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- Volume 8, Issue 1, 2009
Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems - Volume 8, Issue 1, 2009
Volume 8, Issue 1, 2009
Source: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 8, pp V –VIII (2009)More Less
In 2004, the South African government adopted an Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) Policy with a view to recognising, affirming, developing promoting and protecting Indigenous Knowledge Systems in the country (Department of Science and Technology, 2004). In order to implement this policy, a number of institutions, functions and legislative provisions had to be put in place. One such institution that was established to give effect to this policy was the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Indigenous Knowledge Systems which was launched in 2008 by the Honourable Mosibudi Mangena, the then South African Minister of Science and Technology.
Source: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 8, pp 1 –11 (2009)More Less
This article explores beliefs and practices with regard to the role of the ancestors in healing in relation to communal, human spirituality in general and Southern African Nguni people in particular. Special focus is on the psychosocial dynamics of healing as revealed through divine mediation and continuous communication with the ancestors.
Author Tshilidzi MashambaSource: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 8, pp 12 –23 (2009)More Less
Infertility is one of the major problems facing families, both in the public and private health sectors. This article reports on findings of a study that investigated the traditional perspectives regarding infertility. The study was conducted using qualitative research methods with five traditional healers who were selected through purposive sampling. Data was collected using semi-structured interviews and content analysis was used. Participants indicated that patients had different reasons for wanting to procreate, and when conception does not take place, often women are the ones to blame. There are also perceived consequences of being childless. They fall under different categories, such as, social, economic and health. The findings of the study revealed that the etiology of infertility was attributed to three major factors, these are, biomedical, traditional and supernatural. When patients consult traditional healers for treatment, diagnostic strategies are employed and the necessary treatment is prescribed. Where such healers realize that the patient's condition is complex and beyond their assistance they refer the patient to other traditional healers, faith healers or western-trained health practitioners.
Cross cultural dilemmas in the management of HIV / AIDS : the role of African traditional healers : indigenous African healing practicesAuthor Jane MufamadiSource: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 8, pp 24 –35 (2009)More Less
The article is based on the study which sought to investigate the role that African traditional healers can play in the care and management of HIV / AIDS. Ten traditional healers from the Vhavenda community in South Africa were interviewed to understand their perceptions and approaches to the management of HIV / AIDS. To triangulate, ten Western trained health care practitioners and eight HIV / AIDS patients were also interviewed to canvass their views on the role that traditional healers can play in the management of HIV / AIDS. The interviews were audio-taped, transcribed and translated into English. The protocols were analyzed using the grounded theory approach. It was found that traditional healers provide a client-centered and personalized health care management that is culturally appropriate and tailored to meet the needs and expectations of their patients. Some of the patients reported consulting traditional healers when presented with what they considered to be HIV / AIDS related symptoms. Western trained health care providers reported a willingness to collaborate with African traditional healers. However, the study also found that most traditional healers did not understand HIV / AIDS as they seemed to confuse this clinical condition with some sexually transmitted diseases. The cultural proximity of traditional healers may facilitate communication about the disease and related social issues.
Traditional healers' conceptions of the roles and functions of selected internal body organs : indigenous African healing practicesAuthor Sidwala ImendaSource: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 8, pp 38 –50 (2009)More Less
The article is based on the study that investigated the conceptions of traditional healers regarding the roles and functions of selected internal body organs, i.e. the brain, heart, spleen, kidneys, liver and lungs. It was a case study involving one-on-one interviews with the three traditional healers from the New Castle area of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The findings showed that some of the respondents' conceptions of the roles and functions of these selected body parts were in concord with Western science. Overall, however, the socio-cultural orientations of the participants had a telling influence on how they conceptualised the roles and functions of these internal organs. In particular, the findings indicated that the interplay between the physical and spiritual realms of human existence was a major platform from which the participants understood these roles and functions. These findings are discussed in the contexts of both possible future actions and further research.
The use of ditaola (divination bones) among indigenous healers in Sekhukhune District, Limpopo Province : indigenous African healing practicesSource: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 8, pp 51 –58 (2009)More Less
The article serves as a research report on the role of "ditaola" (divination bones) in traditional healing. Twenty-five indigenous healers were selected through purposive sampling and were asked to respond to thirty-five questions that related to the classification, different kinds of falls and the interpretation of divination bones. In addition, the researchers observed the lives of the people through participant observation. The study found that the origin and the naming of divination bones tend to reveal a very close relationship between human beings and the environment. Furthermore, the symbolic names given to the different "ditaola" seemed to make these diagnostic tools more significant in the context of indigenous healing. Unlike Western healing systems, indigenous healing was found to rely heavily on symbols and figurative language.
