IMPACTS OF MODERNIZATION ON CULTURAL HERITAGE MANAGEMENT AND TOURISM DEVELOPMENT IN ADO AND IGEDE EKITI, EKITI STATE

IMPACTS OF MODERNIZATION ON CULTURAL HERITAGE MANAGEMENT AND TOURISM DEVELOPMENT IN ADO AND IGEDE EKITI, EKITI STATE

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Abstract

This research work concentrates on the impacts of modernization on cultural heritage management and tourism development in Ado and Igede Ekiti, Ekiti State, because, it has been observed that, the management of cultural resources and activities is very low and most of the valuable cultural materials are scattered recklessly in these study areas. In order to appropriately elucidate the contents of this work, it is divided into chapters and sub-chapters. The broad objectives of the study are to identify and document the cultural resources - tangible and intangible, in these study areas, examine their importance, identify the basic impacts of modernization on cultural heritages and to highlight the various means through which museum administration and tourism development can help in the management and promotion of cultural heritages for posterity. The research methodology used is ethnographically qualitative in nature, while the instruments and methods of data collection include: in-depth fieldwork, surface reconnaissance, participant observation, focus group discussions, photographic documentation and interview, using interview guide. Findings from the study revealed that, there are many archaeological and ethnographic resources in these study areas, but, due to the acculturated western culture, especially Christianity and formal education, most of these are at present going into extinction. In spite of the effects of modernization in this contemporary period, this research recommends that, there is urgent need for the government, cultural institutions, societal groups, tourism developers, traditional rulers, families, individuals, hotel management and philanthropists to actively help in funding and promoting indigenous knowledge and technology in the country with the use of modern equipment and methods that people can appreciate. In view of this, cultural heritages will have a wide chance to sustain and thrive in the face of westernization.

Key Words: Culture, resources, museum, modernization, tourism, management, development

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.0            Overview

Ado and Igede Ekiti are towns in Ekiti State, in the south western part of Nigeria, the dominant region of Yoruba people. These culturally oriented towns traced their origins to Ile-Ife; a home town of Legendary Prince called Oduduwa, who was (is) classified as the Father and progenitor of the Yoruba people. Just like any other Yoruba settlement and people, it has been observed that, the inhabitants of these two towns have synonymous traditional ways of life that are peculiarly valuable to them, and also, differentiating them from other tribes and groups in the country.

In the past generations, before the introduction of colonialism and modernization, the people of Ado and Igede Ekiti had undiluted local practices and materials which were locally managed by the Kings, Chiefs, families and individuals who were maximally enthused in the conservation of these resources and practices. Then, the traditions of the people were generally and adorably exhibited in the areas of local delicacies, games, fashion/body ornament, architectural patterns, cultural landscapes, language, religious belief, political settings, greeting patterns, celebrations which included among others; naming, marriage, coronation, burial and festivals, and the type of materials used in depicting various indigenous technologies in their immediate environment.

Despite the traditional methods of preserving and managing these transferable and fragile heritages and resources, the diffusion and acculturation of western cultural characteristics in the form of modernization have obviously served as both beneficial and detrimental forces to the cultural sustainability and transmission of the people. This cultural evolution from traditional to modern societies, has greatly devalued the traditions of the people of Ado and Igede Ekiti.

This sudden cultural transformation led the researcher to have special interest in researching on the Impacts of Modernization on Cultural Heritage Management and Tourism Development in Ado and Igede Ekiti. This is the intention to draw the attention of the government at all levels, cultural groups, archaeologists, museum administrators, philanthropists, tourism experts, anthropologists, ethnographers, hotel developers, environmentalists and individuals to how, what, when and whom to manage and promote cultural resources. This, at the same time, would help to develop the available natural endowment most especially the ones that are strongly entrenched in the customs of the people. This would also enlighten the public on the reasons why these resources need proper management and promotion in various localities.

This research work would lay more emphasis on cultural heritages and resources. Based on the data acquired in the field through personal communications (interviews), participatory observations, oral tradition and the recommendations given at the end, this work would go a long way in the management of cultural and natural resources in these study areas and beyond. This work has highlighted those enormous tapped and untapped, known and unknown locally preserved archaeological and ethnographic resources and attractive natural features like hills, rocks, mountains, rivers, streams and vegetations, that urgently need to be preserved, managed and promoted to prevent further deterioration and vandalism, and for posterity. This will buttress how valuable the management of natural and cultural heritages/resources is in community development.

Cultural resource management, with emphasis on the process through which the past can be understood in the present, cannot be properly achieved, if these resources are left only in the hands of the custodians who do not pay any serious attention to the cultural activities in these study areas, because some of them regard cultural materials and practices as archaic and fetish in nature. This mentality automatically classifies some of these indisputable traditional practices as idolatry, most especially among the Christians and educated fellows.

