chapter  3
36 Pages

Klein, Bion, and intersubjectivity: becoming, transforming, and dreaming

The guinea pig is a common pet and also is a metaphorical subject of an experiment who is a research model for diseases in humans. Native to the Andes mountains, the guinea pig, or cuy in Spanish, serves as an important diagnostic tool to the folk doctors who tend to the indigenous people:

Before diagnosing a patient’s illness, the folk doctor often chews coca leaves . . . or alcohol to prevent diagnostic mistakes. The folk doctor rubs the patient’s body from head to toe with a live cuy. . . . Then he slits the animal’s abdomen, examines the rodent’s organs and either diagnoses the illness or pronounces the patient’s cure.