African Religions in African Scholarship: A Critique
This chapter shows the nature and reasons for the resilience of indigenous medicine among the Amasiri. It argues that an understanding of the socio-religious context of the Amasiri is crucial in order to value the extent to which the services of indigenous healers are sought, even in contemporary times. Indigenous healers appear to be the key health resource for several Nigerian groups, including the Amasiri clan. Interestingly, for instance, even though the majority of the African population utilizes indigenous medicine services, in many African nations indigenous medicine technically remains illegal. The World Health Organization's 2001 survey of the legal status of indigenous and complementary/alternative medicine revealed that of the 44 African nations surveyed, 61 per cent had legal statutes regarding indigenous medicine. Among the Amasiri, health appears to be valued above wealth. Health for many Amasiri therefore does not merely entail a healthy body or a healthy mind.