Environmental implications of the erosion of cultural taboo practices in awka-south local government area of anambra state, nigeria: 1. forests, trees, and water resource preservation [Book Review]

Cultural taboos and their sanctionshave helped to check abuse of the environmentat least among the local people. The disregardfor these traditional checks and balancesespecially among Christians has adverselyaffected their enforcement at this time. Theenvironment and culture preservation inAwka-South were investigated. The faithfulobservance of the traditional laws in the studyarea was attributed to the fact that Awka-Southarea had remained occupied by the same peoplefor centuries. The study showed that thepreserved forests and their shrines in Nibotown have largely remained intact. In Nisetown, however, with nine shrines still inexistence, the rules have relaxed a little,mainly because they embraced modernization. Inthis town, the fringes of the forests may beused for farming but no felling of trees wouldbe allowed. The ``god'' of the shrine in Obunaguvillage was much revered until the advent ofChristianity. This religion has had an erodingeffect on the taboos, which were put in placeto protect their forests and streams. Theabandonment of traditional cultural practicesis doing harm that goes beyond the abrogationof traditional cultural practices to seriousthreat to natural environmental structures. Thecultures of the different tribes in Nigerianeed to be revisited for evaluation and studiesto enable their integration into modernpractices that will make the environment moresustainable. This will be more productive thanthe unilateral introduction of programs,execution, and maintenance methods that arecompletely new, or in many cases run contraryto the cultural practices of the local peopleand tribes of Nigeria
Keywords cultural taboos  forest  shrines  sustainability  traditional practices  trees
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DOI 10.1023/A:1023680117717
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