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Index de Enfermería

versión impresa ISSN 1132-1296


PAZ REVEROL, Carmen Laura et al. To be a wayuu healer during globalization times, and how not to die trying. Index Enferm [online]. 2010, vol.19, n.2-3, pp.88-92. ISSN 1132-1296.

The starting point of this research is the interests for analyzing the role of the healer or "outshi" of the wayuu people in Venezuela in view of the dynamics of the present mixture of cultural barriers and the changes that haven taken place with regard to the perception of his role, the efficiency or not of the treatments provided by him, the different therapeutic itineraries, the falling back on other healing models, the migration to urban zones and the new practices and representations assumed by him in view of the changes. Using ethnographic qualitative methodology, we managed to share in the experiences of six healers of the wayuu people in the Venezuelan Guajira Peninsula, Municipality Paez, State Zulia, Venezuela. By means of the same it was able to capture the sense and the significance that the illness meant for them and the treatment of the same in the framework of their healing system. For the gathering of information, observation and in depth interviews were used as basic strategies. Several common grounds were found among the living experiences of the healers with regard to their role among the wayuu people, which evidenced the concern for losing the essence of the wayuu healer. Nevertheless, some variations have been found which allow us to speak of the difference that exists between the manifestations and the perceptions of each subject regarding the importance that persists within the wayuu healing system in order to provide answers to the healing processes of illnesses that have been recognized within the culture. In conclusion, at present, not only the ever changing crossing over of the cultural barrier on the part of the wayuu healer but also his validity as to his representations and healing practice has produced changes in the functions and the characteristics of the wayuu healer activity, thus providing seconds thoughts about his social role within the framework of a globalization that bets on his disappearance.

Palabras clave : Wayuu; Healer; Globalization; Guajira; Venezuela.

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