'Elimu Asilia' is the Swahili equivalent for indigenous knowledge (IK). It acts as a common platform where National Museums of Kenya (NMK) libraries working with NMK researchers and volunteers interact with local communities and children in the collection, preparation, preservation, sharing, exchange and dissemination of IK on culture, environment, health and history for the memory of our nation for sustainability and eco-social development. For more, please visit http://www.elimuasilia.org.
The Swahili hat is a kind of hat worn by men of all age, in
Lamu is called Kofia ya zito because the flowers are very small. The flowers are done in a form of embroidery
by using hand with a small needle.
Different Islamic countries in the world have different
designs of hats, the Arabia countries make the embroidery work using machine.
Every hat has a name, people can identify the kinds of hats
Example of Kofia
Uddy (Old Swahili Air
Small sticks are uddy
Uddy is the old Swahili air freshener; it was used to give fresh perfume air in the house, to perfume the cloths and hair
Uddy is used by both men and women (married). Prophet
Mohammad (S.W) used uddy to perfume his cloths and also during prayers. Uddy
became sunna to Muslims because it was used by the Prophet Muhammad (S.W).
It is not only used by the Swahili but also by all the
Muslims in the world.
Different countries have different ways of making Uddy, but
the uses are the same. Uddy is a solid perfume substance that is burnt to
produce perfumed smock, the perfume smock is then used to perfume the cloths.
is an aromatic plant of thePeriplocacea family. It is a woody
climber with large tuberous root stock which is widely distributed in Tropical
Africa. In Kenya it’s mainly found in the Equatorial rainforest of Kakamega
(the only of its kind in East and Central Africa). Their leaves are large, soft
hairy and take the shape of the heart.
The roots are yellow and strongly aromatic which
exude white latex. The roots may spread out just beneath the ground surface
covering large areas. The fleshy bark of the narrow root is eaten as an
appetizer when raw or occasionally in the dried state because of its good
taste. It freshens the mouth and others chew it for pleasure. At first, the
roots tastes rather hot and bitter later it tastes sweet, leaving a persistent
spicy taste in the mouth which is easily recognized.
Various plants have been used in folk medicines of
different cultures to treat male infertility problem.
Some of them have been
identified pharmacologically, allowing for understanding of their mechanisms of
action but most of these plants have not been scientifically investigated in
order to test and substantiate their claimed properties. Omugombera has been used
as a traditional cure for male infertility problems for a very long time,
unlike other medicinal plants used for the treatment of male infertility.
The roots are traditionally used as either aphrodisiacs
or for the treatment of urinary tract infection, jaundice and headache while
the whole plant is used in the treatment of diarrhoea. Men eat the barks or
drink the aqueous extract of mondia whytei to help increase potency in order to
allow erection to occur. It acts the same way Sildenafil (Viagra) drug acts
which is an oral drug for men with erectile dysfunction which produces
satisfactory erections and improves sexual satisfaction.
has been reported to have the ability to increase testosterone production or
relax Corpus Cavernosum tissue, but by also enhancing human sperm function. It
also causes profuse urination when used as a way of removing toxics in the
body. Apart from men, culturally it is believed women use it to help in the
contraction of the womb after delivery. Before one sets out to perform a
difficult task, the roots are chewed for good luck. Above all, it is a major
income earner to most youth in the Western part of Kenya who sells the
drug/food to other regions of the country. Research has shown that, there is
enough scientific evidence supporting the use of Mondia Whytei as an
aphrodisiac and testimonies from people who have used the plant.