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Primitive Religion and Healing: A Study of Folk Medicine in North-East Brazil

Williams, Paul V.A
ISBN: 0859910555Categories: ,


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This volume in the Mistletoe Series is concerned with contemporary religions and healing practices. Dr Williams spent ten months in the Recôncavo area of north-east Brazil, obtaining first hand information about the popular religion of the area, known as “Candomblé” and the healing practices of its adepts or curandeiros. He begins with a description of the area and its inhabitants, and of the African traditions in Brazilian popular religion. An account of the beliefs and practices of individual curandeiros follows, giving details of the herbs used, of their rituals, of procedures such as funigation and ritual baths, and of the texts of spells and prayers. The use of ritual powder (pemba) and amulets is discussed, and the different recipes for pemba are examined. There are full appendices with supporting information on the botanical identity of the herbs and descriptions of the various curandeiros, from whom information was collected. There is a glossary, full bibliography pp. xi, 212

Additional Information

AuthorWilliams, Paul V.A
Number of pages212
PublisherD.S. Brewer
Year Published1979
Binding Type

Hardcover in Dustjacket