Dawn Schock

Date of Award


Document Type


First Advisor

Dr. Thomas Akers


The thesis is a study of German-Russian Brauche--an alternative system of healing which exists in south-central North Dakota. The text is divided into two sections: a history of the German-Russian people, complied from written sources; and a description and discussion of Brauche which relies extensively on personal interviews(included in the appendix) with Mrs. Eva Iszler, a practicing Brauche in Ashley, North Dakota.

The history of the German-Russian people is characterized by two major migrations: from Germany to Russia, and from Russia to the United States. Because these migrations were en masse and because the group has had to encounter three different environments they have tended to form enclaves and have, therefore, managed to uphold old traditions.

One of these traditions is Brauche, a medicine which deals with both the spiritual and physical aspects of the patient by combining the use of physical curing agents with religious verses. Because Brauche, like many other alternative medical systems, does for the patient what he/she expects within the specific cultural context, it is successful.

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