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Making A Medical Living: On The Monetisation Of Tibetan Medicine In Spiti

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Chapter Summary

This chapter sheds light on the contradictions and problems of making a living as a rural medical practitioner in present-day Spiti in contrast to amchi in other well-established centres of Tibetan medicine. The complex social rootedness in the exchange of gifts between amchi and their patients is examined by following Marcel Mauss' analysis of gift and counter-gift, as expounded in his famous work The Gift (1954). The chapter discusses the altruism and the ethical, social and medical obligations of the amchi grounded in their tradition, and their continued socio-medical relevance up to the present day. To introduce the contemporary conditions of Tibetan medicine in Spiti, the chapter describes the particular situation of the amchi of the Pin Valley area.

Keywords: amchi; Marcel Mauss; medical practitioner; Monetisation; Pin Valley area; Spiti; Tibetan medicine



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    Proceedings of the Tenth Seminar of the IATS, 2003. Volume 10: Soundings in Tibetan Medicine — Recommend this title to your library
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