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International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) | Volume VI, Issue VII, July 2022 | ISSN 2454–6186

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

Dalitso Mvula1, Chrispin Hamooya2
1LIUTEBM University
2Department of Library and Information Science, School of Education, University of Zambia

IJRISS Call for paper

Abstract: 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 face-to-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 community leaders and traditional healers to document most of the indigenous medicine and the ailments they healed be strengthened. This was seen as a way through which difficulties in mastering and panicking among the would-be healers reduce.

I.INTRODUCTION

African communities in rural setup have over the years relied on Indigenous Knowledge on climate, agriculture, medicine, health as well as education in the nonexistence of conventional knowledge generated through scientific research or statistical information. However, the current society has not appreciated the use of Indigenous Knowledge (IK) and others have associated its usage with witchcraft or black magic (Lumpa, 2017). This knowledge is passed on by word of mouth and cultural rituals from generation to generation and it