Indilinga: African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems

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Local knowledge as a source of community resilience

S Shava, C Zazu, K Tidball, R O'Donoghue


Local knowledge can serve a source of local community resilience that provides an enabling capacity for people to sustain their livelihoods and adapt to environmental changes or new environments. This knowledge was evidenced as capable of resurfacing when contingent opportunities arise. This contribution draws upon case studies of emerging self-mobilised social learning processes in the recollection and application of agricultural knowledge as revealed in immigrant gardeners’ narratives in New York City, United States and narratives from relocated farming communities in Sebakwe, Zimbabwe. In these narratives the communities draw upon their reserves of local knowledge to respond to changes within their local environments. Such knowledge can serve as a source of community resilience through enabling people to sustain their livelihoods and community wellbeing, and thus adapt to environmental changes and displacement.

Keywords: Local knowledge, community resilience, narratives.

AJOL African Journals Online