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Culturally Embedded Restoration:Concept, Agency and Method of Traditional Practices in Northern Kerala


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1 Zakir Husain Center for Educational Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, India
     

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This paper explores the concept, agency and the method of traditional healing practices in northern Kerala, with a special focus on the way it is being practiced by the Malayan community in Kannur district of the state, and seeks to examine how these are embedded in the socio-cultural settings of the region. From the review of the studies on healing perspectives across the world this study build the primary focus of this paper to illuminate the varied aspects of the restorative practices of the Malayan community which are given less attention while studying the traditional healing practices by others. Based on the relational model, this paper draws qualitative data from the case-study of the performers who have been carrying out healing practices in the region. These practices are culturally rooted in the inter-subjective and collective consciousness of the people who form as an interdependent caste group in many northern Kerala villages. Fundamentally, these traditional restorative practices have their origins in the belief that pollution to the family and villages is the major cause for psychological disturbances and that their removals by rituals, performed by their traditional hereditary agency of removing such pollution can ensure enhancement of well-being of the people. This belief in the power of the rituals to heal has acquired the status of cultural practices, over the years. Even though increasing acceptance of modern concept of mental health and diseases have whittled down the dependence on and importance of the traditional healing practices amongst both the community and the villagers today, some of their practices are still accepted widely, because they still are etched deep in the collective consciousness of the people of this region.

Keywords

Relational Model, Inter-Subjective, Collective Consciousness, Hereditary Agency, Restorative Practices.
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  • Culturally Embedded Restoration:Concept, Agency and Method of Traditional Practices in Northern Kerala

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Authors

K. Vijith
Zakir Husain Center for Educational Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, India

Abstract


This paper explores the concept, agency and the method of traditional healing practices in northern Kerala, with a special focus on the way it is being practiced by the Malayan community in Kannur district of the state, and seeks to examine how these are embedded in the socio-cultural settings of the region. From the review of the studies on healing perspectives across the world this study build the primary focus of this paper to illuminate the varied aspects of the restorative practices of the Malayan community which are given less attention while studying the traditional healing practices by others. Based on the relational model, this paper draws qualitative data from the case-study of the performers who have been carrying out healing practices in the region. These practices are culturally rooted in the inter-subjective and collective consciousness of the people who form as an interdependent caste group in many northern Kerala villages. Fundamentally, these traditional restorative practices have their origins in the belief that pollution to the family and villages is the major cause for psychological disturbances and that their removals by rituals, performed by their traditional hereditary agency of removing such pollution can ensure enhancement of well-being of the people. This belief in the power of the rituals to heal has acquired the status of cultural practices, over the years. Even though increasing acceptance of modern concept of mental health and diseases have whittled down the dependence on and importance of the traditional healing practices amongst both the community and the villagers today, some of their practices are still accepted widely, because they still are etched deep in the collective consciousness of the people of this region.

Keywords


Relational Model, Inter-Subjective, Collective Consciousness, Hereditary Agency, Restorative Practices.