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Table 2 Birds parts used and reasons

From: Wildlife use and the role of taboos in the conservation of wildlife around the Nkwende Hills Forest Reserve; South-west Cameroon

Animal Part used Use and use method Reason(s)
Crowned eagle Stephanoaetus coronatus Covert feathers3 - Decoration Traditional inherited practice
Skull and feathers1 - Sold to Nigerians For money
White feathers1,3 - Decoration Decorate Ekpe sorcerers
- Wear on caps of members of the Ekpe society and tradi-practitioners It is a loyal bird and denotes hierarchy between members of the Ekpe
- Sold to strangers and especially to Nigerians For money
Head and limbs1 - Sold to Nigerians For money
Hornbills Tockus spp.; Skull and feathers1 - Sold to Nigerians For money
Feathers (white and black)3 - Decoration Denotes hierarchy between members of Ekpe
- Decoration For Ekpe traditional dance ceremonies
Head (Figure 17), limbs, feathers and tail1,4 - Indicators of witches and wizards: used by tradi-practitioners Not revealed
- Sold to Nigerians For money
Meat4 - For protection: dry, grind and apply on cuts made on the body using razor blade Traditional inherited practice
Barn owl Tyto alba Head and feathers1 - Sold to Nigerians For money
Black kite Milvus migrans Feathers3 - Decorate caps Denotes hierarchy between members of Ekpe
Head and limbs1 - Sold to Nigerians For money
Meat4 - Consumed only by elders in traditional meals Traditional inherited practice
Green sunbird Anthreptes rectirostris Feathers1 - Sold to Nigerians For money
African pygmy kingfisher Ispidina picta Limbs and feathers1,3 - Sold to Nigerians For money
- Wear on caps of chiefs of Ekpe Denotes hierarchy between members
African palm Swift Cypsiurus parvus Blood4 - Apply on body cuts of women during the “monenkim” dance ceremony Believed that the women will dance better
Palmnut Vulture Gypohierax angolensis Skull and feathers - Sold to Nigerians For money
Feathers (Figure 18)1,3,4 - Decoration of traditional dresses Denotes hierarchy between Ekpe members
- For protection: burn, grind and apply on cuts made on the body with a razor blade Traditional inherited practice
- Wear on caps Denotes respect and hierarchy
Black guineafowl Agelastes niger Feathers3 - Decoration of caps of members of Ekpe Denotes hierarchy between Ekpe members
African grey parrot Psittacus erithacus Skull, feathers, tail and limbs1 - Sold to Nigerians For money
Red tail feathers1,3,4 (Figure 13) - Decorate the masquerades during the Obasinjom traditional dance ceremony Beautifies the masquerade
- For protection and decoration: wear on caps of members of Ekpe Denotes hierarchy between members of Ekpe as it is considered to be a loyal and honored bird. The red feathers represent the bloodshed by ancestors during tribal wars
- Sold to Nigerians For money
Head1 - Sold to Nigerians For money
- Treats stomachache: grind and mix with the bark of Okan Cylicodiscus gabonensis and Ilomba Pycnanthus angolensis then purge Medicinal
Head and feathers1 - Sold to Nigerians For money
Great blue turaco Corythaeola cristata Feathers1,3 (Figure 19) - Treats whooping cough: burn and mix with medicines and palm kernel oil Medicinal
- Decoration Denotes hierarchy between members of Ekpe
- Wear by the Obasinjom masquerade Traditional inherited practice
Blue feather3 - Decoration Identifies members of sacred societies
Feathers1 - Sold to Nigerians For money
Head1 - Sold to Nigerians For money
  1. Note: 1Animals with food, medicinal and sales values.
  2. 2Ethnomusical animals and parts used as trophy.
  3. 3Animals used in decoration and jewelry making.
  4. 4Magico-religious and multipurpose animals.