The Scalpel and the Silver Bear - Study Guide Chapter Six, Ceremony Medicine Summary & Analysis

Lori Alvord
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The Navajo had no word for cancer, so one of Alvord's patients named it. Alvord's Navajo patients could not comprehend it. They could not believe it was not contagious. Cancer scared Alvord enormously; after the millions poured into cancer research, good cures were still not available. Among the Navajo, it was a great horror, supposedly caused by an evil action or bad deed. Much of Alvord's observations were associated with a patient named Carolyn Yazzie who had breast cancer. Alvord decided to have Carolyn arrange a song for herself and to bring in a medicine man.

Carolyn disappeared for a week; Alvord found her at a Night Chant, a ceremony held for the sick. Many showed up for the ceremony and the songs sung told of the beauty of the universe. Alvord described the beauty of the ceremony. Everyone...

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This section contains 325 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy The Scalpel and the Silver Bear Study Guide
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