Too often, research into the health of a particular community is brief and superficial, focusing only on what is public and leaving the private health of women and children
‘foggy’. By contrast, long-term anthropology can offer access to processes taking place within
a local culture of illness. Here, an account of a community’s experience of health over the past
50 years not only outlines the key changes as seen anthropologically but also shows how even
close ethnography can initially miss important data. Furthermore, the impact of a researcher –
both as a guest and as a source of interference – underlines how complex fieldwork can be in
reality, especially if seen through the eyes of the researcher’s hosts.
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