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Title: Lay healers and sorcerers in Malta (1770-1798)
Authors: Ciappara, Francis
Keywords: Healers -- Malta -- History -- 18th century
Witchcraft -- Malta -- History – 18th century
Issue Date: 1978
Publisher: Malta University Historical Society
Citation: Ciappara, F. (1978). Lay healers and sorcerers in Malta (1770-1798). Storja 78, 60-76.
Abstract: What is the power of the mind over the body? What is the degree of psychological or psychic manipulation that may be exercised over any person? Selecting numerous cases indicating popular beliefs in the supernatural, and methods of folk medicine – from confessions before the Inquisition Tribunal – Francis Ciappara here throws some light on the dubious faith of the simple man in moments of pain, including some most weird superstitious practices caused partly by medical insufficiency and party by an exotic, if not actually magical, disposition to life. We may laugh, but these extreme cases are recorded as having actually happened throughout the Maltese islands not so many generations ago; nor are beliefs relating to such things as the evil eye and “natural doctors” alien to contemporary Maltese society: and indeed there appear to be no ultimate explanation of the phenomenon other than, possibly, the simplistic disdain for “ignorance”. A more profound analysis would certainly make a worthwhile contribution to our understanding of social history.
Appears in Collections:Storja 1978
Storja 1978

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