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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Utilization of Catha Edulis in the Household Economy of Xhosa Farm Inhabitants of the Bolo Reserve, Eastern Cape
Author:Hirst, Manton
Periodical:Journal of Contemporary African Studies
Geographic term:South Africa
drug use
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Economics and Trade
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Abstract:'Catha edulis' ('kat' in Arabic; 'igqwaka' in Xhosa) occurs fairly extensively in parts of the Bolo Reserve and the Henderson Valley, in Stutterheim and Cathcart districts of South Africa respectively. It is utilized by some farm inhabitants, who collect and chew the fresh stems and leaves when available, as a physical and mental stimulant to allay fatigue, a tonic dietary supplement and a medicine. This article is the result of an anthropological study carried out in 1993-1994 on the utilization of 'Catha edulis' by farm inhabitants at Bolo and on its distribution in Bolo and adjoining areas. It considers the socioeconomic, educational and cultural background of long-term users and the way in which 'igqwaka' is collected. On the whole, regular adult users appear to be relatively healthy and active people, who, during the past decade, suffered very few major health problems. Although most users use 'igqwaka' on a regular daily basis, particularly during the seasons when the fresh material is available, it appears not to be addictive nor associated with any physical withdrawal syndrome. Bibliogr., notes, ref.