Bodily remembering: memory, place, and understanding Latino folk illnesses among the Amuzgos Indians of Oaxaca, Mexico.
- PubMed: 17929152
This paper takes the theoretical construct of popular nosology of Latino folk illnesses and combines it with Edward Casey's concept of bodily remembering in order to more fully describe the role of memory and place in the illness experiences of the Amuzgos Indians of Oaxaca, Mexico. I ethnographically describe, across time, the interrelated links among social events, physical symptoms, and illness narratives of Latino folk illness popular nosologies as they are contextualized in their unique, social topographies. This enlarged theoretical perspective implies a smallest unit of meaning that is ethnographically defined, but that will often encompass more than the individual sufferer and more than one illness. The research objective of this study was to understand Amuzgan illness experiences through the narratives of detailed case histories and ethnographic observations that were gathered during 18 months of qualitative research. The data show that Amuzgos experience Latino folk illnesses as bodily rememberings of illness events combined with negative interpersonal interactions. Healing these Latino folk illnesses implies curing bodies, households, social relationships, and living environments.