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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/226

Title: Silencing The Spirits Of The Shrines: The Impact of Tin Mining on Berom Religion And Ecology
Authors: Mwadkwon, Simon Davou
Issue Date: Dec-2010
Series/Report no.: ;Pp1-417
Abstract: The Jos Plateau environment in general and Beromland in particular has witnessed severe decimation and change due to a number of agents of change. These agents of change have created a great ecological imbalance on the land, even as tin mining activities have left behind human-made ponds, dumps, bare vegetation, and have precipitated an avalanche of gully erosion and other activities of denudation that are now a common phenomenon on the Jos Plateau landscape. Many researchers have ventured into several aspects of mining activities with no recourse to the aspect of religion. The work further highlight on religion, considered as an important aspect of Berom existence that was destroyed through tin mining, thus precipitating an ecological crisis. Religious and cultural practices can and should be adopted as blueprints to address the present environmental crisis. This is because religious and cultural practices have demonstrated a high sense of love and care for the environment. Aside from other agents of change, however, the tin mining industry seems to be the major determining factor of huge and rapid changes in Beromland. The work aims at demonstrating the reality that a thorough grasp of the interplay between religion and ecology is needed to provide a holistic analysis of the factors that have influenced Berom land including the role played by the Tin mining industry. Furthermore, pride of place is given to the role played by religion and the variegated responses of the Berom to these agents of change. In order to help maintain an eco-friendly society, this study sets to demonstrate that socio-cultural and religious practices are important. The thesis therefore focuses on Berom religion and ecology prior, during and after the tin mining industry. It examines how the tin mining industry has impacted on Berom traditional religion and the extent to which it has affected traditional ecological ethics of the people. Qualitative method of data collection was xvi employed in this study including in oral interviews, focus group discussions and participant observation in his field work. Secondary sources on Berom history, traditional religion and in relation to religion and ecology, and on nature or green religion were also used. The phenomenological, historical, comparative and limited thematic approaches of data analysis were used. The researcher thus utilized what Aylward Shorter refers to as the multidimensional, and what Harold Turner calls the poly-methodic and/or what is known as the interdisciplinary approach to research. Results indicate that over three hundred and sixty sacred sites were defiled, destroyed and decimated by tin mining activities, activities of foreign religions (Christianity and Islam) and agents of modernity, such as the introduction of Western education, monetary economy and coinage, urbanization, disruption of traditional demographic patterns with the influx of migrant labour populations in search of black gold (tin) and the introduction of a northern vernacular (Hausa) and other cultural items, among others. Furthermore, this study reveals that the tin mining industry left over 1000 artificial killer ponds in which animals and human beings very often get drown. It also left behind numerous artificial mounds on the environment.
Description: A Thesis in the DEPARTMENT OF RELIGIOUS STUDIES, Faculty of Arts, Submitted to the School of Postgraduate Studies, University of Jos, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of degree of DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY IN AFRICAN TRADITIONAL RELIGION of the UNIVERSITY OF JOS
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/226
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Arts

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