Hand Trembling, Frenzy Witchcraft, and Moth Madness: A Study of Navajo Seizure Disorders
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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The Healing Tradition
Beliefs About Seizures
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Athabascan became began behavior believe Blessingway brain breach of tabu Butterfly cause cere ceremonialists child City Service Unit committed incest complex partial seizures consciousness convulsions Coyote Coyoteway culture cure daughter death depressed diag diagnosed diagnostician disease disorder dissociative drinking endogamy epilepsy epileptic seizures epileptics and hysterics episodes etiology evil Evilway father frenzy witchcraft Frenzy-witchcraftway hand trembler Hopi hospital hunting husband hysteria identified Indian Health Service individuals interview involved Keresan kill Kluckhohn Levy lived love magic male marriage married matrilineal mental Mildred moth madness mother Mothway Mountainway myth Navajo epileptics parents partial seizures patients percent performed person peyote physician population problems pseudoseizures Pueblo reservation ritual sexual shaman sibling incest simple partial seizures singer sings social societies spells suicide supernatural power symptoms tabu Tewa thought tion trembling tribes Tuba City Tuba City Service Western Apaches witch woman women Zunis zures