Indilinga: African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems

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Indigenous knowledge systems, local community and community in the making

P Nel


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

AJOL African Journals Online