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A living pharmacy : the practice of Kastom medicine in Honiara


A living pharmacy : the practice of Kastom medicine in Honiara

Buchanan, Holly R (1998) A living pharmacy : the practice of Kastom medicine in Honiara. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Honiara, is a young urban setting where individuals from different ethnic groups and islands are creating their own urban culture. The practices of traditional healers in Honiara occur in a context where little action has transpired to integrate kastom medicine into the national health system. While policies and strategies were created to foster the incorporation of traditional healers into the health system, their focus is associated with rural areas and static concepts of 'tradition'. Such a focus does not consider social and cultural change, urban practices, or the rural/urban circular movements of healers. At the same time, traditional healers are creating their own networks, developing their practices and negotiating their positions as kastom medicine is utilized informally alongside biomedicine. Their conceptions about the causation of diseases coexist with Christian and magical beliefs in a context of continuity and change. How kastom medicinal knowledge is created, transmitted, legitimized controlled, challenged, changed and acted upon is discussed against the background of the complexity of urban social life. Healer's knowledge of their natural pharmacopoeia is a great resource at the level of primary health care, as are the roles healers play as specialists in divining and healing kastom illnesses. The significance of this work is threefold: in this stage of development of the country it is important to understand the coexistence between medical traditions, and to understand their changing roles in an urban context and in the national health system; theoretically it will further our understanding of social change, and it will fill gaps in the lack of scholarship in the area of traditional medicine in the Solomon Islands and more specifically in urban Honiara.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Sociology and Anthropology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Buchanan, Holly R
Pagination:xiv, 206 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology
Thesis Supervisor(s):Jourdan, Christine
Identification Number:GN 671 S6B83 1998
ID Code:658
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 17:13
Last Modified:13 Jul 2020 19:47
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