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University of Johannesburg (2018)

A quantitative survey of traditional plant use of the Vhavenḓa, Limpopo Province, South Africa

Magwede, Khathutshelo

Titre : A quantitative survey of traditional plant use of the Vhavenḓa, Limpopo Province, South Africa

Auteur : Magwede, Khathutshelo

Université de soutenance : University of Johannesburg

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy in Botany 2018

Résumé
This study aimed to record and quantify traditional knowledge about Vhavenḓa useful plants. Ethnobotanical surveys, using quantitative methods, were used to accurately document, and synthesize the patterns of traditional plant use by the Vhavenḓa in the Vhembe District of the Limpopo Province, South Africa. The quantification included all plants used for medicine (405 spp.), vegetables (160 spp.), firewood (159 spp.), edible fruit (131 spp.), magic (95 spp.), craftwork (92 spp.), construction (92 spp.), beverages (36 spp.), cordage (31 spp.), food for edible caterpillars (30 spp.), ornamentals (27 spp.), shade (22 spp.), fodder for livestock (18 spp.), birdlime or rubber (14 spp.), snuff ingredients (11 spp.), famine foods (11 spp.), dyes (7 spp.), live fences (6 spp.), fish poisons (6 spp.), condiments (6 spp.), soap substitutes (5 spp.), adhesives and glue (4 spp.), cosmetic oils (4 spp.), insect repellents (4 spp.), ritual uses (4 spp.), sources of soda – for softening fibrous vegetables when cooking them (3 spp.), toothbrushes (3 spp.), arrow poisons (2 spp.), toys (2 spp.) and as a coffee substitute (1 sp.). Data was collected through semi-structured surveys, followed by structured interviews conducted amongst Tshivenḓa or Luvenḓa speakers of the Vhembe District. Ethical approval was obtained from the Ethics Committee of the Faculty of Science, University of Johannesburg. Interviews were conduced in Tshivenḓa. Semi-structured surveys were conducted with the aim of compiling a comprehensive list of Vhavenḓa useful plants. During this phase, voucher specimens were collected to identify the species (or to verify preliminary identifications). Structured interviews were conducted, using a flipfile with photographs of all 327 useful plant species (that were previously documented in semistructured surveys) as the main research tool. It was used to interview a total of 66 research participants. This rigorous data capturing approach followed the methodology proposed by De Beer and Van Wyk (2011), which they called the Matrix

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