Utilize este identificador para referenciar este registo: http://hdl.handle.net/10451/20064
Título: From sulphur to perfume: spa and SPA at Monchique, Algarve
Autor: Bastos, Cristiana
Data: 2011
Editora: Taylor and Francis
Citação: Bastos, C. (2011). From sulphur to perfume: spa and SPA at Monchique, Algarve. Anthropology and Medicine, 18-1, 37-53
Resumo: In the thermal village of Monchique, Algarve, different streams of water-related knowledge and practices coexisted for centuries. Those waters were traditionally known as águas santas (holy waters) and believed to have redemptive healing powers. In the seventeenth century, the Catholic church took control of the place, refashioned the bathing rituals, developed infrastructures and provided assistance to the patients, granting free treatment to the poor. In the nineteenth century, the state replaced the church and imposed that treatments should be provided by professionals trained in the scientific principles of medical hydrology. Secular and scientific as they were, clinical logbooks still allowed for the account of patients that embodied miracle-like redemptive cures ‘at the third bath’. People went to Monchique both for its magic and its medicine, bringing in the body ailments achieved in their lives of hard labour. They also went there for a socialising break while healing. From mendicants to rich landowners, coming mostly from the Algarve and neighbouring Alentejo, they crowded the place in summertime. In the twentieth century, as in other places in continental Europe, the spa evolved into a highly medicalised place that qualified for medical expenses reimbursements, which implied the eclipsing – at least from representation – of its leisure component. In the twenty-first century, a new trend of consumer-centred, market-based, post-water balneology with an emphasis on wellness and leisure reinvented the spa as place for lush and diversified consumption. This article argues that the seemingly contradictory systems (markets and medicine) coexist much in the same way that magic, religion and medicine coexisted in the old water sites. The new SPAs, rather than putting an end to the old spas, have enabled them to survive by reinventing thermal sites as places of attraction and leisure.
Peer review: yes
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10451/20064
DOI: 10.1080/13648470.2010.525872
Versão do Editor: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13648470.2010.525872
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