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Mohamed Pakia
African Traditional Plant Knowledge Today
An ethnobotanical study of the Digo at the Kenya Coast
Reihe: Beiträge zur Afrikaforschung
Bd. 24, 2006, 224 S., 29.90 EUR, 29.90 CHF, br., ISBN 3-8258-9056-2, ISSN 0938-7285


The book is an unusually exploration of the ethnobotanical study, through interdisciplinary approach, that combines linguistics, botany and anthropological aspects. It gives an in-depth account of the practical life of the Digo in their day-to-day knowledge and conception of the plant world. The Digo were involved in the study as a representative of the African ethnic groups, which provides for a scholastic challenge to prove other wise.

The subject matter is drawn from the general botanical topics, viz plant description, naming, identification, and classification. The coverage, however, is incomplete without considering the fields of plant knowledge application such as agriculture and healing.

The book provides for evidence to recognise that, although unwritten, the African Traditional Plant knowledge is not muddled, as first impressions might suggest.



Born at Vuga, in Kwale District, Kenya, he attended the local Primary School (Vuga Primary School), then Voi Secondary School for ordinary level and Shimo la Tewa High School for Advanced level. He then went to Egerton Universuty (Kenya) for Bachelor's degree in Education, University of Natal (South Africa) for Masters degree in Science, and finally University of Bayreuth (Germany) for the PhD. His study training focused on the interaction between plants and humans, i.e. ethnobotany, blended with some aspects of general biology such as ecology. Currently he is an Assistant Professor at the University College of Zanzibar (Tanzania).





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