Borders and Healers: Brokering Therapeutic Resources in Southeast Africa

By Graboyes, Melissa | The International Journal of African Historical Studies, January 1, 2007 | Go to article overview

Borders and Healers: Brokering Therapeutic Resources in Southeast Africa


Graboyes, Melissa, The International Journal of African Historical Studies


Borders and Healers: Brokering Therapeutic Resources in Southeast Africa. Edited by Tracy J. Luedke and Harry G. West. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2006. Pp. 223; $65.00 cloth, $24.95 paper.

As a historian working on medical history, I was excited to see Borders and Healers. It seemed to be an excellent opportunity to keep abreast of the newest anthropological literature. However, halfway through the introduction, I did what frustrated readers do: I skipped to the end. More specifically, I flipped to the final paragraph of Steven Feierman's afterword. There I discovered that "The processes are, of course, too complex to capture" (p. 194). That's when I began to worry.

Perhaps starting with the end is unfair. Borders and Healers is a collection of essays written primarily by anthropologists, but it-unfortunately-contributes little new information to the field of health and healing. The volume investigates both borders and healers, arguing that the power of healing is "bound up with crossing, constructing and maintaining borders" (p. 6). What the authors believe is original in this approach is "the idea of the healer as border-crosser and boarder guard-indeed, as border embodied" (p. 7).

There are separate chapters addressing healers and borders in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Botswana, South Africa, and Tanzania. The first chapter, written by Harry G. West, presents very interesting case studies of healers in northern Mozambique. He records their changing practices and probes the blurry line between who is a traditional healer rather than a modern healer and what constitutes indigenous knowledge as opposed to modern knowledge.

Chapter 3, "Of Markets and Medicine" written by David Simmons, is a refreshing change from some of the other contributions. Rather than philosophizing about when "traditional" medicine becomes "modern," the author asked Zimbabwean healers and traditional medicine administrators that question. Readers are treated to actual quotations, which are fascinating. Simmons also shows how "traditional" healing is modernizing and professionalizing through the naming of drugs, the use of latex gloves, and bottling and labeling strategies. The chapter also addresses another hot button issue: the use of clinical trials to test the effectiveness of traditional medicine.

Chapters 6 and 7 both deal with Tanzania, although in different time periods. Julian M. Murchison's "From HIV/AIDS to Ukimwi" dissects and analyzes a singular story told in southern Tanzania about a woman giving birth to a cure for "Ukimwi" (AIDS). He argues that the storytellers are "not only making and shaping history and culture," but are also "asserting control" over "their lives and their health" (p. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Borders and Healers: Brokering Therapeutic Resources in Southeast Africa
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.