Science Journal of Sociology and Anthropology
August 2014, Volume 2014, ISSN:2276-6359
© Author(s) 2014. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Identification of Biology-Related Superstitious Beliefs Prevalent in Traditional Societies: A Case Study of Isin Local Government Area, Kwara State, Nigeria
1Emmanuel Tosin Olawepo, 2Isaac Olakanmi ABIMBOLA , 3Mulkah Adebisi AHMED
Department of Integrated Science,Kwara State College of Education, Ilorin.
Professor of Science Education,Department of Science Education,University of Ilorin, Ilorin. Department of Science Education,University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria.
Accepted on 23 July 2014; Available Online 31 August,2014
The purpose of this study is to identify prevalent biology-related superstitious beliefs. The study was carried out in five of the eleven wards in Isin Local Government Area, Kwara State, Nigeria. A purposive sample of two hundred and fifty people was asked to mention the biology-related superstitious beliefs, which they held in twelve areas, namely: nutrition, menstruation, barrenness, pregnancy, birth, heredity, family planning, growth, diseases, health, animal and water. Their responses, which were tape-recorded as well as hand written in prepared sheet, showed that the respondents mentioned 2658 superstitious beliefs in all including repetitions. Out of the number, 190 different superstitious beliefs were identified. A total of 77 superstitious beliefs were mentioned by 40% of the two hundred and fifty respondents. These were regarded as the prevalent superstitious beliefs which meant that only 41% of the 190 different superstitious beliefs were prevalent. Women held more superstitious beliefs than men and older adults held more superstitious beliefs than younger adults. Moreover, uneducated respondents held more superstitious beliefs than the educated; and Muslims mentioned more superstitious beliefs than Christians. Even though many of superstitious beliefs are false and absurd, people still hold them probably because doing so met their personal and social needs. Traditional beliefs are discovered to have arisen out of the African view of nature, which is monistic in contradiction to the modern scientific view, which is dualistic. The monistic view sees both animate and inanimate objects as one, interpenetrating each other.
Keywords:Identification, Superstitious beliefs, Prevalent, Traditional societies