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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Modern Folk Medicine in South Africa
Author:Du Toit, Brian M.ISNI
Periodical:South African Journal of Ethnology
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:traditional medicine
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Health and Nutrition
Abstract:In South Africa folk medicine is a combination of Khoi (and San), African and European traditions and is used by all ethnic groups. During the first half of 1994 the present writer conducted a research project on aging in the Eastern Cape, focusing on elderly coloured people in Grahamstown. Interviews were conducted with 50 women, aged 64 to 97, and 50 men, aged 61 to 86. One section of the interview schedule sought information concerning the use of 'medicines', especially traditional and herbal medicines. It turned out that 12 percent of the women and 32 percent of the men had employed herbs and folk medicines over the two weeks preceding the interview. The perpetuation or revival of folk healing strategies may be due to nativistic values or national (or international) recognition. But in this case, the author suggests that it is a question of necessity. Conditions of economic and social deprivation in South Africa have resulted in the reactivation of traditional beliefs and practices involving folk medicine. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in Afrikaans and English.