Bleeders and healers in Brazil (1808-28)

Based on documentation from the institution known as the Fisicatura-mor (1808-28), and mainly on proceedings involving its official ‘accreditation’ of medical activities, this analysis of popular therapists opens access to categories like bleeders and healers, who were persecuted for their activities down through the nineteenth century. The curing practices employed by these bleeders and curandeiros ranked low on the hierarchy of procedures acceptable by the Fisicatura-mor. Quantitative data analysis demonstrates a link between these practices and disadvantaged social positions. Also analyzed was information that popular therapists and their clientele provided on these practices and on how they are accepted.

history of medicine; popular therapists; Fisicatura-mor


Casa de Oswaldo Cruz, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz Av. Brasil, 4365 - Prédio do Relógio, 21040-900 Rio de Janeiro RJ Brazil, Tel./Fax: (55 21) 3865-2208/2195/2196 - Rio de Janeiro - RJ - Brazil
E-mail: hscience@coc.fiocruz.br