The Sacred Grove of Oshogbo was one place I had been looking forward to visiting in Nigeria. As prevalent as indigenous religions still are in West Africa, it is often hard to find public expressions of them in towns and cities; the Christianity brought by European slavers and colonialists has taken root and pushed most of these religions out of mainstream life. But in the Sacred Grove shrines honor all the local deities, including Obatala, the god of creation, Ogun, the god of iron, and Oshun, the goddess of water, whose aqueous essence is made manifest by the river running through the trees. The place is unique in the Yoruba religion, and that intrigued me.
Contemporary folklore and stereotypes that we are exposed to contribute to a lack of knowledge concerning native American fishing practices. Brumbach (1986:36) noted that "popular folklore emphasizes fertilizer value of the fish but seems vague about their consumption as food." Perhaps the stereotype of the "hunter/gatherer" among anthropologists similarly attenuated a focus on fishing, as the word "fishing" is not included in the phrase "hunting/gathering." Despite this fact, in some societies, the role of fishing may have been equal to or surpassed that of hunting and/or gathering.