Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Disease Change and the Role of Medicine: The Navajo Experience$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Stephen Kunitz

Print publication date: 1983

Print ISBN-13: 9780520049260

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520049260.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

Traditional Navajo Health Beliefs and Practices

Traditional Navajo Health Beliefs and Practices

(p.118) 4 Traditional Navajo Health Beliefs and Practices
Disease Change and the Role of Medicine: The Navajo Experience

Stephen J. Kunitz

University of California Press

This chapter discusses traditional Navajo beliefs regarding disease causation, patterns of utilization of traditional healers, and changes from Navajo religion to peyotism and Christianity. In the opinion of most observers, Navajos classify disease by etiologic agent, and each healing ceremony is known by the causal factors it is thought to cure. Though there are differences between peyotism, traditional Navajo religion, and Navajo Christianity, it is doubtful that these differences reflect corresponding differences in health concepts. There are insufficient data to determine whether ceremonial cures have either a beneficial or deleterious effect on any specific diseases. The Navajo predilection for using modern and traditional therapy collectively shows that a poor utilization of services is less the result of adherence to native beliefs than of difficulties of access to hospitals and of poor communication between patients and medical staff.

Keywords:   traditional Navajo beliefs, traditional healers, disease causation, peyotism, Christianity

California Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.