Offering Medicine by David Erroll The year is 1279 BC, the beginning of the reign of Ramesses II. There are cries and incantations as the priests mumble words and family stand by my bedside alongside pots of medicines for my ailment.   I lie on my […]

Mixing medicine – religion and science

Aneesa Bodiat South Africa (Winter 2017)   A variety of dates, delicious fresh or as a dried fruit, are grown in desert areas. The ameer chewed on the dry date my husband had presented to him, saying a prayer and then placing the chewed fruit back into the container, sealing it for use in a […]

Life at the table

Isabel Azevedo Porto, Portugal (Winter 2014)   Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, 1412 – 1416 Herman, Paul, and Johan Limbourg Musée Condé, France In the days when human time was organized differently and every hour had its meaning, meals were community events, mostly family events, where people met to socialize as well as […]

Mind the translation gap

Debi Roberson University of Essex, UK (Fall 2014)   The author is grateful for funding from the ESRC (grant  R000238310) and from the Royal Society (grant IE121122) which made this research and the report possible.     Figure 1: People of Papua New Guinea navigating the Sepik River Between 1996 and 1998, I made three […]