Religio-Cultural Conservation of Water Bodies in Igumale Sub-Culture of the Idoma in Nigeria

Solomon Ochepa Oduma-Aboh


This paper examines the conservation of water bodies in the context of rivers in Idomaland and from the study area of Igumale sub-culture. Today, there is the problem of water contamination and its attendant health issues to mankind. The paper observes that water is fundamental to human and other forms of life in the universe. There is, therefore a fundamental connection between water and human health and life. Water is sacred to the traditional Africans in general and Idoma in particular. There is the problem of water contamination and its attendance effects to health. Worst still, is the problem of sustainability of the environment through water management practices. These have informed the study. It is against this backdrop that this paper examines water conservation beliefs and practices in the context of rivers in Igumale. The paper argues that trado-religious practices could assist in the management of water, or and water bodies especially rivers; something most needed in the environmental conservation. It analyzes certain religious issues that emanate from the presence of rivers in the area and how the host community has used them to conserve the environment as regards water bodies. In some cases these efforts manifest as iho-prohibitions or taboos; especially the prohibitions of any conduct that may deplete and degrade water bodies as important components of the environment. Such prohibitions are often imbued with religious sanctions and ritual colourations so as ti instill fear and corresponding obedience to the dictates of such iho, taboos.

Keywords: Religio-Cultural, Conservation, Water bodies, Igumale Sub-culture, the Idoma


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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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