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Healers on the colonial market; Native doctors and midwives in the Dutch East Indies

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Book Series: Verhandelingen van het Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde ISBN: 9789067183826 9789004253575 Year: Volume: 276 Pages: X, 376 DOI: 10.26530/OAPEN_400271 Language: English
Publisher: Brill Grant: Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek
Subject: Social Sciences
Added to DOAB on : 2012-04-11 23:18:40
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Abstract

Healers on the colonial market is one of the few studies on the Dutch East Indies from a postcolonial perspective. It provides an
enthralling addition to research on both the history of the Dutch
East Indies and the history of colonial medicine. This book will be
of interest to historians, historians of science and medicine, and
anthropologists.

How successful were the two medical training programmes
established in Jakarta by the colonial government in 1851? One
was a medical school for Javanese boys, and the other a school
for midwives for Javanese girls, and the graduates were supposed
to replace native healers, the dukun. However, the indigenous
population was not prepared to use the services of these doctors and
midwives. Native doctors did in fact prove useful as vaccinators
and assistant doctors, but the school for midwives was closed in
1875. Even though there were many horror stories of mistakes made
during dukun-assisted deliveries, the school was not reopened, and
instead a handful of girls received practical training from European
physicians. Under the Ethical Policy there was more attention for
the welfare of the indigenous population and the need for doctors
increased. More native boys received medical training and went to
work as general practitioners. Nevertheless, not everybody accepted
these native doctors as the colleagues of European physicians.

Liesbeth Hesselink (1943) received a PhD in the history of medicine
from the University of Amsterdam in 2009. She has had a career in
education and in politics. In addition she has published articles on
prostitution and the medical history of the Dutch East Indies.

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