(1/30) Utilizing traditional storytelling to promote wellness in American Indian communities.

Utilizing storytelling to transmit educational messages is a traditional pedagogical method practiced by many American Indian tribes. American Indian stories are effective because they present essential ideas and values in a simple, entertaining form. Different story characters show positive and negative behaviors. The stories illustrate consequences of behaviors and invite listeners to come to their own conclusions after personal reflection. Because stories have been passed down through tribal communities for generations, listeners also have the opportunity to reconnect and identify with past tribal realities. This article reports on a research intervention that is unique in promoting health and wellness through the use of storytelling. The project utilized stories to help motivate tribal members to once more adopt healthy, traditional life-styles and practices. The authors present and discuss the stories selected, techniques used in their telling, the preparation and setting for the storytelling, and the involvement and interaction of the group.  (+info)


This article presents a comprehensive study of the methods, practices, equipment, and paraphernalia of African witch doctors in carrying out primitive medical practices. The chief tribes studied are the Azandes of the Sudan, the Manos of Liberia, the Congo tribes, the Bundas of Angola, and the Zulus and other Bantu tribes of South Africa. Primitive beliefs and customs are discussed only insofar as they have a direct bearing on medical practices. The medical practices considered deal mainly with the application of general remedies for ailments and diseases, but certain specialized fields such as obstetrics, surgery, treatment for fractures, and dentistry are also included. Primitive medicaments are presented with reference to their application for various illnesses. An alphabetical list of these medicaments is given at the end of the article.  (+info)

(3/30) Could nursery rhymes cause violent behaviour? A comparison with television viewing.

AIMS: To assess the rates of violence in nursery rhymes compared to pre-watershed television viewing. METHODS: Data regarding television viewing habits, and the amount of violence on British television, were obtained from Ofcom. A compilation of nursery rhymes was examined for episodes of violence by three of the researchers. Each nursery rhyme was analysed by number and type of episode. They were then recited to the fourth researcher whose reactions were scrutinised. RESULTS: There were 1045 violent scenes on pre-watershed television over two weeks, of which 61% showed the act and the result; 51% of programmes contained violence. The 25 nursery rhymes had 20 episodes of violence, with 41% of rhymes being violent in some way; 30% mentioned the act and the result, with 50% only the act. Episodes of law breaking and animal abuse were also identified. Television has 4.8 violent scenes per hour and nursery rhymes have 52.2 violent scenes per hour. Analysis of the reactions of the fourth researcher were inconclusive. CONCLUSIONS: Although we do not advocate exposure for anyone to violent scenes or stimuli, childhood violence is not a new phenomenon. Whether visual violence and imagined violence have the same effect is likely to depend on the age of the child and the effectiveness of the storyteller. Re-interpretation of the ancient problem of childhood and youth violence through modern eyes is difficult, and laying the blame solely on television viewing is simplistic and may divert attention from vastly more complex societal problems.  (+info)

(4/30) Description of an injury in a human caused by a false tocandira (Dinoponera gigantea, Perty, 1833) with a revision on folkloric, pharmacological and clinical aspects of the giant ants of the genera Paraponera and Dinoponera (sub-family Ponerinae).

The authors observed an injury caused by the sting of a false tocandira ant in the hand of an amateur fisherman and they describe the clinical findings and the evolution of the envenoming, which presented an acute and violent pain, cold sweating, nausea, a vomiting episode, malaise, tachycardia and left axillary's lymphadenopathy. About three hours after the accident, still feeling intense pain in the place of the sting, he presented an episode of great amount of blood in the feces with no history of digestive, hematological or vascular problems. The intense pain decreased after eight hours, but the place stayed moderately painful for about 24 hours. In that moment, he presented small grade of local edema and erythema. The authors still present the folkloric, pharmacological and clinical aspects related to the tocandiras stings, a very interesting family of ants, which presents the largest and more venomous ants of the world.  (+info)

(5/30) Traditional use of the Andean flicker (Colaptes rupicola) as a galactagogue in the Peruvian Andes.

