The knowledge base and indigenous technologies within which craftsmen produce their artefacts has been transmitted through generations using ancient technologies and the oral traditions. The advent of modern institutions, including western science and technology, has left these craftsmen isolated due to their marginal role in the world-market economy. The realisation that craft based knowledge systems may have ecological and economic sustainability in the modern world has led to a re-evaluation of their contribution to society. Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Technologies (IKS and T) in the developing world has only recently been recognised as being a part of the S&T wealth of the former colonised countries. At the same time researchers realise more and more that none of these colonised countries were spared the deployment of colonial manipulation of science and technology. In an effort to de-colonise research and research methodology on IKS, the motivation for the implementation of an organised structure within which such research can take place needs to be formalised. A need exist for the documentation of these knowledge bases. Such a documentation process forms part of a debate around the re-formulation of the basic concept of what research and research methodologies entails. The cultural gap between the socio-economical conditions of the west and the developing world is currently recognised as a problematic aspect that impacts greatly on IKS research methodologies. The inability to understand culture also inhibits the pace of acceptance of science and technology in a society.

This paper describes the development of a research methodology to study IKS in combination with the study of the public attitude towards and understanding of science (PAUS). The role of culture, tradition, colonialism and education systems within changing political dispensations was initially studied and then developed into the formulation of a suitable questionnaire to use during field surveys.

The research project consisted of two teams. The one team consisted of scientists with experience in doing research on PAUS at the National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies (NISTADS), CSIR, New Delhi, India for the past 12 years. The other team consisted of artists from the Arts Faculty, Technikon Pretoria, South Africa.

A book was published as a result of this project : Raza. G & du Plessis. H. 2002. Science, Crafts and Knowledge.Pretoria. Protea Boekhuis.

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Indigenous knowledge systems and technologies among artisans in India and South Africa.

Me Hester du Plessis   Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture,(FADA),Technikon Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

Gauhar Raza   National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies (NISTADS), CSIR, New Delhi, India

The knowledge base and indigenous technologies within which craftsmen produce their artefacts has been transmitted through generations using ancient technologies and the oral traditions. The advent of modern institutions, including western science and technology, has left these craftsmen isolated due to their marginal role in the world-market economy. The realisation that craft based knowledge systems may have ecological and economic sustainability in the modern world has led to a re-evaluation of their contribution to society. Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Technologies (IKS and T) in the developing world has only recently been recognised as being a part of the S&T wealth of the former colonised countries. At the same time researchers realise more and more that none of these colonised countries were spared the deployment of colonial manipulation of science and technology. In an effort to de-colonise research and research methodology on IKS, the motivation for the implementation of an organised structure within which such research can take place needs to be formalised. A need exist for the documentation of these knowledge bases. Such a documentation process forms part of a debate around the re-formulation of the basic concept of what research and research methodologies entails. The cultural gap between the socio-economical conditions of the west and the developing world is currently recognised as a problematic aspect that impacts greatly on IKS research methodologies. The inability to understand culture also inhibits the pace of acceptance of science and technology in a society.

This paper describes the development of a research methodology to study IKS in combination with the study of the public attitude towards and understanding of science (PAUS). The role of culture, tradition, colonialism and education systems within changing political dispensations was initially studied and then developed into the formulation of a suitable questionnaire to use during field surveys.

The research project consisted of two teams. The one team consisted of scientists with experience in doing research on PAUS at the National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies (NISTADS), CSIR, New Delhi, India for the past 12 years. The other team consisted of artists from the Arts Faculty, Technikon Pretoria, South Africa.

A book was published as a result of this project : Raza. G & du Plessis. H. 2002. Science, Crafts and Knowledge.Pretoria. Protea Boekhuis.

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