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Way to Study Indigenous Knowledge and Indigenous Knowledge System

Author Affiliations

  • 1Department of Anthropology, University of North Bengal, India

Res. J. Recent Sci., Volume 4, Issue (ISC-2014), Pages 16-29, (2015)


This paper is based on how to study Indigenous Knowledge and Indigenous Knowledge System (IK and IKS). Some questions have been raised and probable answers given. The main problem is regarding methodology. Definition and categorization of IK/IKS are also situational. IK and IKS are to be separated. IKS as a global knowledge system has to be understood. Hidden and open ended IK/IKS should have different methodologies. Symbols, cognition, post-structuralism, post-modernism, humanitarianism are different perspectives. There are as many research approaches. Rapid rural Appraisal has got special attention. IKS itself is a methodology. We have to realize the ground situation also concentrating on the area as well as approach to the area. Study can be etic and/or emic. Probable rationale of approach is to be formulated. We have to realize situations like IK/IKS versus civilization, global services from IKS, and traditional knowledge system and IKS. We also have to better understand colonial realm of the term “indigenous” and keep in mind the aspects like Indigenous Rights according to ILO.


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