|Recording and Using Indigenous Knowledge: A Manual (IIRR, 1996, 211 p.)|
|Part 1 Indigenous knowledge and development|
Types of knowledge...
Older people have different types of knowledge than the young. Women and men, farmers and merchants, educated and uneducated people all have different types of knowledge.
- Common knowledge is held by most people in a community; e.g., almost everyone knows how to cook rice (or the local staple food).
- Shared knowledge is held by many but not all community members; e.g., villagers who raise livestock will know basic animal husbandry.
- Specialized knowledge is held by a few people who might have had special training or an apprenticeship; e.g., only a few villagers will become healers, midwives, or blacksmiths.
... and types of People
The type of knowledge people have is related to:
- Sex (see question guide Gender and indigenous knowledge)
- Labor division within the family, enterprise or community
- Socio-economic status
- History, etc
This has important implications for development work. To find out what people know we must identify the right people to ask. For example, if boys do the herding, they might know better than their fathers where the beet grazing sites are. If we ask the fathers to show us good pastures, we might get only partial information. Development professionals sometimes think that villagers know very little, when in fact the wrong people have been interviewed.