Barbers, votive offerings and healing rites (Spain)
Well into the latter part of the 20th century in Spain, barbers not only attended to men’s beards and hair but still took charge of oral healthcare. The municipal regulations for Islamic Seville in the 11th century already establish that barbers must treat women with teeth problems outdoors, never in enclosed spaces.
At least until the 1920s and 30s, they still wandered around Spanish villages announcing themselves as dentist by means of the town criers, who would proclaim efficient advertising slogans such as this one recounted in Oliete (Teruel), by someone who is now 90 years old: “extraction of teeth and molars and not a jot of pain”.
Photo, Arantxa Boyero Lirón