An ethnography-based exploration of Irish vernacular medicine in the 21st century

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Kingston, Rosari
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University College Cork
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This dissertation is an ethnography-based exploration of contemporary vernacular healing in in 21st century Ireland. It illuminates the world of healers and healing in the context of what have heretofore been considered ‘traditional’ or ‘folk’ healing practices; it is a study of indigenous medicine as opposed to formal biomedicine. This study of Irish vernacular healing today, and its practitioners, signposts the changes that have occurred and are occurring in its practice. It explores the provenance of certain vernacular cures and how they were transmitted to the current holders. The range of cures discussed are divided into three broad categories: plant-based cures, including those for skin conditions, dropsy, tuberculosis, and arthritis; manipulative techniques, such as bone-setting and ‘lifting the breast bone’; and cures that employ charms/prayers and/or rituals for the treatment of shingles, ringworm, ‘heart-fever’ and haemorrhage. The current legal status of Irish indigenous healers and their status within their respective communities is also discussed.
The cure, , Vernacular , Indigenous , Cyclical year , Lineage , Plant-based medicine , Charms, rituals and prayer
Kingston, J. R. 2019. Title. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.
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