This paper explores the use of the dried meat and feathers of the Andean Flicker (Colaptes rupicola) to increase the milk supply of nursing women and domestic animals in the Andes. The treatment is of preColumbian origin, but continues to be used in some areas, including the village in the southern Peruvian highlands where I do ethnographic research. I explore the factors giving rise to and sustaining the practice, relate it to other galactagogues used in the Andes and to the use of birds in ethnomedical and ethnoveterinary treatments in general, and situate it within the general tendency in the Andes and elsewhere to replicate human relations in the treatment of valuable livestock. The bird's use as a galactagogue appears to be motivated by both metaphorical associations and its perceived efficacy, and conceptually blends human and animal healthcare domains.  (+info)

(6/30) Albinism in Africa as a public health issue.

BACKGROUND: Oculocutaneous albinism (OCA) is a genetically inherited autosomal recessive condition and OCA2, tyrosine-positive albinism, is the most prevalent type found throughout Africa. Due to the lack of melanin, people with albinism are more susceptible to the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation exposure. This population must deal with issues such as photophobia, decreased visual acuity, extreme sun sensitivity and skin cancer. People with albinism also face social discrimination as a result of their difference in appearance. The World Health Organization is currently investigating the issues concerning this vulnerable population. METHODS: Systematic electronic search of articles in PubMed concerning albinism in Africa. Furthermore, a World Health Organization (WHO) pilot survey of albinism was drafted in English, French and Portuguese, and distributed to African countries through WHO African Regional Offices (AFRO) in an attempt to gather further information on albinism. RESULTS: Epidemiologic data on albinism, such as prevalence, were available for South Africa, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Nigeria. Prevalences as high as 1 in 1,000 were reported for selected populations in Zimbabwe and other specific ethnic groups in Southern Africa. An overall estimate of albinism prevalences ranges from 1/5,000-1/15,000. In addition, both the literature review and the survey underscored the medical and social issues facing people with albinism. CONCLUSION: The estimated prevalence of albinism suggests the existence of tens of thousands of people living with albinism in Africa. This finding reiterates the need for increased awareness of and public health interventions for albinism in order to better address the medical, psychological and social needs of this vulnerable population.  (+info)

(7/30) The supernatural characters and powers of sacred trees in the Holy Land.

This article surveys the beliefs concerning the supernatural characteristics and powers of sacred trees in Israel; it is based on a field study as well as a survey of the literature and includes 118 interviews with Muslims and Druze. Both the Muslims and Druze in this study attribute supernatural dimensions to sacred trees which are directly related to ancient, deep-rooted pagan traditions. The Muslims attribute similar divine powers to sacred trees as they do to the graves of their saints; the graves and the trees are both considered to be the abode of the soul of a saint which is the source of their miraculous powers. Any violation of a sacred tree would be strictly punished while leaving the opportunity for atonement and forgiveness. The Druze, who believe in the transmigration of souls, have similar traditions concerning sacred trees but with a different religious background. In polytheistic religions the sacred grove/forest is a centre of the community's official worship; any violation of the trees is regarded as a threat to the well being of the community. Punishments may thus be collective. In the monotheistic world (including Christianity, Islam and Druze) the pagan worship of trees was converted into the worship/adoration of saints/prophets; it is not a part of the official religion but rather a personal act and the punishments are exerted only on the violating individual.  (+info)

(8/30) Plants traditionally used to make brooms in several European countries.

BACKGROUND: The research was carried out within the course of two years (2005-2006) in four countries from southern, southeast and eastern parts of Europe: Bulgaria, Italy, Macedonia and Romania. The data are collected mainly from Bulgaria and Italy and are compared with those from Macedonia and Romania. METHODS: The information was gathered largely from literature as well as field collected data and interviewed informants. A brief questionnaire, referring to the vernacular name, plant description, providing specimens from the plants and brooms, details on their use has been prepared and applied. RESULTS: The total number of species as brooms in the study areas is about 108. The list includes two fungi taxa which caused the so-called "Witches' brooms". A high species diversity of 106 taxa of vascular plants, belonging to 37 families and 74 genera, is established in the research area. The investigation includes data about scientific name, family, vernacular name, life form, status (wild or cultivated), used parts and place of use. The relations between the plant characteristics and broom specific shape and working qualities, details of the traditionally broom planting and making, the broom as a part of folklore, traditions and religious rituals are discussed. CONCLUSION: Collected data show how ecological, geographical features and different cultures are related with the variety of plants traditionally used as brooms as well as details for their uses. The data about the variety of plants traditionally used to make brooms and the ways in which they are used according to the specific characteristics of the areas are important for ethnobotanical knowledge.  (+info)