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Table Of Contents

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
DEDICATION
FOREWORD
PREFACE
The Problem and Significance
The Main Issues
Antecedents to Choice of Study
Primary Objectives
Fieldwork and Challenges
Fieldwork at Home
Receptivity
Identity Play
The Scope
Research Strategies and Techniques
Informants: Persons and Institutions
Investigation Techniques
Orthography
Colonial Imagery of Madness
Approaches in Postcolonial State
Effective Theoretical Perspective
The Explanatory Model
Arthur Kleinman’s Theory
Kleinman’s explanatory model
A Critique of Kleinman’s Model
Towards a More Holistic Approach to Insanity
Themes in the Thesis of the Book
Igbo People
Research area
Groups and names
Common traits
Earliest ethnographies
Creationist theories of Igbo origin
Key Social and Political Institutions
The familystead, ezi na ulo
Marrying and relating
The village domain as the sphere of authority
Institutions of Power and Empowerment
Married daughters in council, umuada
Chieftaincy institution and elderhood, eze
The age-grade system, otu ebiri
Masquerade cults, mmonwu
Healers’ society, ndi oha dibia
Social Identity
Craftsmanship, nkanuzu
Migrant life
Igbo sense of identity during colonialism
Struggle for identity: The Nigerian-Biafran civil war (1967-1970)
The Biafran War and insanity
Economic Life
Igbo economic vision and practice
Labour, markets, and trading
Housing, ulo
Cosmology
The Igbo world, uwa ndi Igbo
Belongingness and living
Body and cosmology
Body, Sickness, and Illness
The body, ahu, as medium of sensing the world
The seen body parts
The head, isi or ishi
Brain and thinking, uburu na echiche
The Heart
The heart, obi
The heartbeat, obi kpum-kpum
Belly, food, digestion, and waste
Life transmission and illness, omumu na oria
Body Dimensions and Cults
Ikenga cult
Iru (ihu) cult
Ukwu cult
Ufo (uho) cult
Umu-ukwu or ochikoro cult
Ezumezu cult
Animal attributes, anumanu
Synthesis
Aetiology of Illness: Agencies and Processes
Excitation of illness
Intrusion
Quest for health
History of wrongs: finding the pattern
Normal course of life and forces
Natural phenomena
Rules and norms
Curse, ibu onu
Sorcery and Witchcraft
Sorcery, nshi na aja
Witchcraft, amusu
Mami Wota and Ogbanje
Mermaids, mami wota
Repeating spirit-children, ogbanje
Agnatic links
Reincarnation and disturbance, ilo uwa na nsogbo
Summary
The Notion of Ara
Root terms
Collective representations
Attributes amidst representations
Insanity and aging women, ara na ime oki nwanyi
The aberrant behaviour of the insane
Ara mirrors “the other side of life”
Ara in Relation to Space
The insane is impelled and dislocated
Insanity and market space
Insanity and market rhythm
Ara and the Social Order
Ara and stigmatising
Nicknames of ara in common use
Ara and the collective imagination
Ara and gift giving
Ara in relation to the healer’s standing and children’s empathy
Ara and the Unnameable
The edification of paradoxical behaviour
Overboiling behaviour
Ara as a self-legitimating deviancy
Godly or deital insanity, ara agwu
Cultic insanity, ara uke
Spirit-bound chronic insanity or returning-child insanity, ara ogbanje
Drug insanity, ara anwuru
Possession insanity, ara mmuo
Hereditary insanity, ara aburu
Cursed insanity, ara mburu onu
Sorcerous insanity and explanatory order, ara emereme
Dumb insanity, ara ogbo
Slow-doer or gradual insanity, ara inyema
Lunar-relapsible insanity, ara oguru obia
Witchcraft insanity, ara amusu, amosu
Healer’s insanity, ara dibia
Excessive anger insanity, ara onuma
Taboo insanity or incest insanity, ara nso-ala or ara iwu-ala
Masquerade insanity, ara mmanwu
Drinking or alcohol-intoxicated insanity, ara anuruma
Medicine or talisman insanity, ara ogwu or ara otomokpo
Brain-fag or school insanity, ara or isi mgbaka umuakwukwo
Feigned insanity, ara mgbazo
Insanity and Shame
Identity and stake
Personhood of the insane within the family
Sociality
Why the insane are so much avoided?
