Tag Archives: Anthropology

Yellow Fever: Harmful habit or new frontier in identity dysphoria?

Oyinade Osisanya Ijebu Ode, Ogun, Nigeria   A young woman with bleached skin. Album cover for “Yellow Fever” by Fela Kuti, 1976. Courtesy: Ghariokwu Lemi In 1976, when Fela Kuti, the late Afrobeat legend, released Yellow Fever, the hit masterpiece in which he passionately decried in his powerful, ringing voice, You dey bleach o, you […]

Haunted by a living spirit

Bernardo Ng San Diego, California, United States   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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Dead people healing alcoholism

Maria Barna Sibiu, Romania   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 empirical and […]

Life at the table

Isabel Azevedo Porto, Portugal   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 dine. Someone […]

Mind the translation gap

Debi Roberson United Kingdom   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 research trips to the […]

Pediatric pishogues

C. Anthony Ryan Bridget Maher Cork, Ireland   Illustration by John Bauer Although superstitions abound in all societies, Irish tradition has an especially long and rich tradition of folk beliefs and superstitions. Thus, when a newborn infant was recently diagnosed with Klippel-Trenaunay-Weber syndrome,1 a triad of port-wine stain, varicose veins, and hypertrophy, his mother burst […]