Indigenous knowledge systems, local community and community in the making

  • P Nel University of the Free State, Africa Studies, South Africa
Keywords: Community-based-research, local knowledge, universal knowledge, oral tradition


The title of the paper requires some brief reflection on the main topics implied. It is appropriate to start off with a definition of Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) as well as a statement regarding the constitutional status of a community. Thereafter I will expand on the merits of IKS towards community development as well as the possible negative implications of the ideological rhetorics surrounding IKS. I will then try to define a more productive space for the IKS debate and relate it also to “communities in the making”. It becomes apparent that “communities'' of different character may share communal identity and participation in sacred spaces exactly because of the indigenous knowledge they share. These spaces should be protected in a way which ensures continuity of the dynamics of community constructed as yet not fully accounted for.

Keywords: Community-based-research, local knowledge, universal knowledge discourse, oral tradition

Indilinga Vol. 5 (2) 2006: pp. 99-107

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eISSN: 1683-0296