Knowledge of Illness in a Sepik Society
A Study of the Gnau, New Guinea Volume 52
Illness is a matter of concern in every society. Social responses to it depend both on the nature of the illness and on cultural interpretation of its significance. This study of the occurrence, recognition and explanation of illness amongst the Gnau makes use of its author's dual training in medicine and anthropology to show why, how far, and in what respects these people of a forest village in New Guinea turn to their religious and magical knowledge in the distress of illness. The analyis shows how a study of ilness can reveal belief and open an illummatlng and crucial perspective on a society's view of its world.
Table of Contents
CONTENTS INTRODUCTION I 1. SOCIAL STRUCTURE 9 2. ENVIRONMENT AND DISEASE 41 3. THE INCIDENCE AND PREVALENCE OF ILLNESS 95 4. THE RECOGNITION OF ILLNESS 128 5. CLASSES OF CAUSE 154 6. CAUSALITY IN ILLNESS 195 7. THE EXPLANATION OF ACTUAL ILLNESS 229 CONCLUSION 331 APPENDIX: SUPPLEMENTARY MEDICAL DATA 361 LIST OF WORKS CITED 369INDEX 371
Dr Lewis, MD, MRCP, is Lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge.