The Ancient and the Modern Confluence of Ethno-Science Praxis In Yoruba Traditional Bone Healing

Tegbe Ebenezer Adekola Ph.D


Yoruba traditional bone-healing involves mental activity of organizing symbols into ritual formations. The ritual formations entail the use of specific biological and physical patterns similar to the problematic health conditions of patients. The symbols are metaphors, that connect the health conditions of patients with Yoruba worldviews, explicating thereby an indigenous scientific knowledge of treatment. This study is concerned with an ethnographic exploration of bone-healing as health-related phenomenon transcending the delicately liminal zone between socio-economic, bio-cultural and the spiritual in terms of healing and caring process. It examined the complex interface of ethno-science and Western medicine in treatment procedure which extricate herbal and non-herbal materials prescribed to patients in the administration of healing in the context of treating bones and spinal-column injuries by bone-healers. The relationship between physical, bio-cultural, symbolic/abstract factors of healing within the context of indigenous knowledge application of bone and spinal-column treatment are expressed in metaphors of gender, colour and number embodied in ethno-science.

Keywords: Ethno-science, Bone-healing, Symbols, Herbal, Bio-Cultural