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Illness and Healing in Urban Areas in Chile: Between Tradition and Cultural Adaptation


  • Maria Costanza Torri


The Mapuche communities living in the urban areas of Chile have undergone radical cultural change as a result of modernization and urbanization. This article analyzes the influence of these changes on the ideas and practices of traditional Mapuche healers (machi) and patients in Temuco in Chile, and examines any changes or adaptations in perceptions of healing practices and rituals. The paper shows how an encounter with another culture, such as the dominant Chilean one, can under some conditions reinforce indigenous medicine by updating its practices and pushing it towards increased specialization in psychotherapeutic treatments.

Suggested Citation

  • Maria Costanza Torri, 2011. "Illness and Healing in Urban Areas in Chile: Between Tradition and Cultural Adaptation," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(4), pages 389-402, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:oxdevs:v:39:y:2011:i:4:p:389-402
    DOI: 10.1080/13600818.2011.620084

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