Indigenous Knowledge on Health care among the Ovahimba Community of Oukongo Village in Kunene Region of Namibia
Keywords: Indigenous knowledge, indigenous health care, medicinal plants, herbal remedies, community
AbstractThe purpose of this study was to explore the indigenous knowledge of medicinal plants for treating common illnesses among the Ovahimba of Oukongo village in the Kunene region of Namibia. The coevolutionary theory of sustainable development informed this study as it promotes the anti-hegemonic ecology of knowledge and synchronises traditional knowledge with the modern world. The interview data were analysed using the inductive approach and content analysis. The results show that the Ovahimba community of Oukongo village use plant-based remedies such as roots, leaves, bark, fruits and flowers for the treatment of ailments such as headaches and diarrhoea, high blood pressure, chest pain and syphilis. The remedy preparation follows the process of harvesting parts of a plant, cleaning and breaking it into small pieces or crushing it into powder and then mixing with water or some form of liquid. The process also includes chewing roots, leaves and burning flowers into ashes. The study recommends further research to document indigenous health care practices of the Ovahimba. It also recommends the adoption of the co-evolutionary theory of sustainable development as the basis for the synchronisation of indigenous knowledge with modern health care and thus promote future generations’ access to the rich heritage of ancestral knowledge on health care.
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How to Cite
Hamunyela , M. N., Nekongo-Nielsen , H., & Kanyimba, A. (2020). Indigenous Knowledge on Health care among the Ovahimba Community of Oukongo Village in Kunene Region of Namibia. Journal for Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences, 8(2), 107-140. https://doi.org/10.32642/.v8i2.1451