Behind the Myth: Indigenous Knowledge and Belief Systems in Natural Resource Conservation in North East Ghana
International Journal of Environmental Protection and Policy
Volume 2, Issue 3, May 2014, Pages: 104-112
Received: Apr. 27, 2014; Accepted: Apr. 30, 2014; Published: May 20, 2014
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Authors
Philip Aniah, Department of Development Studies, University for Development Studies WA, Ghana
Arkum Thaddeus Aasoglenang, Department of Community Development, University for Development Studies, WA, Ghana
Samuel Z. Bonye, Department of Community Development, University for Development Studies, WA, Ghana
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Abstract
Natural resource management issues in developing countries are increasingly mimicking western theories and the contribution of indigenous cultures and institutions are often overlooked. This research examines the role traditional belief systems and indigenous knowledge and practices have played in the management and conservation of natural environmental resources in the Upper East Region of Ghana. Some cultural practices and belief systems like sacrifices, worship, the Tindaanaship organization and the Tingaane civilization and how the Tindaanas (chief priest) communicates through the Tingaane (shrines and sacred groves) to the ancestral spirits or gods, how the people are punished if the gods are provoked were examined. The study revealed that the significant attribute of the belief systems that rest on the ascription of supernatural powers to some parts of the environment as the home of the gods has significantly helped to conserve the natural environment. The protection of these homes/areas from utilization, exploitation and use explicitly encourages conservation of environmental resources. Forbidden areas and totemic items/objects associated with worship immensely promoted conservation of resources. Over the years, traditional belief systems, practices and indigenous knowledge strategies that conserve the natural resources have been eroded or corroded by western cultural infiltration and religion. The study recommends a re-visitation of the traditional belief systems and cultural practices that promote the management, preservation and conservation of natural resources for the sustainable development of the Upper East Region and the nation at large.
Keywords
Traditional Belief System, Indigenous Knowledge, Natural Resource Conservation, Tindaana, Tingaani area, Shrines and Sacred Groves
To cite this article
Philip Aniah, Arkum Thaddeus Aasoglenang, Samuel Z. Bonye, Behind the Myth: Indigenous Knowledge and Belief Systems in Natural Resource Conservation in North East Ghana, International Journal of Environmental Protection and Policy. Vol. 2, No. 3, 2014, pp. 104-112. doi: 10.11648/j.ijepp.20140203.11
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