Kopytoff, Igor. 'Medicines' and the sexual transmission of disease among the Suku of Zaire: (with some relevence to AIDS)

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Title: 'Medicines' and the sexual transmission of disease among the Suku of Zaire: (with some relevence to AIDS)

Published in: Body and space: symbolic models of unity and division in African cosmology and experience, edited by Anita Jacobson-Widding

Published By: Body and space: symbolic models of unity and division in African cosmology and experience, edited by Anita Jacobson-Widding Almqvist & Wiksell International. 1991. 303-314 p.

By line: Igor Kopytoff

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: Human Relations Area Files, 2016. Computer File

Culture: Suku (FO46)

Subjects: Theory of disease (753); Medical therapy (757); Shamans and psychotherapists (756); Ethnopsychology (828); Lineages (613); Gender roles and issues (890); Ethnoanatomy (826); Sorcery (754); Pharmaceuticals (278); Sex and marital offenses (684); Purification and atonement (783); Avoidance and taboo (784);

Abstract: This article discusses the cultural meanings and medicinal functions of traditional Suku religious objects called "lineage medicines." These are associated with lineages because, unlike other types of Suku medicine, they are held not by individuals but by the matrilineage. An important function of such medicines is ensuring the corporate wellbeing of matrilineages by controlling the transmission of disease and misfortune due to sexual relations.

Document Number: 6

Document ID: fo46-006

Document Type: Essay

Language: English

Note: Includes bibliographical references (p. 314)

Field Date: 1958-1959

Evaluation: Anthropologist-5

Analyst: Teferi Abate Adem ; 2014

Coverage Date: 1920-1959

Coverage Place: Kwango district, Bandundu, Democratic Republic of the Congo

LCSH: Suku (African people)

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