Root and Leafs

A Photographic Journey through African Local Herbs Tailored to YORUBA Culture

Tewe Tegbo

is a compelling art project that delves into the rich tapestry of African local herbs through the lens of documentary photography. This project aims to celebrate the cultural significance, traditional knowledge, and healing properties embedded in the diverse flora across the African continent. Through captivating visuals and insightful narratives, the project seeks to create awareness about the importance of preserving and appreciating these local herbs. Thus, for the time being, this project will be tailored to Yoruba communities that are possibly known for their rich herbal traditions. This would involve traveling to some Yoruba land. i.e. Lagos, Abeokuta, Oyo, Osun, and more by prioritizing visiting key herbalists, healers, and community members who can provide authentic insights into the use of local herbs within the Yoruba culture.

Local herbs, commonly referred to as “Agbo” in many regions, play a crucial role in environmental conservation, addressing climate preservation impacts, and mitigating deforestation.

Part of this photography collection was taken in Rwanda in 2021 when I started exploring international countries to document history, colours, culture, people, and their environment. In the process, I stumbled upon this Rwandan traditional medicine explainer, probably he might be a native doctor at The Gorilla Village, Mozanze. With his level of experience and demonstration, he explains extensively with joy on his face how the natural plants work and were used even before their genocide in 1994.

With the physical arrangements of his habitat, he clearly shows an example of how an ancient Tradomedical home was and how they dressed with animal skin and beads. In the ancient days in Africa generally, there is only one doctor which is a Native / Traditional Doctor who takes care of general health issues including spiritual ones. Nowadays we now have doctors with different niches that tackle specific and related health issues to their niche.

The primary objective of “Tewe Tegbo” is to document and showcase the traditional uses of African local herbs within various communities. By capturing the vibrant scenes of people cultivating, harvesting, and utilizing these herbs, the project aims to highlight the deep-rooted connection between people and nature, emphasizing the sustainable practices that have been passed down through generations.

Tradomedical medicines are stronger than any orthodox medicines because all tablets produced as orthodox medicines are just to help temporarily but not cure totally while herbs and leaves are cured immediately and wipe diseases and ailments away.