The Folklore Society
Folklore Society Books - Primitive Religion and Healing: A Study of Folk Medicine in North-East Brazil
Primitive Religion and Healing: A Study of Folk Medicine in North-East Brazil
By Paul V. A. Williams
Woodbridge, Suffolk and Totowa, NJ: D.S. Brewer and Rowman and Littlefield, for The Folklore Society, 1979. Mistletoe Series. xi + 212 pp. Hardback.
Price: £12.00, plus postage and packing
This volume in the Mistletoe Series is concerned with contemporary religions and healing practices. Dr Williams spent ten months in the Recôncavo area of north-east Brazil, obtaining first hand information about the popular religion of the area, known as "Candomblé" and the healing practices of its adepts or curandeiros. He begins with a description of the area and its inhabitants, and of the African traditions in Brazilian popular religion. An account of the beliefs and practices of individual curandeiros follows, giving details of the herbs used, of their rituals, of procedures such as funigation and ritual baths, and of the texts of spells and prayers. The use of ritual powder (pemba) and amulets is discussed, and the different recipes for pemba are examined. There are full appendices with supporting information on the botanical identity of the herbs and descriptions of the various curandeiros, from whom information was collected. There is a glossary, full bibliography and index.
This book is available from: The Folklore Society, The Warburg Institute, Woburn Square, London WC1H 0AB. Please make cheques payable to Folklore Enterprises Ltd.