medicine man

medicine man

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 extraction—by sucking, pulling, or other means—of 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.
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