Curses, Invocations? An Investigation into the Medical Ethnobotany of the Kosovo Roma

Sina Akhavan : Integrative Biology

Mentor: Professor Thomas Carlson, Integrative Biology

In remote Kosovo camps and villages, Roma are isolated from government-run medicine, relying on their own traditions for common sickness. Conversations with Kosovo Roma and field experts indicate some Roma are practicing traditional medicine undocumented in scientific literature. Sina will travel to Kosovo, distributing questionnaires and engaging in interviews with Roma folk to understand which plants are used in healing, and how they are used. There is little academic literature on Roma - mostly on history and music - and less in scientific journals. Sina's hope is that this project will bring to the surface centuries of old medical modality and will also widen the scope of research done on Roma, in part by creating links of trust between Roma and science. With permission, a paper will be submitted for publication.