Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

The elk, the ass, the tapir, their hooves, and the falling sickness: a story of substitution and animal medical substances*

  • Irina Podgorny (a1)

Abstract

This article presents a preliminary survey by which to track, in the longue durée, the path of the nail of the Gran Bestia (great beast), a remedy that appeared in therapeutics on both sides of the Atlantic. The Gran Bestia is mentioned in the natural histories, books of remedies, and medical handbooks that proliferated in the Old World and European settlements from the seventeenth century onwards. From the point of view of global history, it is a revealing case from which to investigate, first, how the transfer of a name between continents involved the associated transfer of medical virtues and properties and, second, long before Linnaeus, how the commerce in medicines, skins, and other animal products contributed to associating different animal kinds from different cultural worlds. Far from human universals, the history of the great beast seems to refer to common meanings created by commerce. This article therefore argues for a new investigation into the global and transdisciplinary dimension of objects that is not limited to exclusively local traditions, and may instead reflect the living remains of a long history of exchanges, translations, and transfers that de- and re-functionalized nature in evolving geographies over several centuries.

Copyright

Footnotes

Hide All
*

Stefanie Gänger, Isabel Martínez Navarrete, Patrick Manning, Abigail Owen, Christopher Duffin, Margaret Lopes, Adriana Miranda, Eric Buffetaut, Sylvie Michel (Musée François Tillequin), Alejandra Gómez Martín (Museo de la Farmacia Hispana), and Liliana Gómez-Popescu provided materials for and made useful suggestions on the different stages of earlier drafts of this article. I am very grateful to Lais Viena de Souza (University of Bahia, Brazil), who shared information that she had gathered in the Portuguese archives for her still unpublished book on Jesuit pharmacies. The article benefited much from the comments and suggestions from the Journal’s editors, as well as those coming from two anonymous reviewers. I also acknowledge the support of PIP 0153, GI-CONICET: ‘La burocracia, la comercialización de la naturaleza y el carácter transaccional de la ciencia (siglos XVIII–XIX)’, and PICT 2015-3534: ‘La fauna marina del Atlántico Sur en la ciencia, el derecho y el comercio de los siglos XVIII y XIX’. The article was completed while on a John Carter Brown Library ‘Maria Cassiet’ Fellowship in the autumn of 2017 but it has accompanied me through several countries and institutions. The ILL service from the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (Berlin) was, as always, a key actor in accessing the bibliography used here.

Footnotes

References

Hide All

1 Friedrich von Martius, Carl, ‘Como se deve escrever a história do Brasil’, Revista do Instituto Histórico Geográfico Brasileiro, 6, 24, 1845, p. 391 . See Lopes, Maria Margaret, Corrêa, Mariza, and Podgorny, I., ‘Arrows and sciences: odd displays for another Brazil, 1840–1882’, in Philip L. Kohl, Irina Podgorny, and Stefanie Gänger, eds., Nature and antiquities: the making of archaeology in the Americas, Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press, 2014, pp. 169185 , and the bibliography on Martius quoted there.

2 de Asúa, Miguel and French, Roger, A new world of animals: early modern Europeans on the creatures of Iberian America, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2005 .

3 Piñero, José María López and Tomás, José Pardo, Nuevos materiales y noticias sobre la Historia de las plantas de Nueva España, de Francisco Hernández, Valencia: Instituto de Estudios Documentales e Históricos sobre la Ciencia, 1994 ; Piñero, José María López and Tomás, José Pardo, La influencia de Francisco Hernández, 1515–1587, en la constitución de la botánica y la materia médica modernas, Valencia: Instituto de Estudios Documentales e Históricos sobre la Ciencia, 1996 ; Piñero, José María López and Terrada, María Luz López, La influencia española en la introducción en Europa de las plantas americanas: 1493–1623, Valencia: Instituto de Estudios Documentales e Históricos sobre la Ciencia, 1997 ; Daston, Lorraine and Park, K., Wonders and the order of nature, Zone Books, 1998, pp. 11501750 .

