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Conclusion

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 February 2021

Kalle Kananoja
Affiliation:
University of Oulu, Finland
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Summary

This chapter closes the book by discussing the methodological limits and possibilities in the study of cross-cultural medical encounters in precolonial Africa and the early modern Atlantic world. Maintaining health and well-being was a central concern for peoples of Atlantic Africa and for outsiders who visited or settled in the region from the mid-fifteenth century onwards. From the very beginning, cross-cultural medical interaction was the norm, not the exception, as Africans and Europeans sought to tap different sources of healing knowledge. In general, locals and newcomers were open to experimenting with different curing methods and healing materials originating on different continents, viewing these encounters as opportunities for obtaining new techniques. The mobility of people, knowledge and materials came to characterise the world of healing in the Black Atlantic. The medical pluralism reigning in Atlantic Africa was both a precondition and a product of cross-cultural interaction in medicine. Atlantic African medical culture was open to innovative approaches and novel techniques even without the presence of Europeans, but their arrival only added to this plurality. The low number of European practitioners and their concentration in a few localities on the coast guaranteed that indigenous African medicines and therapies prevailed in the early modern period.

Type
Chapter
Information
Healing Knowledge in Atlantic Africa
Medical Encounters, 1500–1850
, pp. 212 - 217
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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  • Conclusion
  • Kalle Kananoja, University of Oulu, Finland
  • Book: Healing Knowledge in Atlantic Africa
  • Online publication: 08 February 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108868020.009
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To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

  • Conclusion
  • Kalle Kananoja, University of Oulu, Finland
  • Book: Healing Knowledge in Atlantic Africa
  • Online publication: 08 February 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108868020.009
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Conclusion
  • Kalle Kananoja, University of Oulu, Finland
  • Book: Healing Knowledge in Atlantic Africa
  • Online publication: 08 February 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108868020.009
Available formats
×