Potentials of Indigenous Techniques of Knowledge Creation in Qinea Schools of Ethiopia

  • Marie- Claude Boudreau University of Georgia
  • Mariye Yigzaw
  • Monica Garfield Bentley University
  • Mulugeta Libsie


As the world has entered the knowledge economy and organizations search for ways to createnew knowledge, we must recognize that knowledge creation has been practiced since thebeginning of mankind. Communities have been creating and using indigenous knowledge forcenturies. However, indigenous knowledge and indigenous techniques of knowledge creationhave been neglected for decades and there has been a divide between the modern (scientific) andtraditional worlds. Despite advances in knowledge creation, there is a fear that knowledgemanagement can become another management fad that promised much and delivered little.Besides, application of modern knowledge is limited especially in third world communities likeEthiopia. Such communities are heavily dependent on traditional knowledge for solvingproblems. Thus, studying traditional practices may lend an additional lens to better understandand facilitate knowledge creation. By leveraging our past and incorporating our traditionalpractices in knowledge creation, we can further enable today’s knowledge creation efforts. Thisresearch explores the potentials of indigenous knowledge creation techniques of instantaneouslycreating knowledge, which has been in use by the Orthodox Church communities of Ethiopia(and Eritrea) since the 5th Century. Using an interpretive field study, qualitative data wascollected from the indigenous Poetry schools through participant observation, unstructured andsemi-structured interviews, and document analysis. Analysis of the data indicated that theindigenous techniques have important implications related to promoting creative problemsolving, creative education, tolerance, ethics, inspiration, and entertainment, expressing the2unsayable, and predicting the future. Besides helping to preserve the heritage of the accumulatedwisdom, this research plays a role in narrowing the divide between tradition and modernityregarding knowledge creation and is useful to researchers in creative education, communication,natural language, and information retrieval