4 Brooks, John, ‘The nail of the great beast’, Western Folklore, 18, 4, 1959, pp. 317321 ; Andreu, Rafael Folch, ‘Curiosidades históricas: el alce y la uña de la gran bestia’, Farmacia Nueva, 253, 1958, pp. 5962 .

5 Lepenies, Wolf, The end of natural history, New York: The Confucian Press, 1980 .

6 Croll, Oswald, A treatise of signatures of internal things; or, a true and lively anatomy of the greater and lesser world, London: John Starkey and Thomas Passenger, 1669 . I am very grateful to Chris Duffin for his advice and suggestions regarding this section.

7 Parry-Jones, Rob and Vincent, Amanda, ‘Can we tame wild medicine? To save a rare species, Western conservationists may have to make their peace with traditional Chinese medicine’, New Scientist, 157, 2115, 3 January 1998, p. 26 .

8 See Achim, Miruna, Lagartijas medicinales: remedios americanos y debates científicos en la ilustración, México: Conaculta/UAM Cuajimalpa, 2008 . For a review, see Rômulo, and Alves, Humberto, ‘The faunal drugstore: animal-based remedies used in traditional medicines in Latin America’, Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine, 7, 9, 2011 . See also Duffin, Christopher, Moody, R., and Gardner-Thorpe, C., eds., A history of geology and medicine, London: Geological Society of London, 2013 ; López Piñero and Pardo Tomás, Nuevos materiales; López Piñero and Pardo Tomás, La influencia de Francisco Hernández; López Piñero and López Terrada, La influencia española; Olarte, Mauricio Nieto, Remedios para el imperio: historia natural y la apropiación del Nuevo Mundo, Bogotá: Instituto Colombiano de Antropología e Historia, 2000 ; Schiebinger, Londa L. and Swan, Claudia, Colonial botany: science, commerce, and politics in the early modern world, Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005 . On the relevance of South American animals in contemporary pharmacology, see Angerer, Klaus, ‘There is a frog in South America / whose venom is a cure: poison alkaloids and drug discovery’, in A. Von Schwerin, Heiko Stoff, and Bettina Wharig, eds., Biologics: a history of agents made from living organisms in the twentieth century, London: Pickering & Chatto Publishers Ltd, 2013, pp. 173191 ; Angerer, Klaus, ‘Frog tales: on poison dart frogs, epibatidine, and the sharing of biodiversity’, Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research, 24, 3, 2011, pp. 353369 . See also Figueroa, Judith, ‘Tráfico de partes e individuos del oso andino Tremarctos ornatus en el Perú’, Revista de la Academia Colombiana de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales, 38, 147, 2014, pp. 177190 .

9 Parry-Jones and Vincent, ‘Can we tame wild medicine?’, p. 26.

10 Merrill, Samuel, The moose book: facts and stories from northern forests, New York: E.P. Dutton, 1916, p. 352 ; Dahms, Paul, ‘Ehemalige Verbreitung, Aussterben und volkskundliche Beziehungen des Elchs in Westpreussen’, Globus, 74, 1898, p. 219 ; Quecke, Kurt, ‘Die Signaturenlehre im Schrifttum des Paracelsus’, Beiträge zur Geschichte der Pharmazie und ihrer Nachbargebiete, 1955, pp. 4152 ; Croll, Signatures. See also Almond, Philip C., Adam and Eve in seventeenth-century thought, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008, p. 138 .

11 See Morison, Ben, ‘Language’, in R. J. Hankinson, ed., The Cambridge companion to Galen, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008, pp. 116156 .

12 Philipp Andreas Nemnich, Allgemeines Polyglotten-Lexicon der Naturgeschichte, Hamburg, 1793, pp. 960–1.

13 von Baer, Ernst, ‘Über das Aussterben der Thierarten in physiologischer und nicht physiologischer Hinsicht überhaupt, und der Untergang von Arten, die mit den Menschen zusammen gelebt haben’, Bulletin de l’Académie impériale des sciences de St. Pétersbourg, 3, 1861, pp. 13671396 . As this article discusses, transference of names is not just the case in the animal world.

