Exploring 'assemblages': A multispecies ethnography of the relationship between plants and people in the gardens and mountains of Klawer in the Matzikama municipal region, South Africa.
The theme of this thesis is to illustrate a perspective of learning with plants and not simply about them. I posit a move towards a kind of 'plantthropology' (Myers, 2016). In Anthropology from the 1960's onwards there has been an increased interest towards multispecies ethnographies also referred to as the ontological turn. This perspective has also gained momentum in other disciplines such as Geography, Environmental Studies, Botany and Philosophy. As a result, inspired by the work of Bruno Latour on the Actor-network theory, I began this thesis by following the trail of medicinal plants through home gardens. My intention was, which is evident throughout this thesis, to explore multispecies relations from the perspective of the plants. The objective to learn with plants and the method of following the trail of medicinal plants led me to a variety of plant spaces such a gardens, onto porches, taxi ranks (where medicinal plants are traded), local nurseries and mountains.