Ireland 2012

Preliminary Fieldwork/Pilot Study in Western Ireland 

As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, this summer I am going to be in Ireland conducting an 8 week preliminary investigation of Irish Folk Medicine (a subject which is far more complex than that description might led you to think).  Irish folk healing insects my two academic areas of specialization medical anthropology and the anthropology of religion.   I am particularly interested in the impact of belief (as an action/neurophysiological process) and beliefs (body of knowledge) on wellness- health maintenance and illness recovery.  I hope to investigate this in the context of Irish folk medicine.  So in short, this 8 week long trip to Ireland will hopefully let me meet and discuss my topic with Irish anthropologists and folklorists; interview Irish people about their experiences and knowledge of Irish folk medicine; determine an appropriate location/locations for me to conduct my research; and establish the significance of my research within the local context.  Here’s hoping!

2 thoughts on “Ireland 2012

  1. I have heard from a man in county Limerick that a white witch still practices here in Cork, though I have not followed-up personally. Also, my partner’s mom received healing from someone in Donegal who had the healing for heart problems (I think it was). She used the oatmeal under the chair thing. His father also experienced healing from the famous holy well outside Letterkenny. What I am hearing most about are new age practices. I will keep following your blog, as I have an interest in the older generation who actually practice the indigenous tech as opposed to the new crystal-reiki-angel things.


    1. Like you, I’ve found the new age practices are much easier to come across. There is a 7th Son Healer in there area I am at now, but I am having trouble tracking him down. I’ve been to a couple of the healing wells in the area, I’ll post about those soon but I want to go see one in County Sligo first. My research is going a little slow at the moment because most of the people I speak with know about the newer stuff or spas or acupuncture type treatments. Perhaps, I’m not in the right part of the country at the moment. If you know anything about how to track down the white witch in Cork or the other healers you’ve mentioned that would really be a big help.


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