By Stephen Frankel, Gilbert Lewis
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Additional resources for A Continuing Trial of Treatment: Medical Pluralism in Papua New Guinea
The adults took perhaps a week. The small children, the ones whose hands you hold and walk around; one- INFECTION, INNOVATION AND RESIDENCE 43 two, and they went. Not everyone died at once. At first a few. They wrapped them in black-palm sheaths and took them to the streams. Some they put in the trees. This kept on, and on. It couldn't stop of its own accord. It kept going. Everyone ran away from the village. Into the small places. Into the bush. Then he felt sorry. Bwasale, himself, went to Nipkimbihi.
Or had they always accepted annoyance and pain from sores and cuts as something that could hardly be escaped? When a new method of treatment displaces an old one completely, people become dependent on the new. Bandages were not always available or accessible, yet people often wanted them, and in many cases needed them. They did not control the supply or knew how to make them, and they could not afford to buy them. As old methods are given up, people have less sense of their own selfsufficiency than they had before.
The primary focus of this work was not village health, but the relationships between village agriculture and social, economic and political change. It is obvious that great forces for change were brought to bear on New Guinea societies from the 1890s on, most of which had external origins. Above all else, I wish to show that village people were not unaware of those forces and made conscious decisions about changes in existing health care practices and the adoption of new practices, within the bounds of their knowledge.
A Continuing Trial of Treatment: Medical Pluralism in Papua New Guinea by Stephen Frankel, Gilbert Lewis