Until now our knowledge of African health and healing has been extensive but fragmented. Here in eighteen essays is the first comprehensive account of disease, health,and healing practices in the African continent. The contributors all emphasize the social conditions linked to ill health and the development of local healing traditions, from Morocco to South Africa and from the precolonial era to the present. Several chapters illustrate how the most basic facts of everyday life encourage the spread of disease and chape the possibilities of survival. Other discuss a variety of healing practices: drums of affliction in Bantu-speaking societies, Muslim humoral medicine, and biomedicine as practiced in hospitals and dispensaries. The editors provide introductory overviews explaining why and how health and disease are related to historical, economic, and political phenomena.