Spiritual and cultual value of seed
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The seed, like the big bang, or evolution, or the atom … bears the mystifying tale of a beginning. We fill our bellies on the seed, heal our wounds, build our homes. Upon sight, or smell, or taste, perhaps we let our minds drift to the smallscale farmer who prepares the ground, sows seed, waters and then waits. Producing a crop is a process over time. Seed evolves through the work and care over generations. Often the message of those fighting for the seed, too, takes time to bear fruit. Systems of production and exchange include knowledge systems. In farmer seed systems, this knowledge resides in farmers, particularly women farmers, in their everyday practices, and in elders with a store of indigenous knowledge about seed production and reproduction. Seed goes beyond yields and food, and plays a central role in cultural reproduction itself. This video, Spiritual and Cultural Value of Seed in South Africa, from a discussion group at the National Seed Dialogue and Celebration, hosted by the African Centre for Biodiversity at Constitution Hill in December 2017, explores some of these links in contemporary South Africa.
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