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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Hat on - hat off: trauma and trepanation in Kisii, western Kenya
Author:Mahone, SloanISNI
Year:2014
Periodical:Journal of Eastern African Studies (ISSN 1753-1063)
Volume:8
Issue:3
Pages:331-345
Language:English
Geographic term:Kenya
Subjects:Gusii
psychiatry
traditional medicine
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/17531055.2014.900959
Abstract:In 1957, Kenya's government psychiatrist and director of the colony's Mathari Mental Hospital, psychiatrist Edward Margetts, travelled to western Kenya to investigate the practice of trepanation among the Gusii people in Kisii District. Applied to relieve pressure on the brain by scraping away a portion of the skull with a hooked knife, trepanation was exceptionally rare by the 20th century, but remained common in Kisii where the operations are conducted by a group of skilled practitioners. This article uses materials from Margetts' personal papers, including photographs, diaries and clinical notes, to describe and examine the practice of trepanation in Kisii in the 1950s, concluding with a discussion of the social meaning of trepanation and trauma in modern Kenya. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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