Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Traditional bone setters of Kallur

Puttur is the renowned place for bone setting in the district and beyond. This is about forty kilometes from our village. Kallur is ten kilometers away and also has a family of bone setters. 

People from our village who have a fracture or sprain or a muscle or nerve pull go to Kallur. They take along an egg and a length of cloth from a clean old saree. For a muscle pull or dislocation the vaidudu presses that point hard with his foot. It is very painful. The vaidudu then adds a medicine preparation to the egg white and applies it on the cloth. Then the kattu or bandage is tied. Til oil is to be regularly poured over the kattu for a week. Again, after a week, the patient goes to Kallur and a second kattu is tied after removing the earlier kattu. Usually three kattus are required. 

The family is a farmer family and do this as a family tradition. They would not charge, and the patients would pay according to their capacity. All patients would conscientiously pay to their ability. Of late however they have also started charging and they themselves also supply the egg and cloth. The local people feel that the treatment here is far more effective than the allopathic clinics. There they say the allopathic hospital only puts a pindi kattu or flour paste bandage, referring to the plaster of paris cast! They value the medicines that are applied in Kallur.

Amarnaths’s thigh bone got broken when he slipped from the tractor. It healed within two months with the Kallur treatment. Annapurna’s mother fell from the scooter and had a severe muscle damage as per X-rays. She went first to Tirupathi and spent a thousand rupees as her son wanted X-rays, and an orthopaedic opinion! Then they reverted to the Kallur treatment, and she also recovered fully. After the required three kattus, she kept tying bandaara (Dodonia viscose) leaf which is locally used to speed healing. Eashwaramma relates how Seenaiah’s leg got turned backwards twenty years ago when he had an accident. He recovered completely with the Kallur kattu. After the kattu was removed, she said she used to rub the area twice daily with mushti (Strychnos nux-vomica) kaaya and kanithi mooligai. Kanithi mooligai is the bone marrow of a kanithi or sambar deer found in forests. The kanithi mooligai  is available in Kothapeta. But it is best to get the raw drug, which the Irulas collect and sell. Even application of just mushti kaaya (Strychnos nux-vomica) is effective, Eashwaramma said.

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