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- Volume 9, Issue 1, 2010
Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems - Volume 9, Issue 1, 2010
Volume 9, Issue 1, 2010
Source: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 9, pp V –IX (2010)More Less
Poverty alleviation and eradication in Africa is a three-dimension challenge. The first dimension, which can be coined as the material-economic dimension, entails the production of goods to face hunger and malnutrition and it also involves the access to basic needs, like clean water and sanitation. According to the World Development Report of 1999, half of the sub-Saharan population consume products that cost less than one American Dollar a day. The international dollar-per-day poverty standard was developed by the World Bank for its 1990 World Development Report in order to provide a single global measurement to set a level that would be relevant in underdeveloped, developing and developed countries despite immense differences in the meaning of poverty around the world. However the problem with the measure lies in the fact that the cultural context, for example a product or service considered a staple in one culture may be a luxury in others. Nevertheless, most researchers agree that purchasing power parity is, to date, the best way to examine poverty at the global level.
Source: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 9, pp 1 –11 (2010)More Less
This article is based on a study that investigated how indigenous knowledge (IK) is used by older persons to cope with drought by applying a culture-sensitive research method. A purposive sampling of 30 Bastwana males and 45 females (age range = 22 and 60+) living in the North-West Province district of South Africa were recruited. Data were gathered by applying the Mmogo-method™ (Roos, 2008; Roos, 2010) and focus groups. Thematic content analysis was used to analyse the textual data and the visual data were analysed by using latent and manifest content analysis. The findings indicated that older persons depend on knowledge of weather patterns to know the type of crops they should plant. Food is dried and stockpiled, the size of a herd is reduced and older or sick animals are bartered first. Different animal grazing strategies and methods of water conservation are employed. Traditional beliefs and religious practices also play an essential part in the coping with drought and the sharing of resources unites people, as do stokvels and burial societies. IK is not recognized as important. This is partly because IK is oral and mainly found in rural communities, but it could also indicate a disregard for older persons' knowledge. IK contains a wealth of information that is passed from generation to generation and that assists older persons to adapt to suit their own circumstances. IK fulfils an important role in the socialising processes of the community. Young people learn about values, and beliefs; and through these processes a body of knowledge is accumulated and transmitted.
Source: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 9, pp 12 –28 (2010)More Less
This article is based on a study that sought to explore small-scale farmers' perceptions and understanding of indigenous farming with an ultimate goal of promoting the use of IK for agricultural development in Tanzania. This study was mainly qualitative, where semistructured interviews were used to collect data from 181 small-scale farmers in six rural districts of Tanzania. Based on the study findings, it was evident that the local communities had an extensive base of IK and understanding of their environment, and they were able to put appropriate managerial skills and adaptive strategies to crop and animal farming. The findings also showed that IK was location specific, and farmers possessed IK on various farm tasks such as evaluation of soil quality, preservation of planting materials and crops, plant diseases and pest control and animal disease control. It is thus important to understand and facilitate the identification, documentation and use of this knowledge as well as integrating it with conventional knowledge for improved agricultural activities. The knowledge intermediaries (research, education, information and knowledge services, and agricultural support services) should thus conduct regular user studies to identify, validate and document IK in order to determine areas that need intervention, and to enable the incorporation of IK into research to enrich the agricultural technology development process and make it relevant for farmers.
Source: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 9, pp 29 –44 (2010)More Less
The tradition of zvierwa (taboos) has been commonplace in many African societies since time immemorial. Taboos saved as codes of conduct/commandments and indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) and beliefs that helped in preserving the natural environment, peace, order and the integrity of African societal structures. However, in many African societies like Zimbabwe, taboos are now marginalized and fast phasing out. Zimbabwe's socio-economic challenges and the tide of modernization that has swept across the country are partly blamed for the daunting and phasing out of some highly esteemed taboos in the country. This article, therefore, explores African indigenous knowledge systems, particularly taboos and examines how these helped the Shona people of Zimbabwe in preserving natural resources and the environment; in saving as indigenous curriculum with ethical codes of conduct and epistemological systems for present and subsequent generations. In this attempt, the article shows how taboos helped in preserving the natural resources, fostering peace, good character and moral uprightness among the Shona people. Finally, the article explores the implications and impact of marginalizing taboos by the new generation on crime rate, moral decadence, ecosystem and environmental degradation. In light of this observation, the article contends that taboos need to be re-instituted as an 'ethno-science' that promotes human values while at the same time moving at pace with modernity. Only then would we be able to talk of Africa's sustainable development.
Indigenous knowledge for land conservation and adoption of agro-forestry technologies in the highlands of south western, UgandaSource: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 9, pp 45 –56 (2010)More Less
Soil erosion is a major agricultural and environmental problem in the highlands of southwest Uganda. Farmers have used their indigenous knowledge to solve the problem, however, information regarding these indigenous knowledge systems and socio-economic factors that influence the land conservation strategies is still scanty. A study was conducted in Muko and Bubare sub-county, Kabale district between November 2005 and July 2006, to investigate the role of indigenous knowledge in land conservation and adoption of agroforestry technologies in the highlands of south western Uganda. Semi-structured questionnaires were used to collect data from 60 households selected using a systematic purposive sampling procedure. Based on the logistic regression analysis, the indigenous knowledge and household socio-economic factors that influence the adoption of agroforestry technologies include : farmer's age, education level, frequency of contact with extension service provides, size of family productive labour force, and gender of the farmer. Based on their indigenous knowledge, the local farmers adopted different structural measures such as terraced farming, construction of waterways, check dams, retention walls, and gull control. Similarly, they adopted biological measures including alley cropping, bamboo plantation in gullies, mulching and; use of organic and inorganic fertilizers to control land degradation.
