Patients, Doctors and Healers

Medical Worlds among the Mapuche in Southern Chile

  • Dorthe Brogård Kristensen

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Dorthe Brogård Kristensen
    Pages 1-37
  3. Dorthe Brogård Kristensen
    Pages 39-62
  4. Dorthe Brogård Kristensen
    Pages 63-101
  5. Dorthe Brogård Kristensen
    Pages 151-169
  6. Dorthe Brogård Kristensen
    Pages 171-191
  7. Dorthe Brogård Kristensen
    Pages 193-204
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 205-228

About this book


Recognizing the interplay between biomedicine and indigenous medicine among the Mapuche in Southern Chile, this book explores notions of culture and personhood through the bodily experiences and medical choices of patients. Through case studies of patients in the context of medical pluralism,  Kristensen argues that medical practices are powerful social symbol indicative of overarching socio-political processes. As certain types of extreme and violent experiences–known as olvidos–lack a framework that allows them to be expressed openly, they therefore surface as symptoms of an illness, often with no apparent organic pathology. In these contexts, indigenous medicine, thanks to its sensitivity to socio-political contexts, provides a space for articulation and management of collective experiences and suffering among patients in Southern Chile.


machi Mapuche practitioners shamanic healing healing rituals indigenous South America medical pluralism medical anthropology Mapuche politics organic pathology Mapuche-illnesses Augusto Pinochet trauma olvido

Authors and affiliations

  • Dorthe Brogård Kristensen
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Southern DenmarkOdense MDenmark

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2019
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-97030-1
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-97031-8
  • Buy this book on publisher's site