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June 1965

Bantu Concepts of Skin Disease: Dermatological Fact and Fiction Amongst the Venda

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Dermatology, Boksburg-Benoni Hospital, Boksburg, South Africa (Dr. Ross). Bantu Administration Department, PO Box 384, Pretoria, South Africa (Dr. Van Warmelo).

Arch Dermatol. 1965;91(6):640-644. doi:10.1001/archderm.1965.01600120072020

Bantu tribes living in relatively isolated areas in the Republic of South Africa still retain many customs and practices which derive from their ethnic origin.

Their beliefs, hygiene, and diet having a bearing on the incidence and distribution of the skin diseases from which they suffer, and on the primitive and picturesque methods of treatment which they employ.

The present study relates to observations made during visits to the homeland of one such tribe, the Venda, who live just within the Tropic of Capracorn, close to the border between South Africa and Southern Rhodesia.

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