Conclusion
Healing as Art
Background and meaning of healing
Healing as a search for meaning
Healing goes beyond the tangible
General Sequence of Techniques
Receiving a consulting ill person
Incantation
Hair shaving
Beating and chaining
Daylong walk
Music and dance
Cleansing and nurturing
Semantics of Healing Terms: Tracks in Relation to Good and Ill Health
Tying
Identifying a Healer-to-Be
Categories and characteristics
Original healer, dibia okpo
Complete healer, dibia ezumezu
Ordinary healer, dibia nkiti
Collective/Generic healer, dibia onye oha
Diviner or doctor of secrets, dibia afa
Priest or doctor of sacrifice, dibia aja
Doctor of roots and herbs, dibia mgborogwu
What the features are mostly indicating
Embodied Proof
Testing of matters surrounding the call
Case 30: Of Obiageri in a divided world
Genuine markers of election and identity
Healer and Medicine Deity
Initiating to medicine deity
Investiture of the deity of medicine and divination, iru agwu
Planting agwu symbols and attributes
Training to heal
A Master Healer, Apprentice, and the Environment
Sharing spaces and regenerative forces
Entering into trust relation
Ways of building interest-bearing relationships
Commensality
Placing bare feet on sacred stone, ukwu n’okwute
According stability, akwaa akwuru
Putting sand, and white and yellow chalk in open hands
Standing firm to healing art, ikwu chim, igbade akwukwo
Sealing alliance with affirmative ritual symbols of ofo na ogu
Black powder initiation, ifu onunu
Initiation with blood, iratu obara
Way of Activating Sense of Vision, Igba Okwe
Necessity of ritual eyewash, Itu anya
Performing itu anya ritual
Four Stages of Performance
First stage: Seclusion period, Ngbazo
Fourth stage: Eye focusing on the sun, itu oba anyanwu
Washing the divining eyes, itu anya afa
Main Objectives
Going to ask the forces, iga n’ajuju
A diviner’s account, Ekwedasike (dibia afa)
Critical notions and terms, dibia afa and igba aja
Dibia Afa as Trained Clairvoyant
Diviner, ethics, and agency
Consulting in the Case of Illness and Misfortune
Why do Igbo people “go to ask,” ihe ekwo aju?
For stirring aetiologies and the key remedy
Urge to come to terms with lasting, chronic or acute cares
Best Practices in View of Conducting Divination
Transformative techniques of consultation mood
Observing rules and sacredness, iwu na nso ogige afa
Service or consultation fee, ego ajuju
Preliminary questions and state of uncertainty
Modes of divination and divinatory techniques
Key types of divination and devices
Hanging or roof string divination, afa nwaekpe
Mirror divination mode, iga n’ enyo
Small mirror divination, afa enyo nta
Grand mirror divination, afa enyo ukwu
Concrete Case of St. Joseph’s Grand Mirror Consulting Centre
Consulting Processes
CASE 37: Case regarding a village community consulting the grand mirror
Book divination, afa akwukwo nso
Seed-object divination, afa mkpuru okwe (igba okwe)
Glass of water divination, afa iko mmiri
Mami wota oracular divination, afa eze nwanyi
Sand divination, afa aja ala
Palm divination, afa olule aka
Burial ground divination, mbara olili ozu
Mediumistic divination, oga ozi agbara
Ants divination, afa umu ahuhu (afa ibu anyi nwandanda)
Intuitive medical gaze, afa olule anya okenye
Poison oracle, afa udu nwalika
Basin of water divination, afa ite or efere mmiri
Introduction
Pathways to healing
A Healing Theory of Symbolic Release
Definition and Explanation
Of trees and symbolic release
Processes Involved
Tying ritual, ihe ekike or amuma ekike
On moods and colours
Trees and Culture
Trees and shrines
Palm tree of life flow, nkwu alo
The rite of the palm tree of life flow, olili alulo
Herbalism and Knowledge
Plants and spirits
Herbal research and healing centres
Plants for healing versus harming
Roots and Treatment
Roots therapy and stages of treatment
First stage: To clear the eyes and brain, ikuho anya
Second stage: Mixture of roots and herbs, ifo ogwu
Medicinal plant materials and desired effects
Explanatory logic of herbal therapy for body and environment
The third stage: Pot of spirit curse, ite arusi or mburuoma arusi
The fifth stage: Dealing with symptomatic outfits, omume si n’ara
Time maintenance therapy and relapse
The Final Stage of Cure
Protecting the body, igbushi ahu
Pacifying the land, iji ala
Case 44—Anthonia: “I am now smiling!”
