Indigenous knowledge of Namibia

Examines the indigenous knowledge of medicinal plants in Namibia, indigenous foods, coping and response strategies in dealing with human-wildlife conflicts, floods, gender, climate change and the management of natural resources.
Chinsembu, Kazhila C.; Cheikhyoussef, Ahmad; Mumbengegwi, Davis; Kandawa-Schulz, Martha; Kasanda, Choshi D.; Kazembe, Lawrence
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Title: Indigenous knowledge of Namibia
Editors: Kazhila C. Chinsembu; Ahmad Cheikhyoussef; Davis Mumbengegwi; Martha Kandawa-Schulz; Choshi D. Kasanda; Lawrence Kazembe
Publisher: University of Namibia Press (UNAM Press)
Windhoek, Namibia 2015
ISBN 9789991642055 / ISBN 978-99916-42-05-5
Softcover, 17 x 24, 406 pages, several b/w photos and tables


Indigenous knowledge is the dynamic information base of a society, facilitating communication and decision-making. It is the cornerstone of many modern-day innovations in science and technology. It is also a ready and valuable resource for sustainable and resilient livelihoods, and attracts increasing public interest due to its applications in bio-technology, health, bio-prospecting, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, food preparation, mathematics and astronomy. Indigenous Knowledge of Namibia is a fascinating compendium aimed at a wide readership of academics and students, government officials, policy makers, and donors. The 17 chapters examine the indigenous knowledge of medicinal plants for treating HIV/AIDS, malaria, cancer, and other microbial infections of humans and livestock; indigenous foods; coping and response strategies in dealing with human-wildlife conflicts, floods, gender, climate change and the management of natural resources. A new rationalisation of adolescent customary and initiation ceremonies is recommended in response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic; and a case study of the San people of Namibia speaks to the challenges of harmonising modern education with that of indigenous people.

Content: Indigenous knowledge of Namibia

Abbreviations and acronyms Introduction

Bioprospecting for 'green diamonds': Medicinal plants used in the management of HIV/AIDS-related conditions
(Kazhila C. Chinsembu)
Indigenous use of plants to treat malaria and associated symptoms
(Iwanette du Preez; Sylvia Nafuka; Davis R. Mumbengegwi; Ronnie Bock)
Indigenous knowledge of medicinal plants used for the treatment of cancer
(Florence Dushimemaria, Davis R. Mumbengegwi; Ronnie Bock)
The use of traditional medicinal plants as antimicrobial treatments
(Davis R. Mumbengegwi, Iwanette du Preez, Florence Dushimemaria, Joyce Auala; Sylvia Nafuka)
Indigenous knowledge and antimicrobial properties of plants used in ethnoveterinary medicine
(Kazhila C. Chinsembu)
School learners' knowledge and views of traditional medicinal plant use in two regions in Namibia
(Choshi Darius Kasanda; Hileni Magano Kapenda)
Namibian leafy vegetables: From traditional to scientific knowledge, current status and applications
(Lynatte F. Mushabati, Gladys K. Kahaka; Ahmad Cheikhyoussef)
Traditionally fermented milk products
(Lusia Heita; Ahmad Cheikhyoussef)
Oshikundu: An indigenous fermented beverage
(Werner Embashu, Ahmad Cheikhyoussef; Gladys Kahaka)
Harvesting and consumption of the giant African bullfrog, a delicacy in northern Namibia
(Daniel O. Okeyo, Lineekela Kandjengo; Martha M. Kashea)
Indigenous knowledge used in the management of human-wildlife conflict along the borders of the Etosha National Park
(Selma M. Lendelvo, Margaret N. Angula; John Kazgeba E. Mfune)
Understanding indigenous coping strategies of the Basubiya on the flooded plains of the Zambezi River
(Nchindo Richardson Mbukusa)
Indigenous knowledge and climate change in rural Namibia: A gendered approach
(Nguza Siyambango, Alex T. Kanyimba; Pempelani Mufunef)
Reclaiming indigenous knowledge in Namibia's post-colonial curriculum: The case of the Mafwe people
(John Makala Lilemba; Yonah Hisbon Matemba)
Developmental issues facing the San people of Namibia: Road to de-marginalization in formal education
(Anthony Brown; Cynthy K. Haihambo)
Messages given to adolescents and young adults during initiation ceremonies and their relation to HIV/AIDS
(Cynthy K. Haihambo)
To integrate or not: Exploring the prospects and challenges of integrating indigenous knowledge at the University of Namibia
(Grace M. Chinsembu; Miriam Hamunyela)
Questions for students