The role of cultural astronomy in disasder management among Barolong Boora - Tshidi, Mahikeng in the North West province
Kgotleng, Mgkosi Loretta
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The purpose of this research activity is to determine how cultural astronomy manages natural disasters in the local communities. Study Area: Mahikeng in North West Province among the Barolong boora Tshidi. Indigenous people have contributed the least to world greenhouse gas emission and have the smallest ecological footprints on Earth. Yet they suffer the worst impacts not only of climate change, but also from some of the international mitigation measures being taken. Impacts on climate change affect people negatively, these may include droughts, floods, increased diseases in people, plants as well as animals, biodiversity extinct, high mortality rate, increased food insecurity to mention a few. This study aims to describe how knowledge of cultural astronomy manages natural disasters within our local communities. In this dissertation the history of Barolong using their knowledge of cultural astronomy to manage natural disasters is gradually fading away because of non-recognition of our knowledge custodians as they do not hold any formal education and those who have it only ended at primary level. Democracy brought a sense of mental decolonization unto us as South Africans. This brought light to some of our village members to acknowledge their identity which includes their customs and beliefs. This study unearthed that local communities have the rich indigenous knowledge to sustain their lives that is how some villages are able to prepare and manage natural disasters without the knowledge of cultural astronomy only. They practice other measures which also sustain them and are also easy to be passed on orally from generation to generation. In Barolong communities the knowledge of sky readers is regarded to be very important, it is information that can be relied on because sky readers are always correct. In addition, African traditional religious nature and structure endorses the practice to be acknowledged and be taken as African identity. In the light of the above, and after taking comments by the members of the communities, recommendations are made for an integrated study framework between the local knowledge and modern technologies or information of astronomy. It is also recommended that there should be proper documentation which is not distorted before it can be totally extinct.
- Humanities