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[Midwives in the Andean communities: a form of female shamanism?] Hebammenwesen im Andenraum: eine form des weiblichen Schamanismus?
Curare. 1997 Nov; (Spec No):303-312.Acquiring an understanding of Andean midwives and their functions under consideration of their cultural background is seen as a challenge. From the viewpoint of village inhabitants, midwives are regarded as recognized members of the community, and are honored and respected because of their healing function. For this reason they are also of interest to public health institutions, who attempt to integrate them as potential representatives of basic public health care services. However, these efforts have not remained unchallenged, and they present the basis for a cultural conflict, which has contributed to misunderstandings concerning the true dimension of their personality, role and function as a representative element and as a symbol of cultural life in the indigenous Andean community. (author's)