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Title: Roles of and threats to Yoruba traditional beliefs in wilderness conservation in southwest Nigeria

Author: Babaloa, Fola D.;

Date: 2011

Source: In: Watson, Alan; Murrieta-Saldivar, Joaquin; McBride, Brooke, comps. Science and stewardship to protect and sustain wilderness values: Ninth World Wilderness Congress symposium; November 6-13, 2009; Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. Proceedings RMRS-P-64. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 125-129.

Publication Series: Proceedings (P)

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: The Yoruba of southwest Nigeria are constantly conscious and acknowledging of God's divine lordship over the whole earth. This fact keeps them aware that they ought to be careful how this earth is treated. Yoruba religion and mythology is a major influence in West Africa, chiefly in Nigeria, and it has given origin to several New World religions. The Yorubas have a number of deities that they believe serve as intermediaries between them and the supreme god. This paper focuses on the roles of and threats to Yoruba beliefs in wilderness conservation in southwest Nigeria. Sacred groves and wilderness are seen as symbols of identity for all Yoruba people and probably the last in Yoruba culture. Recent development resulting from urbanization and differences in the beliefs of modern religions like Christians and Islam (with belief in Almighty God) and Traditional religions (with belief in Deities) have led to reduction of wilderness. Vast areas of some wilderness have experienced significant reduction through their conversion to infrastructural facilities, worship venues, and prayer camps. This is advancing at an alarming rate. Effort should therefore be geared toward protecting the remaining wilderness. It is noteworthy to mention that this paper neither shows preference nor condemns any religion over the other but rather creates awareness of the contribution of traditional beliefs among the Yoruba of southwest Nigeria to biodiversity conservation. Recommendations of ways to harmonize the beliefs with other religions are also noted.

Keywords: wilderness, Osun sacred grove, Christianity, Islam, traditional beliefs, Yoruba, deity

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Babaloa, Fola D. 2011. Roles of and threats to Yoruba traditional beliefs in wilderness conservation in southwest Nigeria. In: Watson, Alan; Murrieta-Saldivar, Joaquin; McBride, Brooke, comps. Science and stewardship to protect and sustain wilderness values: Ninth World Wilderness Congress symposium; November 6-13, 2009; Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. Proceedings RMRS-P-64. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 125-129.

 


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