Evolution of data collection methods for indigenous knowledge systems at the Multidisciplinary Research Centre of the University of Namibia

  • Martin Shapi
  • Ahmad Cheikhyoussefa
  • Davis R. Mumbengegwi
  • Kenneth Matengu
  • Alfred Van Kent
  • John Sifani
Keywords: data collection, University of Namibia, Namibia, indigenous knowledge, knowledge systems, documentation, knowledge capture

Abstract

This paper describes the evolution of indigenous knowledge systems documentation at the Multidisciplinary Research Centre, University of Namibia. As awareness of the value of indigenous knowledge systems has increased it has become apparent that it is threatened with extinction and there is a need to document it. Documentation of indigenous knowledge systems is important to preserve indigenous knowledge so it continues to provide local solutions or alternatives to Western knowhow and instill pride in rural communities about their indigenous knowledge systems. There is no clearly defined approach to document indigenous knowledge systems accurately and in its entirety; such a process has to develop, evolve and improve over time. Documentation at the Multidisciplinary Research Centre at the University of Namibia has gone through several phases of refinement with lessons being learnt and efforts being made to improve the process of documentation to capture indigenous knowledge as accurately as possible. The aim of this paper is present development of the indigenous knowledge systems research at the Multidisciplinary Research Centre from the documentation of general indigenous knowledge systems practices; to data collection methods for indigenous knowledge systems baseline studies on the traditional use of medicinal plants, livestock movement, traditional food and beverages and validation of medicinal plants used to treat malaria.

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Published
2019-09-06