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February 17, 1912

Obstetrics Among American Indians

Author Affiliations

Galveston, Tex.

JAMA. 1912;LVIII(7):504. doi:10.1001/jama.1912.04260020188026

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To the Editor:  —Dr. Shoemaker's article on his obstetric experiences among the American Indians (The Journal, Jan. 6, 1912) recalled to my mind some similar cases which I observed during my service as physician among the Navajoes on the Navajo Indian Reservation, 95 miles from the railroad town of Flagstaff, Ariz. Many of these Indians have never seen a white man and naturally their customs and mode of living are most primitive. Until recently the native medicine-man prospered among this tribe by practicing his art of casting the evil spirits from his ignorant and unfortunate patients. In the last few years, however, the government through the agent and the physician has been discouraging this practice.One afternoon an Indian policeman called at the agency and requested me to go with him and see his wife, who was in labor. As we approached his hut I heard the chant of the

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