Tony Dold & Susan Abraham
Cultures, Cures and Curiosities explores and illustrates 40 important plant species in the Eastern Cape of South Africa, used or valued by people today. These include medicinal, charm, food and utilitarian plants, as well as those valued for their cultural and religious significance.
Based on the authors’ empirical studies over 20 years the modern-day uses of these plants are traced back to early Khoisan, Xhosa and colonial practises from the earliest written records of adventurers, military men and missionaries as far back as the seventeenth-century.
Each plant species account is illustrated with a full-page watercolour painting by botanical artist Susan Abraham, as well as informative contemporary and historical photographs, drawings and paintings. An introductory chapter provides a historical overview of botanical exploration of the region, with emphasis on useful plants. The book is a valuable focused social record and an important addition to the literature on South African natural and cultural history.