Totemism and Environmental Preservation among Nembe People in the South-South Zone, Nigeria
AbstractThis study explored environmental indigenous practices that could promote environmental preservation among the people of Nembe in Bayelsa State. In spite of much concerns of both local and international bodies in the quest to preserve species in the environment, their efforts have not been fully successful in achieving such goals. Yet, measures to control species extinctions prove to no avail. In the view of this, alternative indigenous methods of species conservation in the environment must be advocated. The descriptive design was adopted, while theoretical triangulation of functionalism, symbolic interactionism and biocentrism were used as theoretical frameworks of analysis. 382 respondents participated in the study using the instruments of questionnaire as well as 5 key informants’ interviewees (KII). Stratified random sample was employed for the selection of respondents as well as purposive sampling for the selection of key informants interviewees (KII) across the five communities (namely, Ogolomabiri, Basanbiri, Odeama, Okpoama and Brass) that constitutes the people of Nembe. Simple percentages and pie chart descriptive statistical tools were used for the analysis of the data collected for the study. Findings showed that totemism as an indigenous practice promotes species conservation which include python, eagle, shark, zimbaerema and snails with minimal threats or risks to the social environment. In the view of the findings of the study, policy instruments were provided in order to facilitate the design of environmental policies such as the establishment of zoos and game reserves, public enlightenment campaigns to encourage indigenous environmental practices across board as well as embarking on research in other indigenous practices that will promote environmental preservation and species conservatism.
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