n Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems - Indigenous knowledge practitioners' sustainable livelihood practices : a case study




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.


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