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- Volume 10, Issue 2, 2011
Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems - Volume 10, Issue 2, 2011
Volume 10, Issue 2, 2011
What's in a name? Using informetric techniques to conceptualize the knowledge of traditional and indigenous communitiesSource: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 10, pp 129 –152 (2011)More Less
Since the publication of a collection of articles by Brokensha, Warren and Werner (1980) on the knowledge of traditional and indigenous communities, there is a marked interest in studying and using this kind of knowledge to promote and sustain development activities. Despite the recognition of the importance of the knowledge of traditional and indigenous communities there is limited agreement on its definition and conceptualization. In other words, there are competing ways of defining it and various ways of labeling it. In view of the varying appropriation of meanings to the concept of the knowledge of traditional and indigenous communities, this article starts by dealing with definitions attached to this kind of knowledge before turning to establishing what might be the suitable label for that knowledge using informetrics techniques. The conclusion is that indigenous knowledge is the label that is gaining more currency than any other in the social sciences, arts and humanities.
Source: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 10, pp 153 –170 (2011)More Less
The article seeks to demonstrate the applicability of the Trans-dimensional Knowledge Management Model (TDKM-M) to restorative justice in Africa. The TDKM-M contradicts existing models of conflict control, management and resolution in Africa. The TDKM-M demonstrate that knowledge can be managed in such a way that it can activate intervention such as 'restorative justice' to resolve conflicts and disputes. These interventions aim to 'restore' a lost balance in society as an alternative to legal prosecution. Restoration requires replacing a culture of class-consciousness, racism, tribalism and criminal impunity with the norms of humaneness, respect, connective justice and reconciliation. These norms are associated with the philosophy of ubuntu and the ancient African-Egyptian philosophy of Ma'at. However, this practical application of ubuntu would require a holistic and transdimensional perspective and intra-action to revive and innovate African society. Case studies of Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Liberia and Uganda showed that the involvement of all knowledge-holders in a spirit of ubuntu, should ultimately culminate in the restoring of human relations. Restorative justice would require acceptance that true healing takes time, holistic knowledge, humane decisions, strong leadership and combined action. These actions should effectively restore relations among people and national reconciliation, with people refraining from inciting and perpetrating violence against each other.
Source: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 10, pp 171 –181 (2011)More Less
The curriculum assumes a critical element in the transformation of education, and we argue for the establishment of an African identity in educational curricula. We ask: 'What meanings of the curriculum are pertinent to an African discourse'? In other words, what is the nature of the curriculum and its point or purpose, its value or worth? Also, how is the curriculum conceptualised, demarcated, structured and regulated? Any discussion or critical reflection on the curriculum, even one concerned with the construction of a curriculum in an African context, requires some understanding of the curriculum in educational discourse. We focus on a reconstruction of the curriculum which aims to give indigenous African knowledge systems their rightful place as equally valid ways of knowing among the array of knowledge systems in the world so as to solve global and local problems more effectively. Finally, we argue for a curriculum that leads to the empowerment of students; framed according to seven pillars of wisdom.
Health benefits and omega-3-fatty acid content of selected indigenous foods in the Limpopo Province, South AfricaSource: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 10, pp 182 –194 (2011)More Less
The article is based on a study that aimed at identifying indigenous foods in the Limpopo Province that are believed to have health benefits and to analyse the omega-3-fatty acid content of the selected identified foods. The objectives of this study were to identify the indigenous foods believed to have health benefits with possible functional properties, to determine the different ailments that these foods were used for, and to analyse the omega-3-fatty acid content of the identified indigenous foods.
The study population consisted of 46 women whose ages were above 60 years old. The participants were recruited from four districts in the Limpopo Province namely Waterberg, Vhembe, Mopani and Sekhukhune. Focus group discussions were held, wherein an interview schedule was used to lead the discussions. The data was analysed using thematic analysis. The fresh raw food samples were collected and taken to the CSIR for chemical analysis of bioactive compounds.
The results of the study revealed that some indigenous green leafy vegetables have a high content of omega-3-fatty acids per fatty acid content. Indigenous foods were taken for their functional properties. Food items like Mormodica balsamina were identified to treat and prevent hypertension and diabetes mellitus. The food item is known as Mokhutsega in Northern Sotho, Nkaka in Xitsonga and Tshibavhi in Tshivenda. Some of the food items that were mentioned to treat diseases were Amaranthus thurnbergii and Cajanus cajan for the prevention of constipation. Donkey milk was taken to treat whooping cough. Of the seven indigenous foods analysed, six of them were green leafy vegetables and one was a fruit. The samples were analysed for omega-3-fatty acid content. The green leafy vegetables were found to contain omega-3-fatty acids. Linolenic acid, which has 18 carbon chains and three double bonds, was found to be the most abundant omega-3-fatty acid found in plant foods. The omega-3-fatty acids are said to be a factor in HDL concentration, thereby confirming the lowering of coronary heart diseases by green leafy vegetables.
