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The role and practices of the curandeiro and saludador in early modern Portuguese society

O papel e as práticas dos curandeiros e saludadores na sociedade portuguesa no início da idade moderna

This paper will explore the role and practices of magic-using folk healers - curandeiros and saludadores - in early modern Portuguese society. The article will examine the ambivalent place of the folk healer as a figure both central to and marginal in Portuguese popular culture. In considering some of the services offered by unlicensed popular healers and their recourse to the unorthodox magical means inherent in popular curing, the paper will investigate curandeiros' and saludadores' illicit sources of power. Further, this work will examine the prominence of men as folk healers in southern Portugal during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Finally, by looking at the notoriety of Luso-African folk healers, the paper will assess the importance of race as a factor in the culture of Portuguese magical curing.

folk-healers; Portuguese society; Portuguese popular culture; popular curing; seventeenth/eighteenth centuries

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