The Nexus between Traditional Healing and Societal Organisation: Reflections on Busoga Society Socio–Cultural, Economic and Political Organisation
Keywords:Busoga, Traditional Healing, Religion, Traditions, Society
AbstractStudies on traditional healing have received a lot of attention from several academic disciplines, including; anthropology, sociology, religion, and medicine. The study of use, practice, organisation, measurement and social distribution of traditional medicine has, over the years, been a case of sociological inquiry. On the other hand, anthropological studies are engrossed in the confluence of traditional healing with witchcraft practices. Whereas the world of medicine academia has been preoccupied with analysing the medicinal values of herbs and their efficacy in the treatment of infections; religious and theological scholars have discussed traditional healing as an extension of spirituality beliefs. None has ventured to analyse the relationship that exist between traditional healing and society organisation since traditional healing practices are society specific. My major proposition is that unlike biomedicine that operates on universal principles, traditional healing practices differ from one society to another, and they are a reflection of the location, beliefs, socio-cultural, economic and political organisation of those societies. There exists an inextricable relationship between a society’s healing traditions and its socio-cultural, political, economic, religious beliefs, and everyday life. Using Busoga society of Uganda as a case study, this article analyses the interconnectedness between healing and society organisation. It attempts to show how healing traditions proceed from the way societies think and organise themselves. Healing practices are then presented as not only a form of medicine to treat biological infections but an ‘institution’ upon which society’s everyday activities are based.
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