The role of secret societies in the conservation of sacred forests in Sierra Leone
Martín Martín, Aurora; Martínez de Anguita, Pablo; Vicente Pérez, Juan; Lanzana, Joseph 2011
Sacred forests hold the last remaining primary forest in many parts of Sierra Leone, but they have been relatively little studied. Believed to be inhabited by spirits, they are home to the ceremonies of secret societies. Therefore, they are usually highly protected and very well preserved, but current socio-economic changes are a threat to their conservation. This paper describes some of the main characteristics of four sacred forests studied in the northern Bombali district and examines the links between their conservation and the protection offered by secret societies. Socio-cultural, ecological and botanical research methods were combined in order to understand these sacred groves and to suggest improvements for their conservation and management.
Martín Martín, Aurora; Martínez de Anguita, Pablo; Vicente Pérez, Juan; Lanzana, Joseph. “The role of secret societies in the conservation of sacred forests in Sierra Leone”. Bois et Forêts des Tropiques. 2011, nº 310 (4), p. 43-55.