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6 - Treating Their Symptoms

Limits of Humoural Medicine

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 February 2021

Kalle Kananoja
Affiliation:
University of Oulu, Finland
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Summary

This chapter utilises data gleaned from botanical treatises, missionary accounts and official correspondence to approach diagnostic categories in early modern medicine in Angola. It also discusses early modern constructions of mental pathology. West-Central African history is exceptional in providing ample primary sources for discussing health and disease in Africa prior to the nineteenth century. The documentation abounds with contemporary social diagnoses of diseases in West-Central Africa occasionally written by physicians or surgeons, but almost as often uttered by colonial administrators, priests, naturalists and common people. Yet, they are often of little use in determining the modern biological diagnoses. Essentially, they point out that humoural theory was rarely a reference point when making social diagnoses. Instead, laypeople and doctors usually referred to very general symptoms and conditions. The Portuguese understanding of epidemic diseases remained extremely limited throughout the era of the slave trade.

Type
Chapter
Information
Healing Knowledge in Atlantic Africa
Medical Encounters, 1500–1850
, pp. 155 - 186
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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  • Treating Their Symptoms
  • Kalle Kananoja, University of Oulu, Finland
  • Book: Healing Knowledge in Atlantic Africa
  • Online publication: 08 February 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108868020.007
Available formats
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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.

  • Treating Their Symptoms
  • Kalle Kananoja, University of Oulu, Finland
  • Book: Healing Knowledge in Atlantic Africa
  • Online publication: 08 February 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108868020.007
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.

  • Treating Their Symptoms
  • Kalle Kananoja, University of Oulu, Finland
  • Book: Healing Knowledge in Atlantic Africa
  • Online publication: 08 February 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108868020.007
Available formats
×