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Madstones in North Carolina


Author(s):
Abstract:
The literature of folk medicine indicates that for several centuries many folk believed without reservation in the magical power of madstones, supposedly originating as hair or fiber balls in the stomachs of ruminants such as deer, cow, or buffalo. Others were tabasheer, an opal found in the joints of bamboo, while still others were picked in open fields or river beds being associated with halloysite, a clay mineral. These stones were applied to wounds to absorb venom. Clark discusses their ownership, physical origins and characteristics, their uses in treating wounds, their efficacy, and the views of the believers and unbelievers.
Record #:
16361