B is for…

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Bonesetter
I love bones – not all bones, mind you. They have to be a certain shape, but I’m not usually fussy about which animal they are from: the fineness & fragility of seafaring birds’ bones found on the beach; the oversized thigh bone of a camel; or the dried-out vertebrae of a snake my brother gave me from his farm, which is a sculpture unto itself. This is probably the reason I’m drawn to the practice of bonesetting. Perhaps we can think of these characters as early chiropractors. These unlicensed healers were tasked with setting dislocated bones and joints and “balancing the skeleton”. In India, bonesetters would also wear a slightly botanical hat, as the use of herbs was key in their healing. My fascination with the skeleton and all manner of fragile and intricate bones loves the existence of this trade and makes me hear a distant echo of yesteryear.

 

The Alphabet of Arcane Trades:
A is for…

Written by Amber TSI Byron — October 29, 2019

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