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Archiving Nganyi Weatherlore and Connecting with Modern Science of Rain Prediction: Challenges and Prospects



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Simala, K Inyani 


This paper discusses the integration of indigenous knowledge about rain prediction with modern meteorological forecasts in climate risk management to support community-based adaptation. The paper is based on research among the Nganyi community of Western Kenya to increase the visibility, effectiveness, sustainability and acceptability of local knowledge by integrating it with modern science rainfall forecasts. This research found that community memory includes songs, poems, proverbs and legends that are used to describe, protect and archive rain prediction knowledge, practices and beliefs. Accumulated over generations and deeply embedded in the experiential and historic reality of the community, indigenous knowledge is often considered the property of the entire Nganyi community, maintained and orally transmitted through a select few specialists.

The desire to understand pressing issues such as climate change is not made any easier by competing and different knowledge domains, none of which offers a single and comprehensive answer to what is happening around us. This paper argues that the challenge of understanding today’s world is actually the challenge of integrating knowledge from different perspectives through collaboration, innovation, integration and communication.


World Oral Literature Project Workshop 2010


oral literature, Nganyi, archive, rain prediction

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