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Gillian Goslinga


Science in Society


English (United States)


The Swahili coast of East Africa is comprised of a multitude of cultures, each contributing to the idiosyncratic nature of health and healing on the Kenyan coast. In providing a case study of the Kenyan village of Shirazi, this thesis aims to highlight the social and political influence and implications of rural Swahili medicine, or uganga. Through 65 formal interviews with 80 Shirazi adults, 17 informal interviews with 13 Traditional Medicine Practitioners (TMPs), and multiple informal interviews with practitioners at local allopathic medical facilities, I aim to investigate the nature of Swahili medicine, both in terms of beliefs and practices. I focus on one particular healing, the Kayamba, which serves to mitigate the effects of djinn, or Islamic spirits.



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