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The Medicine Men: Oglala Sioux Ceremony and Healing (Studies in the Anthropology of North Ame)
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The weakest point of the book is that Lewis never bothered to actually learn about Lakota healing; the book is written from a Westerner's "rational" perspective, taking no account of the reality of the indigenous view of the world and its mysteries. "Why", asks Lewis, do these people "rely on the imagery of the unreal, the mysteries of mythological formations, the magical techniques"? His answer is that the modern Lakota healer acts basically as a psychotherapist, reassuring his clients and weaving them back into the web of mutual social obligations. In my opinion, and experience, Lewis' contrast between the "magical thought" of the healers he encountered and the "scientific thought" he ascribes to himself look nowadays a bit naive and passe.Read more ›