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Priestly healer or shaman, especially among the American Indians. The medicine man (often a woman in some societies) commonly carries a kit of objects such as feathers, stones, or hallucinogenic plants that have magical associations. The work of healing often involves the extractionby sucking, pulling, or other meansof offending substances from the patient's body. Singing, recitation of myths, and other ceremonies often accompany the healing rite.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on medicine man, visit Britannica.com.