The Sama Tabawan Traditional Healing Practices, Tawi-Tawi, Philippines
This study focuses on the traditional healing knowledge and practices of the Sama Tabawan. Tabawan is a remote island in the Municipality of South Ubian, Tawi-Tawi, where there are no medical facilities. The people have to rely on herbs and traditional healers as sources of medication and healing. The traditional healing practice of this Sama group is threatened as the local healers are getting older and the young apprentices are prohibited from practicing it when the elderly predecessors are still alive. The study utilized quantitative and qualitative approaches including phytochemical analysis as methods of data collection. Phytochemical screening revealed that local herbs contain abundance of flavonoids, steroids, tannins, saponins and other properties potentially utilized in the production of commercial medicines. The traditional healing practice is still transmitted and generally practiced by the SamaTabawan as curing recourse. The said healing practice utilized a combination of herbal concoctions and chants in synergism with other medical means available in the island. However, due to impact of modernization, the local healing practice is threatened unless conservation measures are undertaken. The study offers a framework for the establishment of a School of the Living Traditions for effective conservation of the Sama Tabawan traditional healing knowledge and practices.
Keywords - Sama, Traditional Healing Practices, Sustainable Development, Culture Conservation , Focused Ethnography.