Perhaps the best-documented epidemic in the history of medicine, kuru has been studied for more than fifty years by international investigators from medicine and the human sciences. This significantly revised edition of the landmark anthropological classic Kuru Sorcery brings up to date the anthropological contribution to understanding disease, the medical research that resulted in two medical Nobel Prizes, and the views of the Fore people who endured the epidemic and who still believe that sorcerers, rather than cannibalism, caused kuru. The kuru epidemic serves as a prism through which to see how Fore notions of disease causation bring into single focus their views about the body, the world of social and spiritual relations, and changes in economic and political conditions-aspects of thought and behaviour that Western medicine keeps separate.
Shirley Lindenbaum is Professor Emerita of Anthropology at the CUNY-Graduate Center, New York.
Preface 1 Introduction 2 Kuru and Sorcery 3 Other Medical Disorders 4 Extensions of Self 5 Etiology and World View 6 Ideology in Transition 7 The Crisis Years 8 The Kibungs 9 Status and the Sorcerer 10 Polluters, Witches, and Sorcerers 11 Conclusion 1979 12 Telling History 13 The End of Kuru Epilogue