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University of Johannesburg (2019)

Ethnobotany of Namaqualand, South Africa

Nortje, Janneke Margaretha

Titre : Ethnobotany of Namaqualand, South Africa

Auteur : Nortje, Janneke Margaretha

Université de soutenance : University of Johannesburg


Résumé partiel
A comprehensive ethnobotanical study was conducted in Namaqualand, South Africa. It is the traditional home of the Nama people, the largest group of the Khoi, nomadic herders of South Africa. The documentation of high-quality ethnobotanical data was the main emphasis of this study and all recorded plant uses are summarized in a comprehensive inventory, comprising 403 plant species, of which 288 were recorded during this study. A total of 162 medicinal plants, 152 food plants, and 157 plants used as crafts and other miscellaneous uses were recorded. Forty-five (45) species are newly recorded as ethnobotanically relevant, of which two species in the family Apiaceae are new to the flora of South Africa (and as yet scientifically undescribed). This inventory allows for detailed assessment of the useful plants of Namaqualand and the patterns of indigenous plant use across the entire study area. A flora checklist of all species occurring in Namaqualand is presented for the first time, with the vernacular names, ecogeographic region and literature records listed for all relevant species. This stratified checklist allows various applications, comparisons of regions, vernacular names, numbers of species per family and number of species used per family. The ethnobotany of each of the four ecogeographic regions in Namaqualand, the Knersvlakte, Sandveld, Hardeveld and Gariep was systematically documented and then combined to reflect the total ethnobotany of Namaqualand. The number of participants was 140, of which 62 participants took part in the Quantification Phase. Quantitative analysis, by means of the Matrix Method of De Beer and Van Wyk (2011) indicated the most popular species used per category of use [according to the Species Popularity Index (SPI)] and also the knowledge levels of the participants per category and for the age groups [according to the Ethnobotanical Knowledge Index (EKI)]. The SPI values were compared to the Cultural Importance Index (CII) of Tardio and PardoDe-Santayana (2008) and the Relative Frequency of Citation Index (RFC). Additional analyses and indices indicated the important species and their ranking for the three categories, medicinal -, food - and craft uses. The evaluation included the Fidelity Level (FL) of Friedman et al. (1986), the Fic (Trotter and Logan (1986) and Species Therapeutic Index (STI) (Nortje, 2012). These evaluations were done for all ecogeographic units and comparisons are given for Namaqualand. The quantitative data also allows for fascinating comparisons with other ethnobotanical studies carried out locally and internationally.


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