14 The literature on bezoars is extensive. For this article, see Gade, D. W., Nature and culture in the Andes, Madison, WI, and London: University of Wisconsin Press, 1999 ; Prieto, Andrés I., Missionary scientists: Jesuit science in Spanish South America, 1570–1810, Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press, 2011 ; Stephenson, Marcia, ‘From marvelous antidote to the poison of idolatry: the transatlantic role of Andean bezoar stones during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries’, Hispanic American Historical Review, 90, 1, 2010, pp. 339 . On Asia, one relevant study is that of Borschberg, Peter, ‘The Euro-Asian trade in bezoar stones (approx. 1500–1700)’, in Michael North, ed., Artistic and cultural exchanges between Europe and Asia, 1400–1900, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2010, pp. 2943 . See also Pymm, Rachel, “Serpent stones”: myth and medical application’, in C. J. Duffin, C. Gardner-Thorpe, and R. T. J. Moody, eds., Geology and medicine: historical connections, London: Geological Society of London, 2017, pp. 163180 . On eagle-stones, see Baronti, G., Tra bambini e acque sporche, immersioni nella collezione di amuleti di Giuseppe Bellucci, Perugia: Morlacchi, 2008 ; Irina Podgorny, ‘The name is the message: eagle-stones and materia medica in South America’, in Duffin, Gardner-Thorpe, and Moody, Geology and medicine, pp. 195–210. On thunder-stones, see Seonbok, Yi, ‘Thunder-axes and the traditional view of stone tools in Korea’, Journal of East Asian Archaeology, 4, 1, 2002, pp. 293306 . See also Achim, Lagartijas medicinales.

15 Chen, Sanping, ‘From Mulan to unicorn’, in Multicultural China in the early Middle Ages, Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012, pp. 44 , 57–8.

16 Kanner, Leo, ‘The names of the falling sickness: an introduction to the study of the folklore and cultural history of epilepsy’, Human Biology, 2, 1, 1930, p. 110 . Also Bennett, Thomas L., ed., The neuropsychology of epilepsy, New York: Springer, 1992 ; Temkin, Owsei, The falling sickness: a history of epilepsy from the Greeks to the beginnings of modern neurology, Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994 .

17 Kanner, ‘Names’, p. 110.

18 Ibid., p. 119.

19 Nemnich’s Lexicon gave a list of German terms in all branches of natural history, with their corresponding terms in eight other European and many Asian languages. For the elk, he listed: in German, das Elendthier, Elennthier, Ellendthier, das Elen, Elenn, Elent, Elend, Elendt, der Elenhirsch, die Elendkuh; in Dutch: Eland, Elanddier, Allant; in Danish: Elsdyr; in Norwegian: Elg, Ellgur, Elsdyr; in Icelandic: Elgur; in French: eland, ellend. Nemnich underscored: ‘Von der europäischen Benennung Elend lässt sich mit Gewissheit kein Ursprung angeben (It is not clear where the European denomination “Elend” originated)’ (p. 961). In German, Elend (originally meaning ‘foreign’), is now a synonym for misery; as an adjective (elend) it also means sick. The German term Elen (meaning elk) is considered a borrowed word from the old Lithuanian élnis/ellenis (deer).

20 Topsell, Edward, The history of four-footed beasts and serpents. Describing at large their true and lively figure, their several names, conditions, kinds, virtues (both natural and medicinal) collected out of the writings of Conradus Gesner and other authors, London: Cotes, 1658 . The same description, also based on Gesner, can be found in Adam Lonitzer and Peter Uffenbach, Kreuterbuch, Frankfurt, 1630, pp. 612–13.

21 On Laguna’s translation of Dioscorides, see Hernando, T., ‘Vida y labor médica del doctor Andrés Laguna’, in Dos estudios históricos (Vieja y nueva medicina), Madrid: Espasa Calpe, 1982, pp. 81204 .

