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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Persistence of African Traditional Medicine in Contemporary Nigerian Society
Author:Babalola, E.O.
Periodical:Africana Marburgensia
Geographic term:Nigeria
traditional medicine
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Health and Nutrition
Abstract:The Yoruba traditional medicine known as 'oogun', or 'oogun ibile', specializes in the cure of mystical ailments which are beyond the scope of scientific medicine. Witchcraft and sorcery play an important role in turning natural ailments into mystical ones. While in present-day Nigeria no Western doctor can cure a patient who is being tormented by a witch or a sorcerer, traditional healers, Islamic healers and Aladura prophets can heal such a patient through spiritual healing processes. So-called spiritual healing has its roots in the African traditional world view. Healing in Yoruba philosophy and thought extends beyond ordinary physical health to encompass the well-being of the soul and the spirit. Healing also has a religious dimension. Islam has retained the phenomenon of divination, which is the bedrock of indigenous religion; magic, medicine and divination are central to healing in Islam. Western orthodox Christianity, on the other hand, believes in a scientific and clinical approach to ailments. It denies the existence of evil spirits and malignant forces and has discouraged reliance on charms and amulets, in contrast to the Aladura churches, which accept the traditional causes of illness. Notes, ref.