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Stephen Snelders

and it is important not to misunderstand folk medicine as a static practice. On the contrary, an Afro-​Caribbean medical system was and is a composite of dynamic practices, or as is written of Haitian Voodoo: ‘a vital living body of ideas and behaviours carried in time by its practitioners and responsive of the changing character of social life’.’33 The supernatural: the treef In the Afro-​Surinamese experience of the cosmos, man is not only a physical or biological being, but also a spiritual one. In Winti, the soul or kra (in the head), the dyoko (guardian demons

in Leprosy and colonialism
Abstract only
Stephen Snelders

boundaries. The disease made the sufferer useless for the one purpose of his or her existence –​performing labour. In the stigmatization of the leprosy sufferer, the horrendous nature of the disease, the visible violation of purity, and the transgression of supernatural taboos, all played important roles. However, in the eighteenth-​century framing of the disease and the justification of compulsory segregation, another significant factor was at play. For Europeans, leprosy represented the Other’s most threatening face. The Other’s very occurrence confirmed the bestiality

in Leprosy and colonialism
Suriname under Dutch rule, 1750– 1950

Explaining how leprosy was considered in various historical settings by referring to categories of uncleanliness in antiquity, is problematic. The book historicizes how leprosy has been framed and addressed. It investigates the history of leprosy in Suriname, a plantation society where the vast majority of the population consisted of imported slaves from Africa. The relationship between the modern stigmatization and exclusion of people affected with leprosy, and the political tensions and racial fears originating in colonial slave society, exerting their influence until after the decolonization up to the present day. The book explores leprosy management on the black side of the medical market in the age of slavery as contrasted with the white side. The difference in perspectives on leprosy between African slaves and European masters contributed to the development of the 'Great Confinement' policies, and leprosy sufferers were sent to the Batavia leprosy asylum. Dutch debates about leprosy took place when the threat of a 'return' of leprosy to the Netherlands appeared to materialise. A symbiotic alliance for leprosy care that had formed between the colonial state and the Catholics earlier in the nineteenth century was renegotiated within the transforming landscape of Surinamese society to incorporate Protestants as well. By 1935, Dutch colonial medicine had dammed the growing danger of leprosy by using the modern policies of detection and treatment. Dutch doctors and public health officials tried to come to grips with the Afro-Surinamese belief in treef and its influence on the execution of public health policies.

Alun Withey

intellectual changes, then it is easy to see how folklore (however defined) could be seen as the prevailing characteristic of Welsh medical history. There is indeed little doubt that the Welsh were inclined towards supernatural and spiritual conceptions of health, but this was only a part of the true picture. The other part is that of a country open and receptive to new ideas, far less cut off than is often assumed and also capable of keeping parity with wider English and European medical trends. Individual concepts of illness and the body in Wales involved a range of

in Physick and the family
Lisa Wynne Smith

Tyrone, I argue that the case cannot be separated from a distinctly Irish and local context, even if Copping scarcely referred to it. The structure of his narrative relied on the juxtaposition of his expertise as a learned, English man with that of the inferior local knowledge. However, his account also exposes McKinna’s experience of pain and motherhood, which can be set against wider cultural meanings: supernatural belief, popular religion, famine and poverty. The case reflects the medical world of early eighteenth

in Early Modern Ireland and the world of medicine
Hysterical tetanus in the Victorian South Pacific
Daniel Simpson

revivalism, spiritualism, and other ostensibly eccentric superstitious or supernatural practices. 63 In 1846, Hector Landouzy first coined the term ‘hystero-epilepsy’ to bring together medical investigations of the physical ailments which manifested in patients suffering extreme mental excitement, but it was only in 1881 that the neurologist William Gowers developed a method for distinguishing between epileptic seizures and ‘pseudoseizures’. 64 This ambiguity allowed Messer

in Progress and pathology
Abstract only
Alun Withey

in Wales, most notably its retention of pre-Reformation beliefs through a combination of poor clergy and relative lack of zeal in punishing recusancy, tends to reinforce depictions of Welsh inertia and has been seen as providing a fertile environment for beliefs in supernatural and magical healing to flourish. But, Non-conformity, Protestantism, Puritanism, Methodism, all had a part to play in stimulating and introducing new medical ideas to Wales, and influenced personal approaches to health and sickness. It is likely that the introduction and location of

in Physick and the family
From colonial to cross-cultural psychiatry in Nigeria
Matthew M. Heaton

with Western psychiatric models that posited schizophrenia as a cross-culturally universal phenomenon linked to brain biology, he vehemently objected to the idea that the culture of the ‘normal’ African exhibited psychotic tendencies that paved a short, easy path to a schizophrenic break. Reacting to the body of literature claiming that African beliefs in the mystical properties of things and of the omnipresence of supernatural forces represented the kind of ‘logical’ break characteristic of European schizophrenics, Lambo noted that ‘primitive man's magic is no sign

in Global health and the new world order
Stephen Snelders

Europe the existence of an idiosyncrasy was established by scientific research and medical investigation, but in Suriname the existence of a treef was established by all kinds of supernatural means that he clearly considered to be heathen mumbo-​jumbo. Still, Benjamins could not just shrug his shoulders about this belief since most of the Afro-​Surinamese thought that the treef was the only cause of leprosy. This changed matters. The colonial government and colonial medicine had to manage this superstition and the Encyclopedia advocated more research on treef beliefs

in Leprosy and colonialism
Abstract only
Alun Withey

little doubt. The relative failure of the Protestant Reformation to impact upon the deeply entrenched ancient and pre-Reformation rituals almost certainly aided retention of beliefs in the power of the supernatural, and reinforced the invoking of various physical and metaphysical forces in the service of healing. Moreover, cunning folk and local healers, in constructing their magical charms and blessings, drew upon popularly understood discourses of both Catholicism and Non-conformity, making them at once familiar and trustworthy.78 The rural and upland environment of

in Physick and the family