Medicine man

Native American traditional healer and spiritual leader

A medicine man is a traditional Native American healer. Healing was only part of their function. Another part of their role was as guardian of their belief system, and their rituals.

A very similar role was played in many other mesolithic and neolithic societies, such as pre-modern Africa and New Guinea.[1][2][3][4] This person, man or woman, might help cure physical, mental, or spiritual health problems. A term such as shaman or witch doctor reflects the supernatural element in such roles.


  1. Huet, Michel & Savary, Claude 1995. Africa dances. London:Thames & Hudson.
  2. Thompson, Robert Farris. 1983. Flash of the spirit. New York: Random House. ISBN 978-0394-50515-2
  3. Watson, Peter 2009. Ideas: a history. From fire to Freud, volume 1. Introduction: The most important ideas in history: some candidates. London: The Folio Society.
  4. González-Wippler, Migene 1990. Santería: African magic in Latin America. 2nd ed. Original Productions. ISBN 0942272048