Happy new week my people! We’ve made it this far into 2018!!
I have been trying to figure out how to start this post because it required lots of research on my part. I am happy that I actually pressed the publish button today because it has been saved as a draft on my phone for so long and would have been a draft for much longer.
Nigeria is blessed with a variety of delicacies. Many cultures abstain from some of these delicacies either due to tradition, religion. This has been quite a fascinating reveal to me because I was not restricted from any foods while I growing up and neither was I given a list of what I should or should not eat.
What are food taboos? Food taboos are the personal limitations on eating certain foods. It could be because of tradition, religion, culinary preferences or health purposes.
I am an Akwa Ibomite. From Itam to be precise. Itam people are known for not eating monkeys. The reason of which I do not know. The ironical thing is that my local stream is blessed with an abundance of monkeys. I remember once when I was younger, my father told me of his friend( from Itam) whose face got swollen after eating monkey and he eventually died.
In Asaba, the capital of Delta State, the sale and eating of ogbono is considered a taboo. This is because of the belief that their mother goddess, Onishe uses it for spiritual purification.
In some parts of Agbor, an Igbo speaking part of Delta state, it is forbidden to eat ram. Not only Is it forbidden, they must not stay close to where it is being cooked.
Florence, a hairdresser shared her experience with The Nation,
“ It is a serious matter in our place and on no ground do we allow the temptation of what people say about it push us into tasting it. When I was coming to Lagos, my grandfather specifically warned me not to have anything to do with the meat of ram. Even if that is the only source of protein in the whole world, I would rather lack protein than eat it because the consequence is worse than not having protein in the body. A relation dared the tradition out of greed and paid dearly for it. Her tongue pushed out and had to be taken back home to appease the gods of the land before she became well again.”
In Yoruba areas, a pregnant woman is forbidden from eating plantain or oranges to avoid having difficulties during childbirth.
In some parts of Nigeria, children and pregnant women are restricted from eating eggs. For children, it is believed that giving them eggs will turn them into thieves, and for pregnant women, egg will make their unborn infant too fat and the mother will not be able to deliver normally, and the baby will be deformed.
In Nnewi, which is in Anambra State, killing and eating of bush rat is forbidden because of the belief that it played a great role in saving the founders of Nnewi during wars.
We come from a different tribes which have different cultures. I would like to know what your food taboos are and if you abide by these taboos.