The cultural dimension of development: Indigenous knowledge systems

TitleThe cultural dimension of development: Indigenous knowledge systems
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication1995
Series EditorWarren, DM, Slikkerveer, LJ, Brokensha, D
Secondary TitleIT Studies in Indigenous Knowledge and Development Series
Number of Pagesxviii, 582 pp.
Date PublishedDecember 1995
PublisherIntermediate Technology Publications Ltd [Practical Action Publishing]
ISBN1-85339-264-2; 978-1-85339-251-1; eISBN 978-1-78044-473-4
KeywordsAfrica; agroforestry; Bali; ethnobotany; ethnoveterinary medicine; Horn of Africa; India; indigenous decision-making systems; indigenous development; indigenous experimentation; indigenous knowledge; indigenous organizations; Indonesia; Kpelle; Mali; Mexico; Nepal; Niger; Nigeria; Peru; Philippines; Sudan; Zambia

This book presents evidence from many countries and sources of the validity and usefulness of indigenous knowledge in the success of development projects.

Part I consists of chapters with a focus on indigenous knowledge systems including: Ethnobotanical knowledge systems, Taman Obat Keluarga: Indigenous Indonesian medicine, Neem in Niger, The Lari Soils project in Peru, indigenous soil classificaton in Northern Zambia, Agroforestry in the Central Hills of Nepal, indigenous communication, and International rice research.

The chapters in Part II show how indigenous knowledge is used in decision making: Raised Beds and Plant Disease Management, Famine relief in the Horn of Africa, Gender and socioeconomic status in the Philippines as a reflection of decision making in agriculture, Forest Gardens of Highland Sri Lanka, Indigenous decision-making in American agriculture, Indigenous Taxonomies and decision-making of Rice Farmers in South India, Crop Varietal Selection, and Patterns of medical choice among working-class families of Oaxaca, Mexico. Part III focuses on the role that indigenous organizations play in the decision making process in the following examples: Community Forestry Management in Nepal, Natural Resource Management among Pastoralists of Arid and Semi-arid Africa, Balinese Water Temples, Kpelle Farming, and the Niger River Fisheries project.

Part IV deals with indigenous experimentation and innovation including: Indigenous horticultural approaches in tropical regions, Farmer Know-how and Communicaton for Technology Transfer in Niger, Duck Farming in Indonesia, Technology off the farm, Design of on- farm experiments in the Philippines, Soil and Water Conservation in Djenne, Mali, Kpelle steelmaking, and Protection of the Agricultural Environment in Eastern Africa.

The chapters in Part V describe how different development institutions such as: CIKARD, LEAD, CIRAN, IUCN, IIED, ILEIA, CLADES, UNESCO, NISER, and REPPIKA, are using indigenous knowledge to facilitate the development process. Part VI consists of bibliographical essays on the attention given to indigenous knowledge in the literature of the past decade in the areas of agriculture and rural development and resource management.


Wim H.J.C. Dechering, Technical Editor


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