medicine man

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medicine man,

among Native Americans and other traditional peoples as far back as Paleolithic times, a person believed to possess supernatural healing powers. Like the shamanshaman
, religious practitioner in various, generally small-scale societies who is believed to be able to diagnose, cure, and sometimes cause illness because of a special relationship with, or control over, spirits.
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 the medicine man was a specialist in spiritual healing. In some groups, women could assume an analogous role. The medicine man was often accorded many powers, including the ability to inflict pain, promote fertility, and secure good hunting and fishing. Most Native Americans typically regarded illness as resulting from the entry of malignancy into the body, or the departure of the soul from a body—through violation of a taboo or through the activities of a sorcerer from an enemy tribe. The medicine man strove through his ritual to remove or cast out the illness from the patient, or to induce the soul to return to a patient's body. The rituals might involve a variety of techniques (e.g., bloodletting, application of herbs, or the suction of the malignancy from the patient's body). Some traditional herbal remedies were undoubtedly efficacious; other practices, though deceptive, may have been of psychological benefit to the patient.

medicine man

(among certain peoples, esp North American Indians) a person believed to have supernatural powers of healing; a magician or sorcerer
References in periodicals archive ?
BEAUTIFUL British actress Jane Seymour - star of Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman - is a medicine woman in real life.
Morin-Fehr was adamant that she shouldn't be called a shaman or medicine woman, (titles bestowed only after menopause in women, and years of experience, study and well-earned respect), but rather a healer or herbalist.
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Gladys Tantaquidgeon (1899-) is a medicine woman of the Mohegan tribe.
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Quinn, Medicine Woman," "Touched By An Angel," "Picket Fences" and the cult favorite "Northern Exposure.
Coyle, a Cherokee medicine woman who splits her time between Sunland and the mountains above Sedalia, Colo.