The Social Basis of Health and Healing in Africa

University of California Press

Until now our knowledge of African health and healing has been extensive but fragmented. The 18 essays included in this book are an account of disease, health and healing practices on the African continent. The contributors all emphasize the social conditions linked to ill health and the development of local healing traditions, from Morocco to South Africa and from the precolonial era to the present. The editors provide in troductory overviews explaining why and how health and disease are related to historical, economic and political phenomena. Several chapters illustrate how the most basic facts of everday life encourage the spread of disease and shape the possibilities of survival. Others discuss a variety of healing practices: drums of affliction in Bantu-speaking societies, Muslim humoral medicine and bio-medicine as practiced in hospitals and dispensaries. Steven Feierman also wrote "Peasant Intellectuals" and John M. Manzen won the Wellcome prize and the medal of the Royal Anthropological Institute for "The Quest for Therapy in Lower Zaire".