Forest in the Context of Social Change: Traditional Orientation and Forest Mystification in a Nigerian Forest-Reserve Setting

  • Fausat Motunrayo Ibrahim Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria
  • Benson Osikabor Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria
  • Bolanle Tawakalitu Olatunji Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria
  • Grace Oluwatobi Ogunwale Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria
  • Olawale Julius Aluko Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria


This article exposits the mystification of forests among people residing in proximity to a forest reserve in southwestern Nigeria. The theory of material engagement and the ecology of human development support the position that the forest is a classical motivator of traditional culture. Still, socio-cultural change is prevalent. As an element of this change, forest-based social cognition warrants systematic examination in the interest of environmental sustainability. This is because the concurrent conveyance of sustainability-promoting immaterial culture across generations is a component of the pathway to a sustainable future. Moreover, systems theory posits that social events affect each other. Since social change is not solitary but encompassing, forest mystification was examined along with other indicators of traditional orientation including attitude towards―religion, ageing, gender; and cultural enthusiasm. The results indicate that forest mystification is still huge and connected with orientations towards ageing and cultural enthusiasm. This exemplifies the Yorùbá social context’s manifestation of continuity as opposed to change in forest culture; and stands in solidarity with traditional African mentality.

Author Biographies

Fausat Motunrayo Ibrahim, Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria

Fausat Motunrayo Ibrahim, PhD, is an Environmental Sociologist and a Senior Lecturer at the Federal College of Forestry, Ibadan, Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria. Fields of Study: Anthropology, Education, Environment, Population and Development, Public Health/Epidemiology, Sociology, Statistics. Specialization: Culture, religion and ethnicity, Data Collection and Processing, Families and Households, Fertility, Gender Roles-Differentials, HIV/AIDS and STI's, Human Ecology, Mortality, Health, and Longevity, Population and Development, Population and Environment, Qualitative Demography. Regional focus: Sub-Saharan Africa.

Benson Osikabor, Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria

Benson Osikabor, PhD, is an Agricultural and Forestry Extensionist and the Provost, Federal College of Forest Resource Management, Sakpoba, Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria.

Bolanle Tawakalitu Olatunji, Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria

Bolanle, Tawakalitu Olatunji, M.Sc., is a Forest Extensionist and a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Forest Economics and Extension, Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria.

Grace Oluwatobi Ogunwale, Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria

Grace Oluwatobi Ogunwale, M.Sc. is a Rural Sociologist and a lecturer at the Federal College of Forestry, Ibadan, Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria.

Olawale Julius Aluko, Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria

Olawale Julius Aluko, PhD, is an Agricultural and Forestry Extensionist and a Senior Lecturer at the Federal College of Forestry, Ibadan, Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria.


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How to Cite
Ibrahim, F., Osikabor, B., Olatunji, B., Ogunwale, G., & Aluko, O. (2021). Forest in the Context of Social Change: Traditional Orientation and Forest Mystification in a Nigerian Forest-Reserve Setting. Changing Societies & Personalities, 5(3), 496–520. doi:10.15826/csp.2021.5.3.147