Source: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 10, pp 195 –209 (2011)More Less
Traditional leafy vegetables (TLV) have been consumed by many rural communities for centuries and have a potential to contribute to household food security by providing direct access to readily accessible nutritious food. To assess the role and importance of the TLVs in rural communities, a survey was conducted during 2007 in Mtubatuba in South Africa. The study aimed at identifying and assessing rural households' levels of awareness, consumption and attitude towards TLVs. Data was collected through focus group discussions, seasonal calenda, and questionnaire surveys on 64 households. Results showed that TLVs were abundant in summer and that amaranthus, blackjack and pumpkin leaves were the most popular. Pumpkins were more popular for food security because they supplied leaves, seed and fruit. There was a general positive attitude towards TLVs and the community did not consider them "poor people food" or toxic, contrary to popular notion. Cooking time and processing of TLVs varied between the respondents, causing some concern over the loss of nutrients. The majority of the respondents consumed TLVs twice a week and the HIV / AIDS infected and support group considered TLVs nutritious and good immune boosters. This was attributed to community education programmes conducted by the local healthcare officers. The frequency of TLVs' consumption was positively and significantly (P≥0.05) correlated with the age and education level of the household, which could be attributed to high knowledge accumulated with age and access to information by the educated. However, TLVs were reported to be declining over time possibly due to changes in customs and land use. Further, information on agronomy, nutritive value and methods of preparation that minimize nutrient leaching is also scarce among the communities. It was therefore recommended that, as a food-based initiative toward alleviation of micro-nutrient deficiencies and poverty, local health institutes and other stakeholders should start promoting and strengthening current efforts that encourage the consumption of TLVs.
Knowledge and consumption of indigenous food by primary school children in Vhembe District in Limpopo ProvinceSource: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 10, pp 210 –227 (2011)More Less
The article is based on a study that aimed at determining knowledge, availability and consumption of indigenous foods by primary school children. Two primary schools from two villages of the Vhembe District in Limpopo Province, South Africa. One hundred and fifty-four children aged 9-14 years in Grades 5 and 6 participated in the study.
The data was collected using a questionnaire at baseline and after intervention. The information was obtained from 172 children at baseline and 154 post intervention. The baseline was in August while follow up was in February. The intervention was nutrition education on health benefits of indigenous foods.
The results indicated that many children had prior knowledge about indigenous foods particularly fruits and vegetables. Data also suggested that their knowledge increased six months after the intervention. The results revealed that children consumed indigenous foods particularly fruits and vegetables and that there was an improvement six months after the intervention.
The study revealed that knowledge of indigenous foods depends on availability and accessibility in the community where children live as well as on the household level. However, in order to improve awareness, there is need to include knowledge of indigenous foods as part of the school curriculum.
Medicinal plants for healing sores and wounds among the communities surrounding Ungoye forest, KwaZulu-Natal, South AfricaSource: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 10, pp 228 –234 (2011)More Less
The article is based on a study that aimed at documenting the ethno-knowledge on the usage of plants healing wounds and sores at the rural areas around uNgoye forest as well as document the methods of preparation and dosage forms of medicinal plants used by people around Ungoye forest.
The survey was conducted in eighty homesteads. The information was collected through verbal communication and structured questionnaires. The focus was on the medicinal plants that grow in the Ungoye forest and around the homesteads.
The survey revealed 33 plant species belonging to 27 families. The survey also revealed the one most commonly used plant for treating wounds and sores which is Hypericum aethiopicum (Unsukumbili). Out of the 33 plants species revealed 10 plant species were documented for the first time for the usage in wound and sore healing.
The findings support the traditional value that the medicinal plants have in the primary healthcare system at uMgoye area, the need to put in place conservation measures to ensure the sustainable source and usage of medicinal plants and to encourage the domestication and cultivation of medicinal plants where possible.
Source: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 10, pp 235 –244 (2011)More Less
Cultural practices are explored and expressed in daily living through the creative abilities of every person. This article presents an analytical critique of the uses of clays for body painting and its ceremonial and ritual significance. It reports on an ethnographic study conducted to distinguish between various functions and reasons for the practice. The study is informed by cultural knowledge from rural communities within OR Tambo District in Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. Samples of clays used for ceremonial and ritual body paintings were analysed to determine their physico-chemical and mineralogical properties. The main objective was to investigate whether there is merit in this traditional practice. Using standard laboratory techniques, physico-chemical properties such as colour, particle size distribution, pH and cation exchange capacity of the samples were determined. Minerals identification was conducted using X-Ray Diffractometry. It was identified that the clay colours varied from white to yellow and red; and pH values ranged from 4.53 to 9.57. Whereas all the samples contained fractions of clay, silt and sand, their CEC values were between 1.02 meq/100g and 35.24 meq/100g. Mineral phases identified in the clayey samples include kaolinite, muscovite, hematite, goethite and quartz. The identified properties indicate that traditional usage of clays for body paintings by the Xhosas has scientific evidence which cannot be ignored.
Stereotypes against women principals in rural communities : an individual or cultural issue? A synthesis into indigenous knowledge systemsSource: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 10, pp 245 –256 (2011)More Less
Entrenched socio-cultural stereotypes which tend to undermine women's ability to be leaders and managers cut across the social strata. The experience that informs this article is drawn from an African perspective. Discrimination and prejudice with respect to women's ability to lead and to manage is universal. Feminist discourse and the bill of human rights are however, beginning to impact positively on these stereotypes.
The research was conducted in Limpopo Province. This investigation illuminated the challenges that are faced by women leaders in their schools as well as communities, regardless of the fact that most women are already leading in their households as their partners are based far away from their homes because of work commitments.
However there is a general impression that women are not good leaders. Therefore this investigation also probes into the general impressions created about women leadership. A Northern Sotho proverb which most individuals cite in reference to women leadership is: "Tsa etwa ke ya tshadi pele di wela leopeng" which means: "if a leader is a woman, disaster is bound to happen". Thus a question which one can ask is, does this proverb encourage women discrimination in the cultural settings and work environment?
Author Luvuyo NtombanaSource: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 10, pp 257 –269 (2011)More Less
This article is an abstract from a personal auto-ethnographic journey I undertook in my PhD research into the role of the Xhosa initiation practice in moral regeneration. In this article I explore the advantages and disadvantages of auto-ethnographic study. This includes how I was received by the communities and my informants given the fact that I investigated a practice that is part of my own culture and a practice I went through. Further, that this article is an informant's perspective in the sense that it shares opinions and perceptions of the informants on my research work.