Dr. Margaret Bruchac will describe the lives and work of several female Indigenous doctors, including Rhoda Rhoades (1751-1841) who treated people from Northampton.
Rhoades doctored people at her home in “Indian Hollow,” a section of Huntington later destroyed by the construction of the Knightville Dam. Rhoades grew “every kind of flower imaginable” and used them to make an herbal medicine called "The Extract." She cured illnesses using traditional ingredients such as burdock, turkey rhubarb, and slippery elm.
Dr. Bruchac will explore the interactions between Anglo and Indian medicine, including religion and superstition, and the social, political, and economic reasons for revealing or hiding medicinal sources. In her talk, she will discuss public reaction to her portrayal of an Indian Doctress in the 1990s.
Dr. Margaret Bruchac is an Associate Professor of Anthropology, Associate Faculty in Cultural Heritage, and Coordinator of Native American and Indigenous Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. She has long been a living history performer and consultant on Native American interpretation for history museums, including Historic Northampton.
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Sliding scale admission: $5-25