Charms Against Fever in Appalachian Folk Magic
Law of Contagion Monograph Series 5
Appalachia is a distinct bio-region of America with a wealth of unique plant and animal life. This biodiversity is mirrored by an equally rich human tapestry, woven over thousands of years, giving rise to distinct cultural traditions. Among these are powerful rites of magical healing, incorporating Indigenous American beliefs and practices with those of the more recently-arrived African and European peoples. An important group of these occult therapies are charms and receipts to combat fever, an affliction that was often viewed as a sentient, malignant entity. Focusing on the cultural roots of these fascinating cures, Rebecca Beyer examines the age-old war between mountain doctor and fever, revealing many traditional Appalachian cures, some of which are still in use today.