22 Laguna, A., Pedacio Dioscorides Anazarbeo, acerca de la materia medicinal y de los venenos mortíferos, Salamanca: Mathias Gast, 1636, p. 146 . See also Suárez de Ribera, F., Pedacio Dioscorides Anazarbeo, anotado por el doctor Andres Laguna, nuevamente ilustrado y añadido, demostrando las figuras de plantas y animales en estampas finas y dividido en dos tomos, Madrid: Fernández de Arrojo, 1733 .

23 Cascajero, Juan, ‘Apología del asno: fuentes escritas y fuentes orales tras la simbología del asno en la Antigüedad’, Gerión, 16, 1998, pp. 1138 .

24 Ramajo, Manuel Lozano Pérez, El asno ilustrado, o sea apología del asno: con notas y el elogio del rebuzno por apéndice, Madrid: s.n., 1837, p. 28 .

25 Tissot, Samuel Auguste, ‘De l’epilepsie: specifiques inutiles’, in Traité de l’epilepsie, Paris: Didot, 1770, pp. 353358 ; Sieveking, Edward H., On epilepsy and epileptic form seizures, their causes, pathology, and treatment, London: Churchill, 1861, pp. 310321 .

26 Murray, David, Museums, their history and their use, vol. 1, Glasgow: MacLehose, 1904, p. 60 ; Ray, John, Travels through the Low-Countries, Germany, Italy and France, London: Walthoe, 1738, p. 24 .

27 Menabenus, Apollonius, ‘Con quanti, e quai nomi si chiami la Gran Bestia?’, in Trattato del grand’animale o’ gran bestia: cosi detta volgarmente & delle sue parti, e facultà, e di quelle del cervo, che servono à Medici, Rimino: Gio . Simbeni & Compa, 1584, p. 7; Brooks, ‘Nail’. Given that the Italian form varies (‘Menabeno’ or ‘Menabene’), I follow Helander, Hans, ‘The Italian physician Apollonius Menabenus and his treatise De magno animali (1581)’, Studi umanistici Piceni, 19, 1999, pp. 224332 (see also p. 233, n. 1), who adopted the latinized form ‘Menabenus’.

28 Ogilvie, Brian, The science of describing: natural history in Renaissance Europe, Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2006, p. 231 .

29 Blasius, Wilhelm, Das Elch (Alce palmata, Klein) , Vienna and Leipzig: Perles, 1887 .

30 Topsell, History, p. 25.

31 C. Julius Solinus, The excellent and pleasant worke of Iulius Solinus Polyhistor, trans. Arthur Golding, London, 1587, chapter 31, unnumbered page.

32 Kotkas, Toomas, Royal police ordinances in early modern Sweden: the emergence of voluntaristic understanding of law, Leiden: Brill, 2014, p. 60 .

33 Menabenus, Tratatto; Wärnhjelm, Vera Nigrisoli, ‘Apollonio Menabeni, protomedico di Giovanni III di Svezia e il suo trattato sull’alce’, in Fabiola Zurlini, ed., Atti della 37 Tornata degli Studi Storici dell’Arte Medica e della Scienza, Fermo: Andrea Livi, 2008, p. 95 .

34 Bacci, Andrea, Le xii pietre pretiose. Discorso dell’ alicorno et delle sue singolarissime virtù: et della gran bestia detta alce da gli antichi, Roma: Martinelli, 1587 . See Murray, Museums, pp. 58–61; Ruderman, David, Kabbalah, magic, and science: the cultural universe of a sixteenth-century Jewish physician, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1988 , esp. ch. 4‚ ‘Unicorns, great beasts, and the marvelous variety of nature’; Bury, Michael, ‘Bernardo Vecchietti, Patron of Giambologna’, I Tatti Studies in the Italian Renaissance, 1, 1985, p. 161 .

35 Green, Otis and Leonard, Irving A., ‘On the Mexican booktrade in 1600: a chapter in cultural history’, Hispanic Review, 9, 1, 1941, pp. 140 .

36 Brook, ‘Nail’.

37 Merrill, Moose book, pp. 263–8.

38 Manríquez, Enrique Laval, Botica de los Jesuitas de Santiago, Santiago de Chile: Asociación Chilena de Asistencia Social, 1953, p. 199 .

