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Four Kenyan shaman or medicine men dressed in ceremonial costume, South east Asia. Halftone.

Reference
21495i
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Credit: Four Kenyan shaman or medicine men dressed in ceremonial costume, South east Asia. Halftone. Wellcome Collection. Public Domain Mark

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About this work

Physical description

1 process print : halftone ; image 9.5 x 15.2 cm

Lettering

The fanatic dance of Kenyah medicine-men. By the courtesy of Dr. A.W. Niewenhuis.

Notes

On the same mount is a related print of the Kenyan medicine-men performing a ritual dance; on the reverse is record number: 21487

Lettering note

Lettering continues: "When a person is very seriously ill it is supposed that it is because his spirit has temporarily left his body, and a special soul-catcher is summoned whose duty it is to attempt to persuade the soul to return again. The Dayong, to give him his correct name, goes through various frantic movements, which are supposed to represent his spirit's journey to overtake the departed spirit. Suddenly he will look into his bright sword and wave it telling the anxious persons around him that his soul has overtaken that of the ill person. At this stage the Dayong produces a minute ball of wax which is supposed to contain the spirit; this is rubbed on the patient's head to place it back in the body. A bracelet is then tied round the wrist to tie the spirit in and prevent its escape in future."

Reference

Wellcome Library no. 21495i

Languages

  • English


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