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The Struggle of African Indigenous Knowledge Systems in an Age of Globalization

A Case for Childrenís Traditional Games in S

Munyaradzi Mawere

Publication Year: 2012

This is a comprehensive study and erudite description of the struggle of African Indigenous Knowledge Systems in an Age of Globalization, using in particular eighty-four childrenís traditional games in south-eastern Zimbabwe. The book is an informative and interesting anthropological account of rare African childrenís games at the risk of disappearing under globalization. The virtue of the book does not only lie in its modest philosophical questioning of those knowledge forms that consider themselves as superior to others, but in its laudable, healthy appreciation of the creative art forms of traditional literature that features in genres such as endangered childrenís traditional games. The book is a clarion call to Africans and the world beyond to come to the rescue of relegated and marginalized African creativity in the interest of future generations.

Published by: African Books Collective

Title page

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Copyright page

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pp. v-viii

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pp. ix-x

I wish to acknowledge with heartfelt thanks my students and colleagues at Universidade Pedagogica, Gaza, Mozambique, my mentors and role models at University of Cape Town, South Africa, especially Dr. Lesley Green and Prof. Francis Nyamnjoh, and all the people who participated and responded so positively ...

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pp. xi-xiv

The Struggle for African Indigenous Knowledge Systems in the Age of Globalization generally focuses on indigenous knowledge systems (IKSs) in formally colonized African societies. In particular, the book explores with profound depth the current status of traditional children’s games in the aforesaid societies. ...

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pp. xv-xviii

Amidst its encounter with colonialism and globalization, indigenous knowledge systems, especially in formally colonized states, have experienced sad histories of suffering dislocations, de-valorisation, pejorative labels, marginalization and threats of extinction. ...

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Chapter One: Beneath African Traditional Culture

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pp. 1-16

After many years of contact with the Shona people of Southeastern Zimbabwe, the Swazi of Swaziland, the Tswana of Botswana, the Basotho of Lesotho, the Changani of south Mozambique, the Ndau of central Mozambique, the Zulu and Xhosa of South Africa, there are many things I shall always remember especially in their moral and spiritual living. ...

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Chapter Two: Children’s Traditional Games as Indigenous Knowledge Systems

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pp. 17-34

The subject of children’s traditional games has attracted the attention of researchers and scholars especially in the fields of African studies, literature and anthropology for some time now. I have however observed that most of the earlier works on children’s traditional games and in particular, children’s traditional games in Zimbabwe, ...

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Chapter Three: Study area and Research Problem

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pp. 35-44

As alluded to earlier in this book, this research was carried out among the Shona people in south-eastern Zimbabwe for a period of about eight months. While staying in the area where I had specifically come to carry out my PhD ethnographic study on the contribution of forest insects named edible stinkbugs (harurwa) ...

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Chapter Four: Courtship/Love games

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pp. 45-52

Every society has its own way of ensuring the continued existence of its customs, traditions and culture as a whole. In Zimbabwe, the Shona people traditionally used various mechanisms to ensure that this happens. One of these mechanisms was children’s traditional games – for example courtship games ...

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Chapter Five: Games That Increase Creativity, Accuracy and Motor skills

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pp. 53-64

In South-eastern Zimbabwe as in many parts of the country and even the world, there were some games meant to sharpen children’s intellect as well as promoting their physical strength and determination. All children were expected to develop their intellectual faculties along with their physical growth. ...

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Chapter Six: Games That Teach Endurance, determination and Increase Physical Fitness

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pp. 65-78

Physical fitness in the Shona traditional culture is greatly valued especially among men. This is because a man who is not strong and enduring is considered unfit for many of the manual activities in and outside home. The importance of physical fitness is also emphasized through proverbial expressions ...

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Chapter Seven: Name Games/Games to Remember Names

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pp. 79-90

These games were meant to sharpen memory skills in children. Given that long ago, the tradition of writing was alien to the Zimbabwean traditional culture, children were trained to master their environment i.e. the names of things that surround them by memory. ...

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Chapter Eight: Games That Teach Vigilance, Coordination and Safety Rules

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pp. 91-106

In the Shona traditional culture, whenever children assembled to play children’s traditional games, they chose a leader (normally the eldest child) for guidance, to ensure the enforcement of discipline and the observance of safety rules. Besides, there were/are games that teach vigilance, coordination or safety rules per se. ...

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Chapter Nine: Games That Teach Hygiene and Ethics of Care

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pp. 107-112

The Shona are not only a peace loving people, but caring and responsible group of people. These virtues are taught to children when they are still young as the Shona believe in the saying that ‘Chembere mhedzi yakabva paudiki’ (lit. Bad character starts at childhood) and that ‘Simbi inorohwa ichapisa’ (lit. Iron is moulded when it is still hot) ...

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Chapter Ten: Lullabies/Soothing Songs

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pp. 113-118

Lullabies are commonplace in most if not all human cultures. A lullaby is a soothing song, usually sung to young children before they go to sleep, with the intention of speeding that process1 – their sleeping. As Opie and Opie pointed out, lullabies often have simple lyrics and are repetitive. ...

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Chapter Eleven: Counting games

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pp. 119-122

While traditionally the Shona people had no culture of writing, they were highly mathematical and philosophical. They had their own methods of counting that were unique or rather in a way different from the western way of counting. Had that the Shona people’s counting system and by extension African counting system was recorded, ...

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Chapter Twelve: Swimming games

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pp. 123-126

Swimming as it is played in Olympics is not a new game in Zimbabwe. During research for this book, I was told that traditionally the game was played in Zimbabwe as in many other parts of the world since time` immemorial. In southeastern Zimbabwe, swimming has many other sub-games. ...

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Chapter Thirteen: Seasonal games

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pp. 127-134

In Zimbabwe and in particular in south-eastern part of Zimbabwe, the people while they have myriad of children’s traditional games, some games are not played at any time of the day or of the year. Also, some games are played in a particular time of the day. Others are played in a particular season, hence the title adopted for this chapter, seasonal games. ...

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Chapter Fourteen: Recreational and Socialization Games

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pp. 135-142

As highlighted in the introduction of this book, the Shona culture is a rich and complete culture. In terms of children’s traditional games, it had all sorts of games, some meant to develop the intellect, physical body, spiritual and moral characters. The other games were also meant for entertainment and socialization. ...

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Chapter Fifteen: Hunting Games

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pp. 143-146

While hunting games are considered as children’s territory, not all of the hunting games were (and are still) played by children. Some like hunting per se, that is hunting of big animals (game hunting) are done by adult people. Others are played by both (the young and the old). ...

Back cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9789956728022
Print-ISBN-13: 9789956727117

Page Count: 168
Publication Year: 2012