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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Cultural Context of Geophagy among Pregnant and Lactating Ngwa Women in Southeastern Nigeria
Author:Izugbara, C. Otutubikey
Year:2003
Periodical:African Anthropologist (ISSN 1024-0969)
Volume:10
Issue:2
Pages:180-199
Language:English
Geographic term:Nigeria
Subjects:Igbo
geophagy
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Health and Nutrition
Women's Issues
Cultural Roles
Health, Nutrition, and Medicine
External link:https://www.ajol.info/index.php/aa/article/view/23114/19857
Abstract:Currently, according to the author, geophagy qualifies as one of the least understood human nutritional practices. This is certainly due to the tendency among scholars to view or treat geophagy as an aberration or a perversion of appetite, disregarding the cultural context within which it occurs. This paper examines the cultural context of geophagy among lactating and pregnant women, focusing primarily on the Ngwa, an Igbo-speaking people who live in Abia State, in southeastern Nigeria. Evidence which has emerged from the study is that Ngwa women eat soil to deal with, and draw attention to the precarious nature of pregnancy following the period of and after giving birth. The study concludes that focusing on the cultural context of geophagy may well offer scope for a more critical understanding of the practice and its dynamics across human societies and populations. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]
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