In a little village in the northeast of Portugal there is a congress of popular wisdom (around hills and popular ways of treatment). A local priest organizes the congress, already on his XVII edition. Because the village is very isolated and has no doctors nearby, the priest wants to promote the local knowledge and the local ways of heal. A few years ago, the bishop interdicted him to be the organizer of this congress and named the congress as the witches meeting. Suddenly, the unknown congress becomes very known and popular for impostor and quacks. We decide to go there for two years with a team composed by an anthropologic expert and a sociologic person specialized in this kind of popular wisdom. We decide to make recoil of opinions and make a descriptive study of this congress (that we have transform later in a documentary). Working with a camera we have found four categories of persons: Those that have a popular wisdom about herbs and his power of heal some hills. Those who are true impostors and that work in the domain of beliefs and palliatives. Those that are informed and look for different experiences and different ways of heal. Finally those that are not well informed and that believe in supernatural ways of heal and go there looking for learn something with the impostors. But talking with the autochthones persons we wonder stood that in the beginning the congress was different. There were no impostors. Local persons argue that impostors arrived with the bad advertise made around the removal of the priest. The conference will be presented with the support of images from the documentary that was produced with this team.

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In the path of popular wisdom

Maria Joao Faceira   University of Tras-os-Montes e Alto Douro

In a little village in the northeast of Portugal there is a congress of popular wisdom (around hills and popular ways of treatment). A local priest organizes the congress, already on his XVII edition. Because the village is very isolated and has no doctors nearby, the priest wants to promote the local knowledge and the local ways of heal. A few years ago, the bishop interdicted him to be the organizer of this congress and named the congress as the witches meeting. Suddenly, the unknown congress becomes very known and popular for impostor and quacks. We decide to go there for two years with a team composed by an anthropologic expert and a sociologic person specialized in this kind of popular wisdom. We decide to make recoil of opinions and make a descriptive study of this congress (that we have transform later in a documentary). Working with a camera we have found four categories of persons: Those that have a popular wisdom about herbs and his power of heal some hills. Those who are true impostors and that work in the domain of beliefs and palliatives. Those that are informed and look for different experiences and different ways of heal. Finally those that are not well informed and that believe in supernatural ways of heal and go there looking for learn something with the impostors. But talking with the autochthones persons we wonder stood that in the beginning the congress was different. There were no impostors. Local persons argue that impostors arrived with the bad advertise made around the removal of the priest. The conference will be presented with the support of images from the documentary that was produced with this team.

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