Plant Management, Resilience and Environmental Changes in the Wetlands of Nigeria

Author(s): Emuobosa Orijemie

Year: 2018


Palaeoenvironmental data obtained from coastal areas (wetlands) of southern Nigeria reveal three main periods of climatic changes from the Mid Holocene-Present namely (i) very wet (ca. 6,000-5,000 BP), (ii) dry (ca. 4,500-2,500 BP) and (iii) humid periods (ca. 2,500-Present). This paper explores the dynamic ways in which the culture of plant management and plant food resources in these marginal lands has been expressed within the context of environmental change. The similarities in the management techniques, names and ritual practices associated with some indigenous plants (Elaeis guineensis (oil palm), Cola acuminata (kolanuts), Dioscorea spp. (yams) and Raphia hookeri (wine palm), among several peoples in the coastal areas of Nigeria reflect significance of prehistoric social contact, networks and trade relations. The culture of exploiting "famine" and wild crops during drier periods is reminiscent of human adaptation in periods of scarcity. Despite the effects of recent climate change, as well as the rise in exotic plants, the survival of certain indigenous plants as well as their undiminished value in socio-religious practices reflects the resilience of such cultures, a phenomenon characteristic of the human species.

Cite this Record

Plant Management, Resilience and Environmental Changes in the Wetlands of Nigeria. Emuobosa Orijemie. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444168)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -16.743; min lat: 5.003 ; max long: -7.69; max lat: 15.961 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 21990