African Local Knowledge and Livestock Health

Diseases and Treatments in South Africa
  • Publication Date: December 2013
  • Dimensions and Pages: 234 x 156 mm, 320 pages
  • EAN: 978 1 86814 757 1
  • Rights: Southern Africa
  • Recommended Price (ZAR): 320.00
  • Recommended Price (USD): n/a

 

This is a bold and necessary attempt to do something entirely new: find out what is happening on the ground in rural areas with regards to animal healing.

— Sandra Swart, University of Stellenbosch

By incorporating cultural, scientific, national and political perspectives, the authors … reveal the stark resource and knowledge divide between rural and commercial sectors.

— Arthur Spickett, Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute, Pretoria

Understanding local knowledge has become a central academic project among those interested in Africa and developing countries. In South Africa, land reform is gathering pace and African people hold an increasing proportion of the livestock in the country. Animal health has become a central issue for rural development, yet African veterinary medical knowledge remains largely unrecorded. This book seeks to fill that gap. It captures for the first time the diversity, as well as the limits, of a major sphere of local knowledge.

Beinart and Brown argue that African approaches to animal health rest largely in environmental and nutritional explanations. They explore the widespread use of plants as well as biomedicines for healing. While rural populations remain concerned about supernatural threats, and many men think that women can harm their cattle, the authors challenge current ideas on the modernisation of witchcraft. They examine more ambient forms of supernatural danger expressed in little-known concepts such as mohato and umkhondo. They take the reader into the homesteads and kraals of rural black South Africans and engage with a key concern – to vividly report the ideas of livestock owners. This is groundbreaking research which will have important implications for analyses of local knowledge more generally as well as effective state interventions and animal treatments in South Africa.

Introduction: African Local Knowledge and Veterinary Pluralism

Chapter 2. Ticks, Tick-borne Diseases and the Limits of Local Knowledge

Chapter 3. ‘The Grave of the Cow is in the Stomach’: Environment and Nutrition in the Explanation and Prevention of Livestock Diseases

Chapter 4. Transhumance, Animal Diseases and Environment

Chapter 5. Plants and Drugs: Medicating Livestock

Chapter 6. Medicinal Plants: Their Selection and their Properties

Chapter 7. Animal Health and Ideas of the Supernatural

Chapter 8. Gender, Space and the Supernatural

Chapter 9. Conclusion

William Beinart is Rhodes Professor of Race Relations, African Studies Centre, University of Oxford; Karen Brown is Research Associate at the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine, University of Oxford.

This is a bold and necessary attempt to do something entirely new: find out what is happening on the ground in rural areas with regards to animal healing.

— Sandra Swart, University of Stellenbosch

By incorporating cultural, scientific, national and political perspectives, the authors … reveal the stark resource and knowledge divide between rural and commercial sectors.

— Arthur Spickett, Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute, Pretoria

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