Source: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 9, pp 57 –72 (2010)More Less
The Zulu muzi (home garden) is a model of sustainable resource management. However, gardens of indigenous cultures are often considered to be spontaneous and disorganized. This reconnaissance survey of home gardens in KwaZulu-Natal considered this by examining the different use categories of garden plants, and determining whether a specific home garden layout, with micro-gardens containing useful species, exists. A survey of 40 randomly selected muzis from eight locations was conducted. A total of 149 useful plant species belonging to 72 plant families were recorded. This consisted of 91 medicinal, 32 food and 26 spiritual plants (main plant use categories). Most of these species (68%) are indigenous (including semi-wild domesticates) and the rest are alien (naturalized and cultivated exotics). Rural home gardens are characterized by a higher percentage of naturally occurring, indigenous useful plant species when compared to peri-urban areas. This suggests that traditional culture regards naturally occurring indigenous species as more valuable, suggesting that the uses of local plants have been passed down generations. Peri-urban areas are usually restricted to first or second-generation residents with little knowledge of the local indigenous flora and therefore prefer well-known exotic species. Home garden floras in rural areas were found to be collectively planted and positioned according to cultural practices passed down many generations, which is supported by a common layout plan that is repeated in home gardens.
Source: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 9, pp 73 –83 (2010)More Less
IsiZulu women bead sellers are producers and sellers of an exquisite variety of beaded products. They are faced with managing the competing demands of making a daily living and sustaining their livelihood. The purpose of the study reported in this article was to explore the factors that contributed to the sustainability of the livelihood practices of the isiZulu women bead sellers from the Durban beachfront area. A naturalistic, interpretive, qualitative case study approach was used. The participants were two bead sellers. Data for the study was generated from observations, interviews and photographs. The theoretical framework is drawn from an indigenous knowledge perspective and Ahlberg's framework for sustainable development. Findings indicate that the social and cultural capital possessed by the women have contributed largely to their livelihood practices. However, on an economic level, their practices have managed to keep them out of poverty. The authors argue for greater formal recognition and support from the city to help these women sustain their important indigenous knowledge for future generations.
Managing socio-cultural impacts of tourism on the rural tourism destinations in Kwazulu-Natal with special reference to areas within and around the world heritage sitesAuthor Thandi NzamaSource: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 9, pp 84 –95 (2010)More Less
Rural destinations within and around the World Heritage Sites have been required to implement planning procedures which would attract tourists that bring economic benefits while at the same time ensuring that the socio-cultural and environmental fabric of the community is not compromised. KwaZulu-Natal province has two World Heritage Sites, Isimangaliso and uKhahlamba Drakensberg. These World Heritage Sites are surrounded by rural areas that are relatively pristine and have characteristics of ecological importance. Tourists interact and mingle with local people while purchasing art and craft and other products. This mingling has been associated with discernible changes in the culture and lifestyles of local communities. This article is based on a study that focused on the ways in which socio-cultural impacts of tourism on rural areas around World Heritage Sites can be managed. The findings of the study indicate that various approaches can be used to curb socio-cultural impacts of tourism on rural tourist destinations and protect local culture from degradation.
Language, Afrikology and the tremor of the political moment : English as a main language of discourse in AfricaAuthor Gilbert MotsaathebeSource: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 9, pp 96 –109 (2010)More Less
English plays a pivotal role as a language of discourse in Africa. Recently, the relentless pressure to embrace the much-heralded African Renaissance has prompted many African countries to promote indigenous languages and elevate their status to that of official languages, alongside English which enjoys first place due to its development and popularity across Africa. Through the theoretical lenses of hegemonic theory and Afrikology, this article explores the use of English as a dominant language in Africa. It is posited in this article that language is the embodiment of culture and that over reliance on foreign languages often leads to unintentional consequences, which include serving as a hegemonic devise to promote foreign cultures at the expense of African culture. The article is informed, in part, by the author's personal experience while living in a native English speaking country (United Kingdom); his experience while teaching English in a non-English speaking country (Japan) and his experience in his native multilingual country (South Africa). The article concludes that while the merits of using English as a main language of discourse in Africa are clear, the need to challenge such a situation is even more compelling, and proposes that at least one African language should equally be endorsed.
Demographic characteristics associated with consumption of geophagic clays among ethnic groups in the Free State and Limpopo provincesSource: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 9, pp 110 –123 (2010)More Less
The deliberate consumption of soil/clay (geophagia) has been going on for centuries and cuts across socio-economic, ethnic, religious and racial divides. In countries with diverse ethnic origins, race and economic standing like South Africa; variations in the practice with these different groups are not yet documented. This study therefore considered two hundred and twenty one (221) geophagic women aged 17-60 years from Free State and Limpopo Provinces, South Africa. They were interviewed in an endeavour to understand their demographic characteristics and to appreciate variations in the practice of geophagia in the different ethnic groups in these regions. Semi structured questionnaires were administered to the women requesting information on their demographic characteristics as well as the reasons behind their geophagic habits. The results obtained from the survey indicated a huge diversity in ethnicity of the ladies though most of them were either Sotho or Pedis. Majority of the geophagic women were unemployed and had spent at least 12 years in formal education. The frequency of soil consumption was highest among the Pedi women than in geophagic women from other ethnic groups. The main reasons advanced to justify geophagia by these geophagic women varied, but craving, standard practice and pregnancy was the most common. Frequency of craving was highest among the Sotho women compared to the Pedi, Zulu, and Tswana women. The women interviewed ingested soil, which varied in colour from red to white to yellow. Findings indicated variations in geophagic habits with the different ethnic groups and point to indigenous practices associated with the consumption of geophagic clays within these groups.