History of sickness and medical art 6 : in preliterate society 3


a boy of Chamus who pastures cow
< a boy of Chamus who pastures cow >
 
How does pastoral tribe Chamus in Kenya understand sickness?
I refer to book “Pastoralists’ View of Body and Therapeutic Practice” (a fieldwork 20 years ago) by Kaori Kawai.
 
ケニヤの牧畜民チャムスは病気をどのように理解しているのか?
河合香吏著「野の医療」(20年前のフィールドワーク)を参考にしました。
 
Outline
Their understanding to their body is concrete and they abundantly have the name of internal part.
It was guessed from the dismantlement of livestock.
For example, they regarded that a brain and a spinal were as a unit.
When somebody became convulsion or swoon, they thought that the part was cut off.
The sickness is mentioned with everyday greetings, and the handling is done basically in the family.
Except for an emergency, they do not go to a Sherman or a clinic of modern medicine.
Everyday as the prevention and the medical treatment, they have been boiling many medicinal herbs together with meals or drinks.
 
 
概要
彼らの身体への理解は具体的で、体内部位の名称を豊富に持っている。
それは家畜の解体から類推されたものだ。
例えば、脳と脊髄を一つと捉え、痙攣や失神した場合は、その部位が切れたと考える。
日常の挨拶で病を話題にし、その対処は基本的に家族で行われる。
よほどのことがない限り、彼らは呪医や近代医学の診療所に行くことはない。
彼らは日頃より予防と療養を兼ねて、多くの薬草を食事や飲料と一緒に煮ている。
 
a pastoral tribe in Africa  
< a pastoral tribe in Africa  >  
 
The sickness and the principle of cause and effect
How do they understand the cause of the disease?
They recognize the abnormalities of the affected part (a headache, a fever) and its cause part (a liver, a spleen).
They think that causes of the disease depend on what enters from the outside, or depend on their body.
In the former example, there are rotten foods or drinks, parasites, wind, a haze, and an infectious unknown intruding object, etc.
For example, although a reason why the newborn baby died is regarded as the wind went into and swelled the baby’s stomach and intestines, there is not the further explanation.
In the latter example, there are the hereditary or weak constitution, a pregnancy, and a blow etc.
 
If they were asked who was to blame for the disease, they will answer ” causing by themselves” or ” bringing by somebody else” or ” causing by God.”
They have thought that they might have made an original cause of the disease that was based on others’ grudge.  
They consider that they have no choice of the disease that was caused by God that is omnipresent to sky or rain.
And they not think that somebody received divine punishment.
Although the sickness may be induced from outside, one’s body eventually is important, and they concentrate on care of health and medical treatment.
 
 
病気と因果論 
病気の原因を彼らはどのように理解しているのだろうか。
彼らは患部(頭痛、発熱)とその原因部位(肝臓、脾臓)の異常を認識している。
病因は外部から進入するものと、身体自身によるものがあると彼らは考える。
前者の例では、腐った飲食物、寄生虫、風や霞、伝染する不明な侵入物などがある。
例えば、新生児が死んだ理由に、風が胃腸に入って腹が膨れたからとすることがあるが、それ以上の説明はない。
後者では遺伝的や虚弱体質、妊娠中、打撲などがある。
 
誰のせいで病気になったのかと聞くと、「自分が招いた病気」「他人がもたらした病気」「神の病気」のいずれかで答える。
彼らは他人の恨みによる場合も、元を正せば自分がその原因を作ったと思っている。
天や雨などに遍在する神が与えた病気を仕方がないと考え、罰が下ったとは考えない。
彼らは、病気は外から誘発されることもあるが、最終的には自己の身体にあると捉え、養生と治療に専念する。
 
Pygmy tribe living in a jungle   
< Pygmy tribe living in a jungle   >
 
This recognition has a certain similarity to ancient Greece, India and China.
It is the cure does not remove an etiology and preferentially turns the body back to normal.
Although this recognition holds a minority position, the hunter-gatherers pygmy living in a jungle of Congo also has similar recognition with it.
However, pastoral Nuer in adjoining southern Sudan has etiology of magical factor.
 
Next time, it becomes a summary of the sickness and the medical treatment in preliterate society
 
 
この認識は、病因を除くのではなく身体を元に戻すことを第一義とする古代のギリシャ、インドや中国に通じるものがある。
この認識は少数派ですが、コンゴのジャングルに生きる狩猟採集民ピグミーもこれに近い。
しかし隣接するスーダン南部の牧畜民ヌアーは逆に呪術的な病因論を持っています。
 
次回は、無文字社会の病と医療のまとめになります。
 
 
Categories: culture+society, history+evolution, <english language, <japanese language, Series: History of sickness and medical art | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “History of sickness and medical art 6 : in preliterate society 3

  1. The parts in English were interesting to read! Thanks for sharing!

  2. WordsFallFromMyEyes

    This is fantastic. I’m loving your series on medicines & cultures. The only alternative medicine I’ve tried is Traditional Chinese Medicine & it was magic to me with:

    – infertility
    – aneamia
    – low energy
    – harmed shoulder

    It was totally magic.

    This is very very interesting to me – great posts.

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