Preface; Ainu phonemes; 1. Introduction: aims and scope of the book; 2. The Ainu; 3. The ethnomedical approach in anthropology and the Ainu domain of illness; 4. Habitual illnesses; 5. Classification of body-part and skin illnesses; 6. Metaphysical illnesses and their healing rituals; 7. A symbolic interpretation of metaphysical illnesses and healing rituals; 8. Theories in symbolic studies and the Ainu data; 9. Modes of perception and the classification of illnesses: a synthesis; 10. Language and cognition: theoretical and methodological problems in arriving at perceptual categories; 11. Illness, the individual, and society; Appendix A. Details of Ainu habitual illnesses; Appendix B. Beings and objects used in the cures of habitual illnesses; Appendix C. Imu:; Appendix D. Biological, cultural, and linguistic identity of the Ainu; Appendix E. The history of the Sakhalin Ainu; Notes; References; Index.
Originally published in 1981, this book explores the issue of how a society understands human illness in the absence of a germ theory.