Lateinamerika - Patienten und Heiler zwischen den medizinischen Systemen

Curare 27.2004:115-127

R##Latin Ameriea - patients and healers between the medical systems
In Latin America, indigenous and western medicine have been coexisting, at least in part, for almost 500 years. Therefore, "medical pluralism" is one of the central topics of the studies conducted by members of the AG Medical Anthropology in Central and South America. Based on fieldwork in Mexico (Cora), Ecuador (Otavalenos, Naporuna) and Peru (Urubamba Valley) they analyse not only health-seeking behaviour of indigenous and Mestizo patients. but also processes of adaptation and differentiation among indigenous healers. Whereas competition for patients, apart from a possible diminution in symptom orientation, stimulated mainly the incorporation of new elements, the position of western medicine as official medical system triggered processes of adaptation, which are all the more radical as the healers themselves frequently do not perceive them as such.##

Keywords: medical pluralism, health seeking behavior, indigenous healers, shamanism, adaptation, traditional healing