Indigenous healers' diagnostic and treatment methods for some illnesses and social dysfunctions : indigenous African healing practicesSource: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 8, pp 59 –72 (2009)More Less
Calls for the recognition of indigenous healers have been made nationally and internationally in view of the positive role that these providers of alternative health care can play in the treatment of various forms of illness. In South Africa, the Draft Policy on African Traditional Medicine for South Africa lays the foundation on how collaboration between indigenous healers and modern health care providers could be realized. This article focuses on the healing methods that are used by indigenous healers in South Africa. An overview of the diagnostic methods and the therapeutic procedures used in the treatment of some illnesses and social dysfunctions is presented. Case studies are presented to illustrate how two indigenous healers interpret and treat "senyama" - a form of psychological dysfunction. Some psychological and public health explanations are advanced to understand this culturally defined health condition can be understood from the Western health perspective.
Xhosa male initiation and teaching of moral values : an exploration of the role of traditional guardians in teaching the initiates : IKS in other contextsAuthor Luvuyo NtombanaSource: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 8, pp 73 –84 (2009)More Less
This article discusses the role of Xhosa male initiation practice in the teaching of moral values and the part played by the amakhankatha (traditional guardians) in the practice. Xhosa male initiation is regarded as a rite of passage since it has a historic role in building up the moral lives of boys as they graduate to manhood. Amakhankatha are identified both from literature and the research findings as major role players in the teaching of the initiates. A shift in the approach to teaching moral values and in the practice of initiation has resulted in the death of many initiates as well as the misbehaviour of the amakrwala (new men). The author suggests that initiation practices should be redefined in order to play a positive role in building the moral fibre of Xhosa society, as it was intended in the past. As part of the solution to the problem the author suggests an informal curriculum in order to empower the amakhankatha, who will in turn teach the initiates. This curriculum comprises topics such as HIV and AIDS, crime, women abuse and what it means to be a responsible man.
Indigenous Knowledge Management Transfer Systems across generations in Zimbabwe : IKS in other contextsSource: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 8, pp 85 –94 (2009)More Less
Indigenous knowledge transfer is becoming an increasingly important issue in the development fraternity as development practitioners seek answers to develop indigenous communities. This article reports on the findings of a study that was aimed at establishing how indigenous knowledge can be preserved and transferred and its interaction with social capital for the purposes of community development. The study was carried out using qualitative research methodology. The research was conducted in Mhakwe Ward, Chimanimani in Zimbabwe in 2006. The main methods employed for the research were observations, in-depth interviews, secondary data (historical documents) and life histories. The main findings pointed to the fact that transfer of indigenous knowledge could only be achieved through incorporating indigenous knowledge into the normal systems of 'modern' leanings like schools. This is because the young generation spends most of their time at these 'modern' institutions of learning. Findings established that indigenous knowledge risk being extinct hence documentation of this knowledge should be instituted to preserve it. While the implementation of this can be subject for future research, current research has identified imparting indigenous knowledge through 'modern' schooling as a more viable option for indigenous knowledge to be learnt by the younger generation.
Managing agricultural indigenous and exogenous knowledge through information and communication technologies for poverty reduction in Tanzania : IKS in other contextsSource: Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems 8, pp 95 –113 (2009)More Less
This article addresses the extent to which information and communication technologies (ICTs) may be used to manage agricultural indigenous knowledge (IK) to alleviate extreme poverty and halve hunger in the rural areas of Tanzania. It also discusses ways that ICTs can be used to introduce exogenous knowledge into the local communities in order to reduce hunger and poverty. The advent of ICTs provides a window of opportunity for developing countries to harness and utilize IK to their advantage. Access to, and use of, ICTs provides new and faster ways of delivering and accessing information and knowledge that may improve productivity in a wide range of sectors, including agriculture. Access to information and knowledge may give Tanzania the possibility to reduce poverty and increase agricultural productivity. The rural population of Tanzania is not only deprived from accessing global knowledge on agriculture, but it also lacks opportunities to share its own IK. Research shows that the use of exogenous knowledge together with IK systems may improve farming activities. Recommendations are given on how IK may be effectively managed through ICTs in Tanzania.