39 See, for instance, Reyes, R. A., ‘Botany and zoology in the late seventeenth-century Philippines: the work of Georg Josef Camel SJ (1661–1706)’, Archives of Natural History, 36, 2, 2009, pp. 262276 ; Baronti, Tra bambini; Prieto, Missionary scientists.

40 Pélaez, Raquel Àlvarez, La conquista de la naturaleza americana, Madrid: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, 1993 ; Asúa and French, New world; Wilma George, ‘Sources and background to discoveries of new animals in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries’, History of Science, 18, 1980, pp. 79–104; López Piñero and Pardo Tomás, Nuevos materiales.

41 Gade, Nature and culture, pp. 132–5.

42 On the history of the description of the Malaysian tapir, see Farquhar, William, Bastin, John Sturgus, Kwa, Chong Guan, Ibrahim, Hassan, and Strange, Morten, Natural history drawings: the complete William Farquhar collection: Malay peninsula, 1803–1818, Singapore: Editions Didier Millet, 2010, pp. 2627 . Also Buffetaut, Eric, ‘Un tapir bien malencontreux’, Espèces, 21, 2016, pp. 7073 .

43 Roulin, François Désiré, ‘El tapir Pinchaque: memoria para servir a la historia del tapir, y descripción de una especie nueva de las regiones elevadas de la cordillera de los Andes’, in Viajes científicos a los Andes ecuatoriales, Paris: Librería Castellana, 1849, pp. 244246 .

44 The Portuguese records listed among the drugs coming from India ‘unha de Gran Bestia’, an animal called ‘macoco’ by the Bantu-speaking people from Angola (see Archives of the Academia de Ciências de Lisboa, Lisbon, ACL, Ms. Azul, 21, ‘Medicina Oriental: Socorro Indico dos Pobres Enfermos do Oriente. Para total profligação de seus males. Adquiridade de varios Professores da Medicina. Oferecida a Santissima Trindade Unico Deos Verdeiro. Por hum natural de Goa (Oriental medicine: Indian relief o the sick poor of the East. For the total destruction of their evils. Acquisition of several professors of medicine. Offered to the Holy Trinity, the one true God. By a native of Goa)’; and ACL, Ms. Vermelha, 586, ‘Virtudes de raízes, pedras e óleos da Índia (Virtues of the roots, stones and oils of India)’). I am indebted to Lais Viena de Souza (University of Bahia, Salvador, Brazil) for sharing the results of her research on the Portuguese missionary pharmacies with me. On the Portuguese trade in drugs from India, see also da Costa, Palmira Fontes, Medicine, trade and empire: Garcia de Orta’s colloquies on the simples and drugs of India (1563) in context, London: Routledge, 2016 .

45 Obenga, Théophile and da Pavia, Francesco, ‘La faune du Royaume de Kongo d’après un document inédit du XVII siècle’, Africa: Rivista Trimestrale di Studi e Documentazione dell’Istituto Italiano per l’Africa e l’Oriente, 28, 1, 1973, pp. 7389 ; Merolla, Girolamo and Piccardo, Angelo, Breve, e succinta relatione del viaggio nel regno di Congo nell’ Africa meridionale, fatto dal P. Girolamo Merolla da Sorrento, sacerdote cappuccino, missionario apostolico, Naples: Francesco Mollo, 1692, pp. 6263 .

46 Walter Fewkes, J., ‘Precolumbian West Indian amulets’, American Anthropologist, n.s. 5, 4, 1903, p. 690 .

47 Gade, Nature and culture; Pamela Smith and Paula Findlen, eds., Merchants and marvels: commerce, science, and art in early modern Europe, New York: Routledge, 2001.

48 Forsyth, James, A history of the peoples of Siberia: Russia’s North Asian colony 1581–1990, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992, p. 113 .

49 Hellie, Richard, The economy and material culture of Russia: 1600–1725, Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1998, p. 276 .

50 Kilburger, Johann Philipp, ‘Kurzer Unterricht von dem Russischen Handel, wie selbiger mit aus- und eingehenden Waaren 1674 durch ganz Russland getrieben worden’, Magazin für die neue Historie und Geographie, 3, 1769, pp. 261262 .

