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Title:The folk healers and their patients: Continuing viability of folk health care systems in the multiethnic settings in North Sumatra, Indonesia
Author(s):Yoshida, Masanori
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Cunningham, Clark E.
Department / Program:Anthropology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Anthropology, Cultural
Abstract:The purpose of this dissertation is to examine the ways by which folk health care systems survive in a medically pluralistic setting in a developing country such as Indonesia. Interest in the anthropological studies of health care systems in developing countries has been growing and many studies have been undertaken in Southeast Asia. However, not much is known about the processes by which folk health care resources continue to exist and be utilized in multi-ethnic settings which modern sources of medical aid become available. In this study, the role and function of folk practitioners in health care and the interaction between folk practitioners and their patients are examined in the rural and urban communities of Tebing Tinggi, Deli Serdang regency, North Sumatra, Indonesia to illustrate this process.
My research area, Tebing Tinggi and the surrounding countryside, is populated by people of various ethnic groups such as the Javanese, Mandailing, Toba Batak, Minangkabau, Acehnese, Karonese, Banjarese and so on, many of whom are migrants who have come to work on the estate plantations in the region. Other people such as the Malay and Muslim Simalugun are indigenous population in the area. These people all have their own health care traditions, and also have available to them the folk medicine of other ethnic groups in the area and modern health care in government- and estate-run facilities. This region, then, provides an arena for the activities of a variety of health care practitioners and for transactions between healers and clients of various ethnic groups and medical traditions.
Inter-ethnic transactions occur in the treatment of local-cultural illnesses and in cases of chronic and psychosomatic symptoms, especially when an illness develops that cannot be handled either within one's own ethnic domain or in the biomedical domain. Javanese patients tend to use healers from other ethnic groups because they are believed to provide effective cure for those ailments. Simalungun healers are an alternative folk healing resource when chronic or cultural illnesses of the Javanese fail to be cured by other health care resources. Multi-folk health care systems will exist for demand for expectations for relief and cure when people are not satisfied by other healing resources.
Issue Date:1990
Rights Information:Copyright 1990 Yoshida, Masanori
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9114477
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9114477

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