Traditional beliefs about lions

Lions in Niger

August 20th, 2009 I found this article on living with lions in Niger fascinating. The people in the Tamou Wildlife Reserve have developed social rules in order to live in peaceful coexistence with lions. They have a saying which goes “It will be a major problem, if the lion vanishes”. “The villagers never hunt lions, fearing reprisal from the animals’ “spiritual beings”. They believe that the lion’s spiritual power pervades the village’s surroundings, and is a source of power for them. The lion is regarded as a “guardian animal”. The animal is a justice-maker and its presence is said to discourage outsiders from coming to steal cattle from Moli Haoussa… “The fuhaly of the sage-like lion, found in the animal’s parts, is said to cast a beneficial influence. So lion parts are used as ingredients of gris-gris, amulet thought to ward off evil. But the people of Moli Houssa obtain lion parts from only from dead lion corpses found in the forest.” See also Playboy hunters with helicopters and Kalashnikovs are driving the Sahel’s fragile population of wild animals to extinction.  The Indepedent