Following in the footsteps of the examination of primitive psychiatries in his book Magic, Faith and Healing, the author in his introduction proposes that this study is ". . . conceived to examine in detail the specific aspects of one system of prescientific psychiatry . . .," the curanderismo of Mexican-Americans in the southwestern United States, ". . . for the purpose of clarifying the therapeutic significance of its culture bound elements." From the multiple studies of world-wide folk psychiatries in the previous book, he posits that the interactions of a culture's values with its interpersonal socialization processes produce typical culture specific conflict areas and defenses that are pervasive in that population. In this book he examines the relationship between these culturally influenced traits and manifestations of folk illness and folk psychiatric treatment.
In the first four chapters the author describes his methodology and the ethnic characteristics and historical precedents of