Hand Trembling, Frenzy Witchcraft, and Moth Madness: A Study of Navajo Seizure Disorders

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University of Arizona Press, 1995 - Social Science - 196 pages
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According to traditional Navajo belief, seizures are the result of sibling incest, sexual witchcraft, or possession by a supernatural spirit—associations that have kept such disorders from being known outside Navajo families. This new study is concerned with discovering why the Navajos have accorded seizures such importance and determining their meaning in the larger context of Navajo culture. The book is based on a 14-year study of some 40 Navajo patients and on an epidemiological survey among the Navajos and among three Pueblo tribes.
 

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Contents

The Healing Tradition
19
Beliefs About Seizures
39
The Epidemiology
60
Navajo Diagnosis
87
Hand Trembling
102
Frenzy Witchcraft
119
Moth Madness
133
Ambivalence Anxiety
150
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About the author (1995)

Jerrold E. Levy is a professor emeritus of anthropology at the University of Arizona whose special interest has been Indian health problems. Raymond Neutra is the chief of the Epidemiological Studies and Surveillance Section, California Department of Health. Dennis Parker (1912-1984) was a Navajo who devoted much of his life to promoting better health for his people.

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