Medical anthropology evidences on the pishtaco origin


  • Rosario de Pribyl Facultad de Antropología Social y Cultural, Universidad de Viena. Viena, Austria. Psicóloga y psicoterapeuta especialista en Terapia Sistémica y psiconeuroinmunología. Candidata al doctorado en el área de Etnomedicina y Antropología Médica.



Anthropology, History of Medicine, Religion and Medicine, Surgery, Peru, Europe


This paper will contribute to the scientific development of a new approach on the pishtaco in Peru by means of medical anthropological analysis. The model emphasizes presentation and analysis of historical, pharmaceutical, and anthropological evidence supporting use of human tissues with specific medical goals in Peruvian and European regions. We can find the origin of this phenomenon around the sixteen and seventeen centuries in Europe: The pishtaco has no an Andean origin. The methodology and main conclusions of this paper could provide to the scientific community an alternative perspective to the conventional anthropological and ethnological research, as an example of a medical anthropological analysis of the pishtaco character. Professionals involved in intercultural health projects could have a new insight on this issue thanks to these results. They will obtain an adequate historical-cultural context for the interpretation and understanding of people and native communities’ beliefs about health, body and medical systems.


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de Pribyl R. Medical anthropology evidences on the pishtaco origin. Rev Peru Med Exp Salud Publica [Internet]. 2010 Mar. 31 [cited 2024 Jun. 23];27(1). Available from:

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