Due to cultural dynamism and the impacts of western cultural practices, specifically, Christianity and formal education, many of these traditional values in Ado and Igede Ekiti are deserted, and some destroyed to give way for road constructions and expansion of towns in all spheres of life. This is to designate that, cultural institutions at all levels of governments are urgently needed to effectively and efficiently formalize and promote these cherish-able resources and activities as cultural and tourism potentials, so as to massively attract more enthusiasts of cultural materials and events in and into the communities. In doing this, there would be an enabling environment for the promotion of cultural and nature-based forms of tourism development in the State.

Tourism development and modern museum establishments would have some laudable contributions in the management of cultural and natural resources for future utilization and benefits, when the modern methods and equipments suitable for these are incorporated in the system and methods of acquisition, preservation, education and exhibition upgraded to meet international standard. This step would make the culture or traditions of the people more gorgeous rather than being rejected in the various communities. This form of tourism and museum developments would directly and indirectly enhance the social, economic, political, religious and environmental attributes of the people of Ado and Igede Ekiti if well planned, implemented, monitored and managed, alongside with the host community as part of the stakeholders.

1.1       Statement of Problem

In the pre-colonial period when colonization had not, in any way, interfered in the traditions of the people, people lived comfortably in their immediate cultural environment and utilized their natural endowment sustainably, satisfactorily and attractively, but, due to the efficacious nature of acculturation in this contemporary period, reverse is the case. The effects of modernization on cultural and natural resources draw the attention of the researcher to the following issues in Ado and Igede Ekiti.

v    The management of cultural and natural resources is very poor in Ado and Igede Ekiti compared to other resources in our contemporary communities. The observations show that, people put more consideration in financial, economic, human and time resources than cultural and natural maintenance in the society.

v    Innumerable archaeological and ethnographic resources of Nigerian cultural heritage have been destroyed while some are totally abandoned in Ado and Igede Ekiti, and the effects of modernization, ignorance on the part of the custodians,

 irresponsibility of cultural administrators, and ineffectual efforts of the government have adverse effects on cultural resources. Many of these resources are scattered recklessly in these study areas without any effective effort to preserve them for posterity.

v    The valuable and conducive traditional ways of life of the people in Ekiti State, Ado and Igede Ekiti in specific, are rapidly going into extinction. This local method is termed archaic and worshipping of idols, thereby making both fabricated (man-made) and natural resources embedded in people’s cultural practices uneasy to manage and transmit for posterity.

v    The roles of cultural institutions in educating people on how to collect, preserve, conserve, document, exhibit and manage both material and non-material cultural resources are not seriously putting into consideration in Ado and Igede Ekiti. This makes the inhabitants ignorant of their cultural values.

v    Tourism has not made much beneficial impacts in many Nigerian communities, and most of the natural attractions are not developed and secured, principally; the ones that are deeply rooted in the traditions of the people, while the cultural resources and events are also not promoted in Ado and Igede Ekiti.

1.2       Research Questions

There are many issues that brought about this research work and these are to be resolved at the end of this work. These research questions include the following:

v What are the cultural heritages associated with the people of Ado and Igede Ekiti?

v What are the importances of cultural heritage management in tourism and community development?

v How did the people manage their cultural heritages and activities in the past?

v What are the impacts of modernization on cultural heritages in Ado and Igede Ekiti?

v What are the possible solutions to the effects of modernization on cultural heritages in Ado and Igede Ekiti?

v What are the roles of museum and tourism development in the management of cultural heritages in Nigeria?

1.3       Research Objectives

Having stated the problems that brought forth this research work, now, the primary and realistic aims and objectives to achieve at the end of this research work in Ado and Igede Ekiti are:

v To identify and document the cultural and natural resources in Ado and Igede Ekiti in Ekiti State.

v To examine the importance of cultural heritage management in tourism and community development.

v To identify the basic impacts of modernization on cultural heritages in Ado and Igede Ekiti.

v To examine the possible means to salvage, conserve, exhibit and rejuvenate all retrievable material and non-material resources for posterity using modern methods or systems.

v To examine the steps to take in ameliorating the negative effects of modernization on cultural and natural resources in these study areas.

v To highlight the expedient characteristics and contributions of museum establishment in tourism and community development, and the means through which tourism can help in managing cultural heritage and resources in the country.

v Based on the above finds, to make indelible recommendations for improvement and to make this research work available for other researchers and the government in dealing with cultural and natural resources management.

1.4       Research Methodology

This research work is based on the impacts of modernization on cultural heritage management and tourism development, and it is very crucial to carry out ethnographic research in the study areas. This section explained the type of research methodology and the various sources of data collection.

Research Design: In order to get the insight and in-depth understanding of this topic, the research design incorporated is qualitative ethnographic method of research, because, the researcher carried out surface reconnaissance, and the extant inhabitants who utililize the cultural resources were interviewed with the use of semi-structured interview guide that comprised the necessary questions to cover the topic under study. Through these, the cultural activities and materials in Ado and Igede Ekiti would not be concealed to the researcher.

Methods and Instruments of Data Collection:




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