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Tales Of A Shaman's Parentice Analysis

Decent Essays
Today, it is often thought that the western way is the best way. We are constantly pushing our religion, technology, medicine, and entire culture onto others, especially indigenous peoples. Our way of living in seen as “positive, universal goods, to be obtained at any price,” (Bodley, p. 107). And this price includes sacrificing indigenous peoples own culture. Bodley later explains that western culture is negatively impacting the indigenous peoples and he specially focuses on the biomedical aspect. Upon being “blessed” with western culture, indigenous people are suffering many medical consequences exclusive to our advanced society. Mark Plotkin, also, expands on this topic in his book Tales of a Shaman’s Apprentice and argues that biomedicine doesn’t compare to ethnobotanical knowledge of indigenous people.
From the beginning, western expansion has devastated indigenous people with diseases from malaria to modern diabetes, obesity, and malnutrition, etc. Some of these diseases proving to be incurable by modern medicine, we give up and accept to live with the disease. However, such should not be the case. Plotkin’s novel is a perfect example
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Plotkin’s work is a perfect example of this. He uses his knowledge and study of indigenous peoples of South American to inform the people of our advanced society that there may be better medical knowledge that what we have. Plotkin does admit that “no one system has all the answers,” (Plotkin, p. 237), but he is arguing that the best answer would be to combine our medicine with theirs. He shows us that there are cures, there are amazing medicinal plants that we could use; however, we have forgotten that the cures exist. He is trying to save that knowledge as he explains that it “is going to vanish… species are disappearing, but the knowledge of how to use those species is disappearing at an even faster rate,” (Plotkin, p.
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