The influence of palm trees in Western Africa

Palm trees are much more than giant tropical plants you see in Miami, desert islands, or in the form of Pokémon. They provide spiritual protection as an article from The Guardian Life explains:

The sacredness of the palm tree spreads to its edible and non-edible parts. For instance, when making consultations to ascertain the cause of illness and fate of dreams, they are made sacred at the oracle Fa(Fon), Afan (Ewe) and the Ifa (Yoruba). The roots of palm trees to are used to ward off evil spirits by some practices in West Africa.

Palm trees also make two important foodstuffs: palm oil and palm wine. The former accounted for about one-third of global oils produced from oil crops in 2014, however its overuse has resulted in tropical deforestation and allegations of abuse and human rights violations. Palm wine is also important in Central and Western African cultures such as the Igbo and Yoruba people of Nigeria.

More on palm trees in Western Africa

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