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Estonian Folklore Institute and the Department of Folkloristics at the Estonian Literary Museum are preparing the international colloquium “Ethnomedicine and Ethnobotany within Cultural Context and Everyday Life” which will take place on March 23 – 25, 2007 in the vicinity of Tartu, Estonia.

We welcome all scholars who are working in the field of folk medicine and medical anthropology. The themes of the colloquium sessions are:

  1. Theory of ethnomedicine and ethnobotany
  2. Local and global in ethnomedical practice
  3. Cross-cultural relations in ethnomedicine
  4. Interpreting ethnobotany
  5. Mapping ethnomedicine

Workshops on Estonian folk healing chaired by practitioners in the field will provide additional insights into the theme.

Deadline for abstracts: February 15, 2007

Please download the registration form and submit it to

   Download form.rtf   

In addition to the official system of medical care, all countries have a system of ethnomedicine with distinct ideology, philosophy and practices. There are practices that have lost much of their relevance in folk medicine, such as incantations and many other means of verbal healing, while healing with herbs (including manual therapy and prayers) have stood the test of time. Ethnobotany also has a broader meaning than just healing, comprising plant mythology, legends and beliefs connected with plants, plant symbolism, etc.

Europe has a long history of single researchers from different fields (pharmacy, folklore studies, ethnology) dealing with folk medicine, and the established institutions of medical anthropology. Thus, the conference is aimed at bringing together researchers of different disciplines to exchange ideas and frameworks of research, to share experiences and define the common and the diverse within the field.

What roles do ethnomedicine and healing plants play in contemporary culture? Do they form a part of the social practice? What was the system of folk medicine in the past and what does it have to offer to a modern man and scholar?

The official language of the conference is English. The papers presented to the colloquium will be published in the peer-reviewed publication Folklore. Electronic Journal of Folklore (see

This is the first circular for preliminary registration. We kindly ask you to fill in the enclosed registration form and send it to the address given above or by email by January 15, 2007. The second circular informing of the academic program will be sent only to those who have confirmed their attendance by the given deadline.

Registration fee (should be transferred by March 1, 2007) is 100 EUR and covers a full set of conference materials, meals and tea/coffee breaks during the conference and accommodation (at Koke guesthouse: where the colloquium will be held).

Please visit the official site of the Medica Colloquium Do not hesitate to contact the conference secretaries ( to inquire about potential problems or proposals.

Yours sincerely,
Mare Kõiva
Renata Sõukand