Primitive Surgery

During the Middle Ages those who practiced the art of surgery were regarded as different or inferior to those who practiced other methods of healing more accepted at the time. For several centuries after that period, surgeons remained separated from the body of medicine.
This is a shocking concept because in society today surgery has become a large and well-known part of medicine-if only as one of its specialties. The article “Primitive Surgery” discusses just that, the methods of healing from the internal communities of primitive tribes and how far these tribes have advanced.
In the article the main discussion was focused on the methods Masai, Native American, African and Oceania tribes used to heal their sick and wounded. As stated by the author, “There is no tribe on record which does not in some way or other treat wounds”, and after observation of the skill level and the approaches tribes have towards medicine (herbs, magic, rituals), it is notable that, “Wound treatment by primitives is in general regarded as ‘good’.” That is, for what they are able to do. Tribes are generally very limited when it comes to advanced and intrusive procedures, as they have not been able to progress far enough in medicine to do many of the procedures without high risk factors.
This brings us to why these tribes have not advanced further while they have proven they have the capability and manual skills. The author suggests that the main possibilities for their lack in advancement are that they had no need for surgery, they lack technological skill, they lack certain areas of knowledge vital for efficient and effective surgeries, and their socio-mental state limiting their expansion beyond the current combination of minor treatment and supernaturalist approaches. It is also clear that, while the tribes may not be heavily developed in the medical field, they have yet to feel any need to change their ways.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1525/aa.1947.49.1.02a00030/pdf

 

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