51 Bosworth, C. E., van Dozel, E., Lewis, B., and Pellat, C., ‘Lamt’ and ‘Lamta’, in The Encyclopaedia of Islam, vol. 5, Leiden: Brill, 1983, pp. 651652 .

52 Bayo, Ciro, Vocabulario Criollo-Español Sud-Americano, Madrid: Hernando, 1910 ; Entwistle, William, Las lenguas de España: castellano, catalán, vasco y gallego-portugués, Madrid: Itsmo, 1982, p. 288 . See Merrill, Moose book, pp. 284–6; Roulin, ‘Tapir Pinchaque’.

53 Topsell, History, p. 169.

54 de Azara, Félix, The natural history of the quadrupeds of Paraquay and the river la Plata, Edinburgh: A. & C. Black, 1838, p. 102 .

55 Merrill, Moose book; Dahms, ‘Ehemalige Verbreitung’.

56 Merrill, Moose book, p. 348; Dahms, ‘Ehemalige Verbreitung’.

57 Hellie, Economy, pp. 282–3.

58 Pomet, Pierre, Histoire générale des drogues, traitant des plantes, des animaux, & des mineraux, Paris: Lotson, 1694, pp. 2324 .

59 See Apotheken-Ordnung und Taxa Derer in denen Apotheken der Churfl. Sächs. alten freyen Berg-Stadt Freybergk in Meissen / befindlichen Medicamenten und Materialien, durch E.E. Rath daselbsten auffgerichtet und publiciret [sic], Freyberg: Becker, 1673 and 1680; Catalogus Aller Galenischer und Chÿmischer Artzneyen die in F: Churf: Durchl: zu Sachssen HofApotheke in Dreßden mit hoehstem fleiß praeparirt und zu finden sein, Dresden: Bergen, 1652 and 1683; Catalogus Tam Simplicium, Quam Compositorum Medicamentorum, Dresden: Typis Baumannianis, 1686; Churfürstliche Brandenburgische Medicinal-Ordnung und Taxa, Cöln an der Spree: Völcker, 1694; Consignatio, et taxa omnium medicamentorum, tam simplicium, quam compositorum, quae in officina pharmaceutica Cellensi prostant, Zelle, 1682.

60 Becher, Johann, Parnassi illustrati pars prima, zoologia, Ulm: Görlin, 1662 [1663] . On Becher as alchemist, see Smith, Pamela, The business of alchemy: science and culture in the Holy Roman Empire, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1994 . The preparation of the nail would have been similar to the process that Duffin described for amber, frequently mentioned in recipes for curing epilepsy ( Duffin, C., ‘Fossils as drugs: pharmaceutical paleontology’, Ferrantia, 54, 2008, pp. 5365).

61 Azara, Natural history, p. 103.

62 Gumilla, Joseph, El Orinoco ilustrado: historia natural, civil y geográfica de este gran río, Madrid: Fernández, 1741 .

63 On Madame Fouquet, see Ramsey, Matthew, ‘The popularization of medicine, 1650–1900’, in Roy Porter, ed., The popularization of medicine, London: Routledge, 1992, pp. 102103 .

64 See Christopher Duffin, ‘Some early eighteenth century geological materia medica’, in Duffin, Moody, and Gardner-Thorpe, History of geology, p. 227, for further details on the uses and preparation of cinnabar associated with the cure of epilepsy.

65 Fouquet, Marie Mapéau, Obras medico-chirurgicas de Madama Fouquet: economia de la salud del cuerpo humano. Aumentadas de un Alfabeto breve de los varios remedios, Yerbas, Frutas, Raíces, Aceites, resinas y otras cosas medicinales nuevamente descubiertas en la América o Indias Occidentales en la Provincia o Misiones del gran Río Orinoco, Salamanca: Villargordo y Alcaraz, 1750, p. 17 . Also Diccionario de la lengua castellana compuesto por la Real Academia española, Madrid: Ibarra, 1783. On the use of materials taken from the bodies of executed criminals, see Kathy Stuart, ‘The executioner’s healing touch: health and honor in early modern German medical practice’, in Max Reinhart, ed., Infinite boundaries: order, disorder, and reorder in early modern German culture, Sixteenth Century Essays and Studies, 40, 1998, pp. 349–80, and the bibliography cited there.

