Anthropology | Hektoen International

Haunted by a living spirit

Bernardo Ng San Diego, California, United States (Spring 2018)   Witchcraft has been present in the Mexican culture for centuries, both in and out of the context of disease, with witches practicing either white or black magic. The most nationally recognized site for witchcraft is the city of Catemaco, Veracruz, on the Gulf of Mexico. […]

A change in mindset

Asayya Imaya London, United Kingdom (Winter 2018)   “This is witchcraft,” my father said with authority. I had questions that I dared not ask; my father was a formidable and austere character. The terror he had instilled in me as a child was still palpable, and I still feared him as an adult. I am […]

A story of the oppressed

Donia Khafaga Cairo, Egypt (Winter 2018)   A powerful representation of women’s oppression International Organization of Human Rights: Writers often use their novels as a social commentary to criticize a certain cultural context and advocate for change. Today women are still trying to attain equality and freedom. In many Arab countries, men are endowed […]

Beyond eating yogurt

Margad Zorigt Mongolia (Winter 2018)   When I was studying in Australia, an American teacher asked us what we usually did in the evening in our countries. I said Mongolians drink yogurt before sleep. The teacher was surprised at my answer: “Your country’s people drink yogurt? In my country we eat yogurt.” In the Mongolian […]

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 […]