Advertisement

African Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Healing Traditions

  • Olaniyi Bojuwoye
  • Mokgadi Moletsane-Kekae
Chapter

Abstract

How people of a culture conceive of human nature is informed by the worldview of that culture. Within each culture are knowledge systems regarding human nature including how humans respond to their environment and to diseases and restoring health. The chapter describes African cultural worldview, with its two most important aspects of Collectivism and Spiritualism as these relate to human nature. From Africa perspectives, human nature is socially constructed, the self is considered as a product emerging from relational experiences. Health is also socially constructed and considered multidimensional incorporating physical, social, psychological, spiritual, career and familial aspects of life. Healthcare delivery is holistic involving biomedical and psycho-social treatments. The chapter concludes with drawing parallels between African traditional healing practices and existential counselling intervention.

References

  1. Angelique, H., & Kyle, K. (2002). Monterey declaration of critical community psychology. The Community Psychologist, 35(1), 35–36. Retrieved January 7, from https://www.academia.edu/749230/The_concepts_values_and_ideas_of_critical_community_psychology.
  2. Atherton, K. (2007). Holistic healing. Pindari Herb Farm. Retrieved May 21, 2007, from http://pindariherbfarm.com/healing/holiheal.htm.
  3. Berry, J. W., Poortinga, Y. H., Segall, M. H., & Dasen, P. R. (2002). Cross-cultural psychology: Research and applications (2nd ed.). Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University.Google Scholar
  4. Bodibe, R. C. (1992). Traditional healing: An indigenous approach to mental health problems. Cape Town: Maskew Miller.Google Scholar
  5. Bojuwoye, O. (2001). Crossing cultural boundaries in counselling. International Journal for the Advancement of Counselling, 23, 31–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bojuwoye, O. (2006). Training of professional psychologists for Africa—Community psychology or community work? Journal of Psychology in Africa (Special Edition on Community Psychology), 16(2), 161–166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Botha, K., & Moletsane, M. (2012). Western and African aetiological models. In A. Burke (Ed.), Abnormal psychology. A South African perspective (2nd ed., pp. 80–99). Cape Town: Oxford University Press. Google Scholar
  8. Bronfenbrenner, U. (1979). The ecology of human development: Experiments by nature and design. Cambridge, MA: Howard University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Cartwright, D. E. (2008). Compassion and solidarity with sufferers: The metaphysics of Mitleid. The European Journal of Philosophy, 16(2), 292–310.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Castillo, R. J. (1998). Culture and schizophrenia. In R. J. Castilllo (Ed.), Meanings of madness (pp. 245–247). Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.Google Scholar
  11. Comaroff, J. (1980). Healing and the cultural order. The case of Baralong Boo Rashidi of Southern Africa. American Ethnologist, 7, 637–657.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Crafford, D. (1996). The African religions. In P. Meiring (Ed.), World of religions: A South African perspective. Pretoria: Kagiso.Google Scholar
  13. Department of Science and Technology (DST). (2011). DST annual report 2010–2011. Pretoria: DST.Google Scholar
  14. Dryden, W. (1984). Therapeutic arenas. In W. Dryden (Ed.), Individual therapy in Britain (pp. 1–22). London: Harper and Row.Google Scholar
  15. Edwards, S. D. (2000). Developing community psychology in Zululand, South Africa. In S. N. Madu, P. K. Baguma, & A. Pritz (Eds.), Psychotherapy and African reality (pp. 149–159). Pietersburg: UNN Press.Google Scholar
  16. Epp, L. R. (1998). The courage to be an existential counselor: An interview of Clemmont E. Vontress. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 20(1), 1–12.Google Scholar
  17. Freedman, J., & Combs, G. (1996). Narrative therapy: The social construction of preferred realities. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
  18. Garfield, S. L. (1995). Psychotherapy: An eclectic-integrative approach. London: Wiley.Google Scholar
  19. Gilligan, S. G. (1998). Listening to our demons: When new identities struggle to emerge. Family Therapy Networker, 22(5), 41–45.Google Scholar
  20. Gumede, M. V. (1990). Traditional healers: A medical doctor’s perspective. Braamfontein: Skotaville.Google Scholar
  21. Gyekye, K. (1988). The unexamined life: Philosophy and the African experience. Accra: Ghana University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Hannigan, B., Barlet, H., & Clilverd, A. (1997). Improving health and social functioning: Perspectives of mental health service users. Journal of Mental Health, 6(6), 613–619.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Harley, D. A. (2006). Indigenous healing practices among rural elderly African Americans. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, 53(4), 433–452.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hayes, G. (1986). Intervening with political psyche. In Organization for appropriate social services in South Africa (pp. 44–48). Johannesburg: Organization for Appropriate Social Services in Southern Africa.Google Scholar
  25. Kashima, Y. (2000). Conception of culture and person for psychology. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 31, 14–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kleinman, A. (1980). Patients and healers in the context of culture. Berkeley: University of California.Google Scholar