66 Fernández Pérez, P., ‘El Almanak mercantil o Guía de comerciantes (1795–1808) como fuente para la historia económica de España y América’, Historias, 22, 1989, pp. 189192 .

67 Miller, Guillermo, ‘Notice of a journey to the northward and also to the eastward of Cuzco, and among the Chunchos Indians, in July, 1835’, Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London, 6, 1836, pp. 174186 .

68 Nordenskiöld, Erland, ‘Recettes magiques et médicales du Pérou et de la Bolivie’, Journal de la Société des Américanistes, 4, 1907, pp. 153174 ; Girault, Louis, Kallawaya, guérisseurs itinérants des Andes: recherches sur les pratiques médicinales et magiques, Paris: ORSTOM, Institut français de recherche scientifique pour le développement en coopération, 1984, pp. 511512 .

69 Patzelt, Erwin, Fauna del Ecuador, Quito: Las Casas, 1979, p. 89 .

70 Tapir Specialists Group, Press Kit, http://tapirs.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Tapir-Press-Kit-English.pdf (consulted 14 November 2017).

71 Almanak mercantil ó Guía de comerciantes para el año de 1808, Madrid: Vega y Compañia, 1808, pp. 75 and 77. The Spanish American bezoar stones were valued at 4,000 reales per quintal.

72 Gade, Nature and culture, p. 4.

73 Ibid., p. 118. See also Gade, Daniel W., ‘Tapir magic in the Andes and its shamanic origins’, Journal of Latin American Lore, 21, 2, 2003, pp. 201220 .

74 Baronti, Tra bambini; Porter, Popularization of medicine.

75 Wear, Andrew, Knowledge and practice in English medicine, 1550–1680, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000, p. 48 .

76 Eamon, William, ‘Markets, piazzas, and villages’, in Lorraine Daston and Katherine Park, eds., The Cambridge history of science: volume 3, early modern science, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006, p. 217 ; Cook, Harold, Matters of exchange: commerce, medicine, and science in the Dutch golden age, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2007, p. 91 . On the ‘unmediated access to the real’ in American culture, see Bellin, Joshua, ‘Taking the Indian cure: Thoreau, Indian medicine, and the performance of American culture’, New England Quarterly, 79, 1, 2006, pp. 336 .

77 López Piñero and Pardo Tomás, Nuevos materiales.

78 Secord, James A., ‘Knowledge in transit’, Isis, 95, 4, 2004, p. 660 .

79 Cook, Matters of exchange.

* Stefanie Gänger, Isabel Martínez Navarrete, Patrick Manning, Abigail Owen, Christopher Duffin, Margaret Lopes, Adriana Miranda, Eric Buffetaut, Sylvie Michel (Musée François Tillequin), Alejandra Gómez Martín (Museo de la Farmacia Hispana), and Liliana Gómez-Popescu provided materials for and made useful suggestions on the different stages of earlier drafts of this article. I am very grateful to Lais Viena de Souza (University of Bahia, Brazil), who shared information that she had gathered in the Portuguese archives for her still unpublished book on Jesuit pharmacies. The article benefited much from the comments and suggestions from the Journal’s editors, as well as those coming from two anonymous reviewers. I also acknowledge the support of PIP 0153, GI-CONICET: ‘La burocracia, la comercialización de la naturaleza y el carácter transaccional de la ciencia (siglos XVIII–XIX)’, and PICT 2015-3534: ‘La fauna marina del Atlántico Sur en la ciencia, el derecho y el comercio de los siglos XVIII y XIX’. The article was completed while on a John Carter Brown Library ‘Maria Cassiet’ Fellowship in the autumn of 2017 but it has accompanied me through several countries and institutions. The ILL service from the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (Berlin) was, as always, a key actor in accessing the bibliography used here.

Keywords

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed