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Tuberculosis and Hawaii

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Title: Tuberculosis and Hawaii
Authors: McCarthy, Robert
Issue Date: 26 Sep 2014
Publisher: University of Hawaii at Manoa
Abstract: In this study I am attempting to establish how the introduction of a disease, tuberculosis, that had no prior history in Hawaii before captain James cook, made landfall in 1778 and affected local society. The effect that tuberculosis had on society is gauged by how local resources such as the kahuna lapa’au (physician priests) responded to these unfamiliar diseases and how the inadequacy of their response precipitated their collapse. Their collapse, however, was aided by western medicine which had a long evolving history with the disease. Therefore the knowledge of western doctors was able to replace that of local medical practitioners. But this was not the only cause of the failure of the Kahuna lapa’au. The biases of the first missionaries against the kahuna lapa’au were sufficiently virulent to push them into the countryside, where missionary doctors had no real presence. In addition, the native population was undergoing such a severe population decline that kahuna lapa'au had fewer adherents and thus were becoming obsolete. In outlining the goals of this paper, I should also mention what this paper does not try to do. It is not a polemic to promote either western medicine or native medicine, for indeed both have their merits. Nor have I tried to overwhelm the reader with statistics. And rather than treating Hawaii in isolation, I try to set Hawaii in an international context and show how it was affected by scientific developments in the international community.
Pages/Duration: iv, 82 pages
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/33852
Rights: All UHM Honors Projects are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections:Honors Projects for History



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