The world is enmeshed in a political and economic downturn, the environment is increasingly being polluted and destroyed, and development models, mostly Western, have cruised abroad, to disappointing gasps of neoliberal delight, in their aspiration to charm a wider population. Developing countries and marginal communities together with their subsuming cultures, ethno-science, engineering, technology, arts and crafts, and creative genius are undermined, their values reduced to mere ‘primitivism’, their vibrant intrinsic strength attenuated by the mesmerizing jargon of technocracy into genetically modified values endorsed by Western-trained intellectuals in these same communities. This dynamic has denied these communities the opportunity to explore their own natural and intellectual potential for culturally based science and to organize and strategize folklore for environmental and historically founded Nigerian truths that can help in the exploitation of resources for good health and economic development. The essay investigates this culturally-based science, proposing the deployment of folklore with a view to full participation in cultural science-based research and application. The scholarly task is to suggest ways of bridging the gap between the potentialities of autochthonous lore and Western science.
Kidwell quoted in Rayna Green“Culturally Based Science: The Potential for Traditional People, Science and Folklore,” in Folklore Studies in the Twentieth Century: Proceedings of the Centenary Conference of the Folklore Societyed. Venetia J. Newall (Woodbridge: D.S. Brewer & Totowa NJ: Rowman & Littlefield 1980): 205.