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The Indigenous Healing Tradition in Calabria, Italy

Author(s): Stanley K rippner | Ashwin Budden | Roberto Gallante | Michael Bova

Journal: International Journal of Transpersonal Studies
ISSN 1321-0122

Volume: 30;
Issue: 1-2;
Start page: 48;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) | ethnomedicine | traditional medicine | folk medicine | evil eye | witchcraft | magic | Calabria

In 2003, the four of us spent several weeks in Calabria, Italy. We interviewed local people about folk healing remedies, attended a Feast Day honoring St. Cosma and St. Damian, and paid two visitsto the Shrine of Madonna dello Scoglio, where we interviewed its founder, Fratel Cosimo. In this essay, we have provided our impressions of Calabria and the ways in which its native people havedeveloped indigenous practices and beliefs around medicine and healing. Although it is one of the poorest areas in Italy, Calabria is one of the richest in its folk traditions and alternative modes ofhealing. Combining personal experiences and theoretical knowledge, this paper aims at illuminating how these practices, though indigenous and primal, still continue to serve a meaningful and powerful purpose for the inhabitants of Calabria.

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