  27. Levers, L. L. (2006). Traditional healing as indigenous knowledge: Its relevance to HIV/AIDS in southern Africa and the implications for counselors. Journal of Psychology in Africa, 16, 87–100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Louw, D. A., & Edwards, D. J. A. (1993). Psychology: An introduction for students in Southern Africa. Johannesburg: Lexicon.Google Scholar
  29. Makgoba, M. W. (1997). MOKOKO, the makgoba affair: A reflection on transformation. Florida Hills: Vivlia Publishers and Booksellers.Google Scholar
  30. Mariach, L. (2003). Psychotherapy in Africa—The mental health of indigenous and tribal peoples of Africa. In N. S. Madu (Ed.), Contributions to psychotherapy in Africa. Sovenga: University of the North Press.Google Scholar
  31. Mbiti, J. S. (1989). African religions and philosophy (2nd ed.). Oxford: Heinemann Educational Books Inc.Google Scholar
  32. Mohamedbbai, G. (2013). Indigenous knowledge must be harvested for development. University World News. Global Edition. Issue 262, March 9. Retrieved March 9, 2018, from http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=2013030712115748.
  33. Moletsane, M. (2011). Indigenous African personality and health theories. Seminar presentation paper presented at Psychology Department, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, Bellville.Google Scholar
  34. Mpofu, E. (2003). Conduct disorder: Presentation, treatment options and cultural efficacy in an African setting. International Journal of Disability, Community and Rehabilitation (Canada Edition), 2(1). Retrieved November 22, 2017, from http://www.ijdcr.ca/VOL02_01_CAN/articles/mpofu.shtml.
  35. Mpofu, E. (2006). Majority world health care traditions intersect indigenous and complementary and alternative medicine. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, 53(4), 375–379. Retrieved January 7, 2018, from http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10349120601008340.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Mpofu, E., Peltzer, K., & Bojuwoye, O. (2011). Indigenous healing practices in Sub-Saharan African. In E. Mpofu (Ed.), Counseling people of African descent (pp. 3–21). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Ngubane, H. (1977). Body and mind in Zulu medicine. London: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  38. Nyasani, J. M. (1997). The African psyche. Nairobi: University of Nairobi and Theological Printing Press.Google Scholar
  39. Odendaal, N. (2010). Exploring indigenous stone play as a projection medium in child psychological assessment. Unpublished Masters Dissertation, University of Pretoria.Google Scholar
  40. Owusu-Bempah, J., & Howitt, D. (1995). How Eurocentric psychology damages Africa. The Psychologist, 8(10), 462–465. Google Scholar
  41. Parrott, C. (1999). Towards an integration of science, art and morality: The role of values in psychology. Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 12(1), 5–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Ray, C. B. (1993). Aladura Christianity: A Yoruba religion. Journal of Religion in Africa, 23, 266–291.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Rudnick, H. (2000). Traditional healing in South Africa. Johannesburg: Rank Afrikaans University Press.Google Scholar
  44. Segal, M. H., Dasen, P. R., Berry, J. W., & Poortinga, Y. H. (1999). Human behaviour in global perspective: An introduction to cross-cultural psychology. New York: Pergamon.Google Scholar
  45. Senghor, L. (1966). Negritude and African socialism. In K. Kirkwood (Ed.), St Anthony’s papers no. 15 (pp. 16–22). London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  46. Sheweder, R. A. (1991). Thinking through cultures: Expeditions in cultural psychology. Cambridge, MA.: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  47. Shutte, A. (1993). Philosophy of Africa. Rodenbosch: University of Cape Town Press.Google Scholar
  48. Spinnelli, E. (1994). Demystifying therapy. London: Constable.Google Scholar
  49. Straker, G. (1994). Integrating African and Western healing practices in South Africa. American Journal of Psychotherapy, 48(3), 455–467.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Tulku, T. (1975). Reflections of mind: Western psychology meets Tibetan Buddhism Nyingma Psychology Series. Emeryville, CA: Dharma Publishing.Google Scholar
  51. Vontress, C. E. (1996). A personal retrospective on cross-cultural counseling. Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, 24(3), 156–166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Vontress, C. E. (1999). Interview with a traditional African healer. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 21(4), 326–336.Google Scholar
  53. Vontress, C. E. (2000, May 4–7). Cross-cultural counselling in the 21st century. A keynote address presented at the International Association for Counseling, Thessaloniki, Greece.Google Scholar
  54. Vontress, C. E. (2003). On becoming and existential cross-cultural counsellor. In F. D. Harper & J. McFadden (Eds.), Culture and counseling (pp. 20–30). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.Google Scholar
  55. World Health Organization (WHO). (1993). World health statistical manual: 1992. Geneva: World Health Organization.Google Scholar
  56. World Health Organization (WHO). (2001). Legal status of traditional medicines and complementary/alternative medicine: A world review. Retrieved November 12, 2010, from http://whqlibdoc.who.int/hq/2001/WHO_EDM-TRM-2001.2.pdf.
  57. Zimmermann, K. A. (2012). What is culture: Definition of culture. Live Science, Human Nature. Retrieved January 7, 2018, from https://www.livescience.com/21478-what-is-culture-definition-of-culture.html.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Olaniyi Bojuwoye
    • 1
  • Mokgadi Moletsane-Kekae
    • 2
  1. 1.Kwara State UniversityMaleteNigeria
  2. 2.University of the Western CapeWestern CapeSouth Africa

Personalised recommendations