Report an error   


Submitted: 10 December 2015 Modified: 10 December 2015
HERDIN Record #: CAR-UCBCF-15121008503311

Science and indigenous health knowledge and practices.

Erlinda C. Palaganas

See More



























































































This paper is derived from the research project entitled, "Mainstreaming Indigenous
Health Knowledge and Practices," conducted by Palaganas, et al. (2000). It was conceived
in response to the urgent need to 'capture' and document indigenous health knowledge
before it is undermined and obliterated by the influx of modernity into the indigenous
communities in the Cordillera. The Cordillera communities are increasingly drawn into
the orbit of the dominant and mainstream Philippine culture, which is necessarily
heavily influenced by secularized modern culture.
     This paper: a) presents the identified indigenous health knowledge and practices of 
indigenous women in Badeo, throughout the life cycle, and b) provides validation of these 
indigenous knowledge and practices as an effort to propagate the indigenous knowledge 
and practices as valid, feasible and practical. "Validation" entails both the participants' 
viewpoint of the validity of the knowledge and practice and the identification of the 
rational-scientific basis of indigenous health knowledge and practices. Both conventional
medicine and indigenous health knowledge and practices, though, ought to be recognized 
as components of a holistic health approach.
     The study shows that aside from working in the talon and uma, engaging in por dia
work and their duties at home, Kankanaey women play an important role as healers.
They serve as mabunong or traditional healers, performing the prescribed cure rituals
to ensure health and well-being of the members of the community. The concept of 
health of the people of Badeo is integrally related to their belief system. They believe
in the existence of unseen beings and spirits, who posses the power to grant good
fortune or inflict evil such as diseases. Human beings can appease the spirits by way of 
rituals and sacrificial offering of ritual animals, such as pigs and chicken. These indige-
nous knowledge and practices related to health continue to persist despite the inroads
made by modern medicine. Many of these beliefs, are of great value while some may
be harmful. Often, it is difficult to distinguish the harmful beliefs based on mere supers-
tition from those that are  useful and scientific. It would be helpful if researchers and
health practitioners keep an open mind in assessing the value of these indigenous
health knowledge and practices.

Publication Type
Others
Place of Publication
Baguio City
Publication Date
2001

Objectives
















This paper: a) presents the identified indigenous health knowledge and practices of 
indigenous women in Badeo, throughout the life cycle, and b) provides validation of these 
indigenous knowledge and practices as an effort to propagate the indigenous knowledge 
and practices as valid, feasible and practical.