I separate the practice of holistic healing in
Haiti in three different parts:
unique in that healers are not expected to be professionals. Having learned
the positive effect of a recipe through past experience, he or she is able
to offer it to a sick person only as a suggestion.
By so doing, that compassionate healer, consciously or
unconsciously, accomplishes a cultural act and also a medical one, though he
or she may never feel concerned by matters of methods and principles.
It is well understood, in this case, that the treatment
is only making use of a "Simple",
this type of social Medicine being generally described as "The Simple
method of healing", or
The Haitian people refer to it by such an expression
because, probably, of the limited scope of such an activity.
is only practiced by professionals.
The latter are of diverse types as a supremely recognized
healer, he or she may bear the title of Hugan
(man) or Manbo / Hugbonn
The Hugan and Manbo, guardians
of the ancestral tradition, are theoretically fully equivalent in
the exercise of their function when both of them have learned the same way
the correct utilization of plants and herbs and the manner to correlate them
to people’s ailments.
However, there also exist, a wide number of other
healers, such as :
reigning here are based upon the
dynamism of a certain concept of Life named energy, meaning a Force that has
no mass but has definite potentialities of action.
Divinity is seen as the source of all lives, thus of all
energies, and ultimately, Her Energy is always tapped by the professionals
to carry out cures.
The human being is also seen as an energy of a lesser
dimension, as are animals, plants and everything else that possess life.
All function well within a normal range, and out of the
norms, or outside of the normal range of energy, the person is recognized to
be sick, and feels that way.
All three systems are in
use side by side in Haiti. Fitting well together, they act as complementary to
each other and to University Medicine. Highly appreciated by the population who
turns to them nine times out of ten, they reduce proportionately the load of the
Hospitals and of the Physicians who, in spite of that, still seem overworked by
what is left for them to do. However, no government in Haiti has ever recognized
the existence of such a parallel form of Medical practice and no credit, no
support and no encouragement have ever been given to the Traditionalists.