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Full Access Going Beyond Elite Medical Traditions: The Case of Chandshi

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Going Beyond Elite Medical Traditions: The Case of Chandshi

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image of Asian Medicine

The historian's overwhelming reliance on textual sources has kept the tradition of 'Chandshi' outside the view of the rich corpus of South Asian medical historiography that has developed of late. By supplementing the scant textual evidence by personal interviews and sittings in the clinics of these physicians, I seek to re-construct the history of this little-known, nontextual medical tradition practised by members of a socially dis-privileged caste group. By studying the present modes of self-presentation, I suggest that the search for status and legitimacy may have, in the past, led physicians of this system to speak of themselves as ayurvedic rather than Chandshipractitioners.


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