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Title: Medical folk-lore of the Bantu tribes
Author: Hewat, Matthew Little
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1899
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Having been for some time located,in the border districts, and there coming into frequent contact with the natives; I was struck with the fact that there was a large field for investigation and record of the Medical Folk Lore of the Bantu Tribes; which was becoming more and more difficult of attainment as time went on; owing to the fact that the true unsophisticated native was rapidly becoming a thing of the past, or if one may put it so, becoming contaminated by the advance of civilization. Under the pressure of Colonial rule, magistrates and missionaries, the native character and ways are changing, Breeks and petticoats are endowed with positive virtues. They are made steps in the ladder that tends upwards, and the old fashioned Kaffir is fast disappearing. Red clay gives way to veneer and varnish; outward conformity to a kind of civilization knocks off some objectionable/and some quite unobjectionable ways and leaves the inside man as superstitious and as: ignorant as ever. With a view to the carrying out of this idea, I after considerable study of the works of travellers and others who had written about these tribes, drew up a list of questions on the subject. These I had printed,and sent to a large number of all those likely to be able to assist me in my investigation; including missionaries to the tribes, doctors long settled in native areas, educated natives and a large number of others, such as some of the. Cape Civil Servants who had to deal with the aborigine in the early days of European occupation of the country. The replies to these circulars were in many instances very valuable for my purpose, and the following pages are the result of a very careful sifting of this information, combined with such other facts as I have been able to gather together from an extensive study of the records available in the matter. In submitting this study I trust it will meet with approval and that the matter here brought together for the first time, may prove of some value as a record of the "Folk-Lore of the Bantu Tribes". For convenience sake I have divided my subject into three chief sections: (1) The Kaffir Doctor (2) Some observations of interest in the Folk Lore of the Kaffir. (3) Native Practices: (a) Medicine; (b) Surgery; (c) Midwifery and Gynecology. The foregoing pages prove to us that the Kaffir races, as represented by their "Amagqira" possess no mean amount of Knowledge of disease and its treatment, and their extensive use of herbs shows, in an astonishing degree, the very valuable information which the tribes possess of the therapeutic actions,and uses of the vegetable Kingdom, as it exists in those parts of the country which they inhabit.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (M.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available