Skip to main content

Table 5 Cardiorespiratory and Systemic Disease Conditions Treated by Shamans of Kwamalasamutu and Përëre Tëpu.

From: Disease concepts and treatment by tribal healers of an Amazonian forest culture

Trio Disease Concept Diagnostic symptom(s) and descriptive field notes
Akuruku Costrochronditis. Stabbing pain (nikonkan) in the thorax on inspiration, such as following from a prolonged respiratory illness.
Ewanë nakuikan Midsternal pain attributed to the heart (ewanë), occurs at rest, associated with palpations, can be fatal, "when it hurts you can die"
Iropï Iropï is the Trio anatomical term for chest but, in context of a disease concept, refers to a complex of thoracic pain accompanied by coughing (tontonkato), labored breathing (nerepakejan) and high fever (këike), suggestive of pneumonia. Trio shamans state that iropï can sometimes prove fatal and is noted to occur as a complication of colds (otono). The modifier tïkëtae (iropïtao tïkëtae) describes the production of a copious, foul-smelling, yellow-green sputum.
Otono Common cold, upper respiratory tract infection. Otono refers a well-recognized complex of rhinorrhea, cough (tontonkato), and pharyngitis.
Otonoimë Otonoimë describes a disease concept, highly suggestive of pulmonary tuberculosis, of a long-standing cough, hemoptysis and night fevers that is reportedly progressively fatal if untreated.
Amiima Fatigue.
Ariminaimë Electric eel (arimina) disease, described electricity going through your body, compared by Trio healers as similar to the sensation experienced on tapping the ulnar nerve at the exposed point on the medical epicondyle. Ariminaimë is distinct from epilepsy (newatanjan), a well recognized but extremely rare disease condition for which there have been no reported cases in recent years.
Arerenna Weakness accompanying chronic illness.
Ijemira Anorexia in the context of illness.
Imununna Anemia, a disease state characterized by loss of conjunctival rubor (ëmperu tikoroje), labored breathing and fatigability (amiima).
Ipun awë atuma Warm flushing of the body with associated diaphoresis (niritan) accompanying illness.
Kankë Trio adaption of the biomedical term cancer. Cervical carcinoma (epah sesereimë) is known to the Trio, the etiology of which was attributed by one elder shaman to a devil spirit arising from the penis.
Këike Fever. Këike is characterized by the Trio as a high grade fever in contrast to sunaime, an early developing low grade fever.
Marareja Trio adaption of the Dutch biomedical term malaria. Kananaman, the traditional Trio term for malaria, a disease concept recognized by cyclic high fevers (këike), bilious emesis (yiwenatae), headache (iputupë nakuikan) as well as corporal and/or scleral icterus (kanamë enu).
Nikëipainjan Malaise. Nikëipainjan refers to prodromal symptoms of a developing illness including rigors (nitëtëpainjan) and myalgias (kukutuma).
Tikurike Lymphadenopathy, often noted in the presence of sickness. Trio healers identify regional distinctions in lymphadenopathy with suffix -piri: ematapiri (inguinal), ijatapiri (axillary), enapiri (cervical-submandibular) and ipanapiri (posterior auricular) lymphadenopathy
Tinome ipun Cold sensation in the body, commented to accompany severe illness such as cancer (kankë).