Accepted paper:

Religion and its impact on Health among the Totos


Rimi Dutta (University of North Bengal)
Pinak Tarafdar (University of North Bengal)

Paper short abstract:

Impact of religion and influences of acculturated traits among the various small tribes led to changes in the traditional health care practices and health seeking behavior.

Paper long abstract:

"Health is of universal interest and concern" (Forest Clemens). Human being irrespective of culture, class or historical epoch experiences sickness and death. Every community has a set of ideas as part of their culture for defining health, disease, etiological theories and therapeutic techniques for easing pain and for making statements about probable outcome of disease. On the other hand, religion is the product of culture and plays an important role of functioning social institutions. Cultural practices often shape the religious behavior of a community which eventually influences the health behavior and healing mechanism of any population. The smallest mongoloid tribe of North Bengal has witnessed metastasis of various cultural traits of different populations. This has led to changes in religious behavior of the concern population which ultimately reflected in their medical system, healing procedure and their concept of health and well-being. This paper would basically highlight how does acculturation of various cultural traits led to change in religious behavior of any community which ultimately influences the health seeking behavior of the concern people. This also provides an exclusive understanding of health and healing care practices of the Toto population.

panel LD23
Tribal health: emerging consequences in the era of globalization