Hoodoo Medicine: Gullah Herbal Remedies

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Author: Mitchell, Faith

Brand: Summerhouse Press

Edition: Revised

Binding: Paperback

Number Of Pages: 120

Release Date: 11-11-2011

Details: Product Description Hoodoo Medicine is a unique record of nearly lost African-American folk culture. It documents herbal medicines used for centuries, from the 1600s until recent decades, by the slaves and later their freed descendants, in the South Carolina Sea Islands. The Sea Island people, also called the Gullah, were unusually isolated from other slave groups by the creeks and marshes of the Low Country. They maintained strong African influences on their speech, social customs, and beliefs, long after other American blacks had lost this connection. Likewise, their folk medicine mixed medicines that originated in Africa with cures learned from the American Indians and European settlers. Hoodoo Medicine is a window into Gullah traditions, which in recent years have been threatened by the migration of families, the invasion of the Sea Islands by suburban developers, and the gradual death of the elder generation. More than that, it captures folk practices that lasted longer in the Sea Islands than elsewhere, but were once widespread throughout African-American communities of the South. From the Author My first trip to the South Carolina Sea Islands, in 1971, was life changing. Having grown up in Michigan, I was excited about the opportunity to learn more about southern black culture. Up to that time, I had never spent any time in the south. When I got to the Sea Islands I was shocked by the poverty; at that time, telephones, cars, and even running water were still scarce. I was stunned by some of the more remote backwoods settlements, where very little had changed since slavery. But I was most deeply affected by the rich, fertile beauty of the Islands and by the strength and integrity of the families I met - natural wealth that belied the widespread material poverty. I soon discovered that the Sea Islands were also as abundant in culture - ghost stories, animal tales, the Gullah language, plant knowledge - as they were in animal and plant life. These first experiences among the Gullah people led me to a lifelong interest in African American history and culture. From the Back Cover The Sea Island the southeastern Atlantic coast are known for their tropical beauty and for the Gullah people, African-Americans who descended from slavery to develop a distinctive dialect and rich folk heritage. As late as 1960, many of these islands were still unreachable except by boat, thus allowing Gullah culture to remain largely intact. Faith Mitchell, a medical anthropologist, lived with the Gullah people in the1970s to learn firsthand the folk medicine still practiced by its oldest citizens. Today, this knowledge has been nearly lost. Hoodoo Medicine describes in rare detail the medicinal plants and herbs historically used by the Gullah people. Part I includes a brief history of the Sea Islands, and the source for African-American folk medicine. Part II is a directory of all the medicinal roots, herbs and plants, detailing their use in the Gullah culture as well as Native American and Euro-American uses. Included are more than 50 drawings of various medicinal plants. About the Author I am a medical anthropologist who has conducted original research in African American communities in the U.S. and Caribbean, as well as working on social and health policy issues throughout my professional career. My current research interests combine anthropology and genealogy. Hoodoo Medicine: Gullah Herbal Remedies was the first book to fully document and preserve the use of traditional medicines by the Gullah of the Sea Islands. The Gullah have a unique history among African Americans because of their strong legacy of African traditions. In addition to Hoodoo Medicine, I have co-edited several authoritative reports through the National Academies Press (National Academy of Sciences). I have a doctorate in Medical Anthropology from the UC Berkeley-UC San Francisco joint program. My dissertation research, which sparked my interest in policy, was o

Package Dimensions: 9.0 x 6.0 x 0.3 inches

Languages: English