A Contre Temps in the Marquesas

Published on 01 october 2015 at 0h00

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“Concerning the ‘local’ medicines. Question from the youngest sailor: “what can we treat with traditional medicines? The same things as with chemical medicines?” Reply from Meteraï, big man, tattooed on his face, former charter crew at Raiatea, fisherman, singer, sculptor: “we can’t tell you everything, because otherwise the medicines would lose their power, and then we only give them to those people who believe in them, otherwise people would say that the medicines aren’t effective, and they would also lose their power.” The captain had to leave for Papeete, for some medical examinations. A mama from Nuku Hiva said to him: “go and do your examinations, to see what you have, and when you come back, I’ll give you the local medicines and then you will be cured.” Concerning tattoos. Fa’ra is 50 years old and is tattooed on ...

This article appeared in issue 144. To read the article in full, buy this issue individually

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