• An investigation of the acquisition, transfer and preservation of Indigenous Knowledge by traditional healers in Chibombo District of Zambia

    Dalitso Mvula (see profile)
    Item Type:
    Traditional Medicine, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Traditional Healers
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    This study aimed at investigating the acquisition, transfer and preservation of Indigenous Knowledge by traditional healers in Chibombo District. The objectives of the study were to explore how traditional healers acquired Indigenous Medical Knowledge, identify the methods used during IMK transfer, identify the methods which were used by traditional healers to preserve IMK and to investigate the challenges which were associated with acquisition, transfer and preservation of medical knowledge. Using qualitative research method and snowball sampling, primary data were collected from 29 traditional healers and 5 key informants through faceto- face interviews. Findings revealed that traditional healers acquired knowledge of healing through training and ancestral calling. The study also established that the majority of trained healers were females as they were much more willing to be trained than males. Findings on IK transfer revealed that majority of traditional healers transferred IK on healing through demonstration and observation. Findings on knowledge preservation showed that majority of traditional healers were training their family and other interested individuals. Results on challenges during acquisition, transfer and preservation of IK revealed that would-be healers experienced sickness, difficulties in mastering what was demonstrated and observed, segregation from their known communities and panicking when patients showed no signs of recovering after administering the herbs to them. The need for community leaders in Chibombo district to consider educating the local youths during ceremonial gatherings on the need to acquire and preserve indigenous practices was recommended. This was seen as a way through which unwillingness to learn and share would be reduced. Secondly, it was recommended that collaborative efforts between communityleaders and traditional healers to document most of the indigenous medicine and the ailments they healed be strengthened.
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Last Updated:
    7 months ago
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