HYBRID EVENT: You can participate in person at Paris, France or Virtually from your home or work.

6th Edition of International Conference on

Traditional Medicine, Ethnomedicine and Natural Therapies

June 20-22, 2024 | Paris, France

Traditional Medicine 2022

Kerry Hull

Speaker at Traditional Medicine, Ethnomedicine and Natural Therapies 2022 - Kerry Hull
Brigham Young University, United States
Title : Ethnomedicinal remedies among the ancient and modern Maya


For millennia various Maya groups have used and developed their knowledge of botanicals as ways of curing illness and improving general health. Many plants in their ethnopharmacological inventory can indeed be shown to have active principles that address many of the illness for which they are used by the Maya. A second category of plants, however, are used to cure “spiritual” sicknesses, i.e., those linked to mythological origins and Maya cosmovision and not to specific therapeutic qualities of the plant. In this presentation, I discuss ethnobotanical data from my fieldwork in Ch’orti’, Mopan, Q’eqchi’, Chontal, Tz’utujil, and Lacandon Maya communities that analyses both types of illness. I will discuss medicinal plant use in general healing rites, with health issues specifically of women, and with snake bites. This presentation will attempt to provide detailed documentation of traditional ethnomedicines and practices from the dying art of traditional Maya healers involving multi-faceted diagnostic techniques to determine disease severity, the presence or absence of sorcery, and the appropriate botanical remedy.


Kerry Hull is a professor in the department of Religion at Brigham Young University. He received an M.S. in Applied Linguistics from Georgetown University in 1993. He completed a Ph.D. in Linguistic Anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin in 2003. His academic interests include Maya linguistics and anthropology, ethnobotany, ethno-ornithology, Polynesian linguistics, historical linguistics, and Maya epigraphic studies. He has conducted linguistic, ethnographic, and archaeological fieldwork in Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and in several areas of the Marquesas and French Polynesia. He is the author of A Dictionary of Ch’orti’ Mayan and over 70 peer-reviewed articles.