Anthropology | Hektoen International

The role of water in Indian culture

Dhastagir Sultan Sheriff Chennai, Tamilnadu, India   Fig 1. Water management in Ancient India Changing patterns of weather and rainfall, past policies regarding water release and storage, and a frequently resultant dry basin have forced the central and state governments of India to engage in conserving water, often looking at ways to adapt ancient and […]

Haunted by a living spirit

Bernardo Ng San Diego, California, USA   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. The white magic […]

A change in mindset

Asayya Imaya London, United Kingdom   “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 not sure […]

A story of the oppressed

Donia Khafaga Cairo, Egypt   A powerful representation of women’s oppression International Organization of Human Rights: www.ishr.org 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 with freedom […]

Beyond eating yogurt

Margad Zorigt Mongolia   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 language we […]

The evolution of attitude towards sexual health in the Netherlands

Olga Loeber Nijmegen, Netherlands   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 1881, NMB […]

Visitation from the village

David O. Irabor Oyo State, Nigeria   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 many of […]

African medicine

Sheillah Maonga London, UK   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 my mother. […]

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

Søren Ventegodt Copenhagen, Denmark   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 an ancient […]

Nutritional disruption in the Marshall Islands

Carley Trentman Kansas, United States   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, where “Ivy Mike” and “Castle […]