Healing Churches and Christian Faith-Healing
Prevalence
Ways of Faith Healing
Case 45a: Brother Christo’s healing compound
GENERAL CONCLUSION
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY
INDEX
P. 1
Healing Insanity: A Study of Igbo Medicine in Contemporary Nigeria

Healing Insanity: A Study of Igbo Medicine in Contemporary Nigeria

Ratings: (0)|Views: 2,434 |Likes:
Published by Xlibris
Healing Insanity: A Study of Igbo Medicine in Contemporary Nigeria is an original and in-depth study on endogenous medical system in an African society. It is craftly written; and provides a solid insight, through case studies and theory, into how insanity affects patients and the society. Particularly, it explores various collective representations and strategies regarding insanity and healing as it examines the healing institutions, healers, and ritual cults. The central question is, given the patterns of healing, how do the Igbo shape the incidence and symptoms of insanity, define its aetiology, and provide healers with culture-specific resources and skills to address this illness? The focus became increasingly centred on bodily semantics and endogenous knowledge systems and practices. Dr. Patrick Iroegbu’s work is a very valuable and rare study and has appeared at a desirable time. It is, for an African society, a comprehensive study of the many ways Igbo people, in their practical, routinelike attitudes and body-centred experiences, as well as in their more reflective aetiologic knowledge and healing institutions, relate to the phenomenon of insanity, or ara, in the cultural parlance. As the first of its kind, reminiscent of, and assured by, the various remarks of Igbo scholars and leaders at various meetings and discourses, the task this work has set out to accomplish is a very brave one. The author’s account of his fieldwork experiences and adopted techniques illustrates his initiation, revealing him as a genuine ethnographer who is a “friend of people and at ease with his field.” With both the far-seeing and inspiring analysis of Igbo medicine, life, and culture accounted for in the work, the book stands out for ethnographers, teachers, students, leaders, policymakers, and the general public.This is a book that deserves to be read as it shapes the critical path towards understanding ways of healing insanity in a culture-specific context, crosscutting perspectives for a relationship between indigenous healing and the biomedical sphere. – Prof. René Devisch (Africa Research Centre, University of Leuven)This book is written with a clear purpose for everyone to read – to understand and heal insanity – and indeed provides a thick piece of cultural philosophy and vernacular of Igbo medicine in hopes of putting cultural wisdom in pursuit of integral health care development. – Pantaleon Iroegbu (Professor of Philosophy, Major-Seminary, Ekpoma, January 2006)To read this book, as I did, is to get the benefit of Dr. Patrick Iroegbu’s ethnographic insight for an archetypical African healing system in Igboland. It offers a fascinating theory of symbolic release that speaks of African symbolic action and knowledge system. – Paul Komba, Esq. (University of Cambridge)
Healing Insanity: A Study of Igbo Medicine in Contemporary Nigeria is an original and in-depth study on endogenous medical system in an African society. It is craftly written; and provides a solid insight, through case studies and theory, into how insanity affects patients and the society. Particularly, it explores various collective representations and strategies regarding insanity and healing as it examines the healing institutions, healers, and ritual cults. The central question is, given the patterns of healing, how do the Igbo shape the incidence and symptoms of insanity, define its aetiology, and provide healers with culture-specific resources and skills to address this illness? The focus became increasingly centred on bodily semantics and endogenous knowledge systems and practices. Dr. Patrick Iroegbu’s work is a very valuable and rare study and has appeared at a desirable time. It is, for an African society, a comprehensive study of the many ways Igbo people, in their practical, routinelike attitudes and body-centred experiences, as well as in their more reflective aetiologic knowledge and healing institutions, relate to the phenomenon of insanity, or ara, in the cultural parlance. As the first of its kind, reminiscent of, and assured by, the various remarks of Igbo scholars and leaders at various meetings and discourses, the task this work has set out to accomplish is a very brave one. The author’s account of his fieldwork experiences and adopted techniques illustrates his initiation, revealing him as a genuine ethnographer who is a “friend of people and at ease with his field.” With both the far-seeing and inspiring analysis of Igbo medicine, life, and culture accounted for in the work, the book stands out for ethnographers, teachers, students, leaders, policymakers, and the general public.This is a book that deserves to be read as it shapes the critical path towards understanding ways of healing insanity in a culture-specific context, crosscutting perspectives for a relationship between indigenous healing and the biomedical sphere. – Prof. René Devisch (Africa Research Centre, University of Leuven)This book is written with a clear purpose for everyone to read – to understand and heal insanity – and indeed provides a thick piece of cultural philosophy and vernacular of Igbo medicine in hopes of putting cultural wisdom in pursuit of integral health care development. – Pantaleon Iroegbu (Professor of Philosophy, Major-Seminary, Ekpoma, January 2006)To read this book, as I did, is to get the benefit of Dr. Patrick Iroegbu’s ethnographic insight for an archetypical African healing system in Igboland. It offers a fascinating theory of symbolic release that speaks of African symbolic action and knowledge system. – Paul Komba, Esq. (University of Cambridge)

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Publish date: Jun 1, 2010
Added to Scribd: Jun 10, 2010
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reservedISBN:9781450096270
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