International Indigenous Astronomy Conference from 27 - 29 July 2022
at the Royal Marang Hotel, Phokeng, Rustenburg, North West Province, South Africa.

From the earliest human civilisations known to humankind, people used their knowledge of the stars, moon, sun and other constellations for their survival, to advance technological developments including the construction of monumental architecture, agricultural technologies and the arts. Research has shown how societies such as the San and Khoi of Southern Africa used expert knowledge of astronomy in their navigation of the land. As people who traversed vast stretches of the land from the Cape to the Kalahari interior, they relied on their knowledge of the stars to travel across diverse terrains.

The sources of this wealth of knowledge are the indigenous astronomy experts (baitseanape ba bolepa dinaledi) and they have transmitted this from generation to generation. Throughout history, indigenous astronomy played a significant role in sustaining the livelihood of communities and ensuring resilient economies, political and social institutions and especially in rainmaking rites, developing seasonal calendars, navigation, food technologies, human reproduction, art, ceremony and social structure (Nakata et al, 2014).

Indigenous astronomy (bolepa - dinaledi) is a phenomenon that is explored from the point of view of the culture, traditions, knowledge systems, worldview, philosophy and language of the indigenous communities. Baki (2006) most African societies have developed indigenous astronomical knowledge largely for understanding and predicting seasonal weather changes. Majola (2012) observes that since time immemorial indigenous cultures in Africa had developed a wealth of indigenous astronomy, which can be found in myths, legends, poems, proverbs, songs and fascinating stories created about them.

In South Africa there are famous archaeological, indigenous astronomical heritage sites like Blombos Cave in the Western Cape, Sibudu in Kwazulu Natal, Inzalo ye Langa (birthplace of the sun) in Mpumalanga where the late Rre Credo Mutwa was initiated. These sites are important archaeological centres and provide scientific, astronomical and cosmological evidence for origins of modern human cultures. Since the beginning of humankind, the fascination with the sky has been an important element in human life and history (Bakich, 2004). There is also evidence of ancient civilisations in Egypt, Sudanic, Meroitic and the Dogons of Mali with the wealth of astronomical and cosmological knowledge.

The conference will aim to bring together indigenous astronomy experts, academics, policy makers, government officials, policy makers, indigenous knowledge experts, civic society, researchers, students and other relevant stakeholders to deliberate on the value and contribution of indigenous astronomy as it relates to science and technology.

The conference will debate and discuss significance, application, contribution to the day-to-day survival of people in the context of globalisation and digitisation.

The Conference has diverse packages ranging from conference presentations, non-presenters attendance and excursion to ensure that majority of actors are able to engage and identify with the Conference. Fifty (50) delegates will attend the conference live in person especially those who come from the African continent at Royal Marang Hotel and the other fifty (50) international delegates will attend virtually in order to avoid costs of flights, accommodation and the risks of the deadly COVID 19 Pandemic.