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Article

Sustainability of the Loita Maasai Childrens’ Ethnomedicinal Knowledge

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School of Biological Sciences, University of Nairobi, Nairobi P.O. Box 30197-00100, Kenya
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School of Natural Resources and Animal Sciences, Maasai Mara University, Narok P.O. Box 861-20500, Kenya
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Department of Bioscience—Ecoinformatics and Biodiversity, Aarhus University, Build. 1540, Ny Munkegade 116, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(19), 5530; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su11195530
Received: 20 August 2019 / Revised: 30 September 2019 / Accepted: 4 October 2019 / Published: 7 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Collection Cultural Crossovers and Social Sustainability)
Knowledge and practice of medicinal plant use is embedded in the Maasai culture. However, it is not known how that knowledge and practices are acquired by children and transferred across generations. We assessed children’s knowledge of medicinal plants and their uses, methods of knowledge acquisition and transfer, and how that process is influenced by demographic attributes such as gender, level of education, and age. We interviewed 80 children who were 6–17 years old. Mann–Whitney U, Kruskal–Wallis tests and Spearman Rank order correlation were performed to determine the influence of gender, level of education, and age when they are in the process of acquiring ethnomedicinal plant knowledge. The Maasai children acquired knowledge of medicinal plants progressively with their age. Ethnomedicinal knowledge was not influenced by gender or level of education. The children were introduced to the knowledge of local medicinal plants and their use at an average age of seven years and the knowledge was transferred indiscriminately to both girls and boys. This study aids in the protection and conservation of medicinal plant knowledge by encouraging the sustainability of the local cultural heritage. View Full-Text
Keywords: medicinal plant knowledge; intergenerational transfer; Loita; Kenya; medicinal knowledge transmission; traditional knowledge; ethnobotany medicinal plant knowledge; intergenerational transfer; Loita; Kenya; medicinal knowledge transmission; traditional knowledge; ethnobotany
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MDPI and ACS Style

Nankaya, J.; Gichuki, N.; Lukhoba, C.; Balslev, H. Sustainability of the Loita Maasai Childrens’ Ethnomedicinal Knowledge. Sustainability 2019, 11, 5530. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su11195530

AMA Style

Nankaya J, Gichuki N, Lukhoba C, Balslev H. Sustainability of the Loita Maasai Childrens’ Ethnomedicinal Knowledge. Sustainability. 2019; 11(19):5530. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su11195530

Chicago/Turabian Style

Nankaya, Jedidah, Nathan Gichuki, Catherine Lukhoba, and Henrik Balslev. 2019. "Sustainability of the Loita Maasai Childrens’ Ethnomedicinal Knowledge" Sustainability 11, no. 19: 5530. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su11195530

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