Accepted Paper:

The attitude towards official medicine and local healing practices among Polish inhabitants of Pojana Mikuli village in southern Bucovina, Romania.  


Iwa Kolodziejska (Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, University of Warsaw)

Paper short abstract:

On the piece of ethnography I would like to show how members of the community, in which personal experience is a very important factor in constructing the knowledge, connect non-specialist local healing knowledge and practices with the official medicine.

Paper long abstract:

Pojana Mikuli is a village in Carpathian mountains inhabited by Polish minority. Local knowledge on medicinal plants is well established there. Almost every family in the village collects and uses medicinal plants. I would like to present the attitude towards official and local healing practices - how they are interconnected in the discourse of Polish minority living there. The knowledge on medicinal plants among my interlocutors is very individual (for example neighbours, members of the same family often use different names for the same plant), and personal experience is very important in this context. Sentences like: "this or that medicine/plant are said to be good for such or such illness, but I don't know if they are because I didn't try them yet" can be heard very often there. In local medicinal knowledge, pieces of knowledge and therapeutic practice from various sources are bound and mixed. In this paper I would like to answer the questions: which of them are the most important in the context of this place and time, what kind of power and authority official doctors have, how this knowledge is constructed (the role of authority and personal experience).

Panel W014
From medical pluralism to therapeutic plurality: medical anthropology and the politics of diversity, knowledge, and experience from multiple perspectives