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November 26, 1938

Medicina legal y criminologia afrocubanas

JAMA. 1938;111(22):2038. doi:10.1001/jama.1938.02790480068030

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The study of medicolegal problems involved in medicine as practiced by the Cuban-African Negro witch doctor is of considerable sociologic interest and importance. The native physician sorcerers have, in their own circle, the right to kill as well as the right to cure. These sorcerers, called ninigos and Brujos, have often been referred to as criminals and yet in their social structure they are the omnipotent guardians of their race. Perhaps the most comprehensive study of the customs of these sorcerers is the book by Fernando Ortiz. The volume by Castellanos is not nearly as complete as the one by Ortiz but does give an insight into the medicolegal aspect of this problem, which is far from being solved.

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