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Table 3 Reptile 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)
Nile crocodile Crocodylus niloticus Skull2 - Decoration Traditional inherited practice
Skin2 - Making of drums Large, durable, elastic and resistant, produce the desired sound (different from other skins) and contains less fat
Egyptian cobra Naja haje Skin2 - Making of drums Strong
Head1 - Sold to Nigerians For money
Dwarf crocodile Osteolaemus tetraspis Skull and dung1 - Sold to Nigerians For money
Dung1 - Treat skin problems: rub on the skin Medicinal
Teeth3 - For making necklaces Prestige
Skin2,3 - Making of drums Strong and durable
- Decoration Indicates a member of Ekpe
African rock python Python sebae Skull1 - Sold to Nigerians For money
Fat1 (Figure 20) - Treat joint pains, snake bite, fire burns, stomachache, swollen fingers, sprain and skin inflammations: apply on the body part Medicinal
Egg1 - Treats poison: extract the yolk and apply on cuts made on the body with a razorblade Medicinal
Bone and fat1 - Treats waist pains: burn and grind the bones, then mix with the fat and apply on cuts made on the waist with a razor blade Medicinal
Skin2,3 - Making of drums Durable, produces the desired sound, light, large and elastic
- Making drums of sacred societies Denotes strength and power
- Used as carpets by chiefs For honor
Head1 - Treats snake bites: grind and mix with your blood and consume Medicinal
- Sold to Nigerians For money
Eastern green mamba Dendroaspis angusticeps Head1 - Ingredient for the composition of the remedy against snake bites Not revealed
Tortoise Kinixys spp.; Shell1,3,4 (Figure 21) - Prevents many diseases: grind and mix with modern medicines and consume Increases human resistance to diseases
- To announce messages/sad news in the village: play using either branches of trees, bones of blue duiker, elephant, red river hog, gorilla, drill and chimpanzee Inherited traditional practice
- Decoration Inherited traditional practice
- Sold to Nigerians For money
- Treats eczema: burn, grind and apply on the skin Medicinal
Bone1 - For strength: burn, grind, mix with oil palm and apply on cuts made on the body with a razor blade Medicinal
- Treats fractures: tie on the broken leg Believed to be a strong animal
Blood1 - Treats eczema: apply on the infected part Medicinal
Tortoise1 - Sold to tradi-practitioners as it is believed to protects man against sorcerers For money
Nile monitor Varanus niloticus Skin2,3 (Figure 22) - Making of drums Durable, resistant, light, elastic and produces good sound
- Decoration: hang in houses of Ekpe members Denotes power
Chest skin2 - Making of drums Solid
Rhinoceros horned viper Bitis nasicornis Teeth1,4 - Treats breast pains and induces flow of maternal milk: the breast is pierced several times with the tooth Inherited traditional practice
- Treats boyls : pierce the boyl with the tooth Medicinal
- Used as a blade Inherited traditional practice
Skull1,4 - Protect man against sorcerers: grind and mix with oil palm and apply on cuts made on the body with a razor blade Usually considered as a witchcraft animal
- Sold to Nigerians For money
Skin2 - Making of drums Durable, large, light, elastic and produces quality sound. Also, it does not contain fat
Head1 - Dry and sell to tradi-practitioners and 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.