Association pour l’anthropologie du changement social et du développement
Association for the anthropology of social change and development

Negotiating Space and Trading among Herbal Medicine Practitioners along Nigeria-Niger Transport Corridor

Negotiating Space and Trading among Herbal Medicine Practitioners along Nigeria-Niger Transport Corridor

Auteur(s) : Ajetunmobi Oluwasegun ;

One great impact of globalization has been the movement of ideas across borders with ease. While there has been remarkable fluidity to the border crossing in recent times, the development has also seen the rise of transnational herbal trading along the West African border zones. Though with a common passport and closely knitted indigenous groups, the transnational herbal practitioners crossing the boundary of Nigeria to Niger rely on several social interactions first, to forge a safe passage and then to negotiate trading spaces in the host communities. Herbal medicines, also called botanical medicines, vegetable medicines, or phytomedicines, as defined by World Health Organization (WHO) refers to herbs, herbal materials, herbal preparations, and finished herbal products that contain whole plants, parts of plants, or other plant materials, including leaves, bark, berries, flowers, and roots, and/or their extracts as active ingredients intended for human therapeutic use or for other benefits in humans and sometimes animals (Phua, Zosel & Heard; 2009). According to WHO (2006), at least 80% of people in Africa still rely on medicinal plants for their health care. This paper explores the various activities and methods used by herbal medicine practitioners to negotiate space along the Nigeria-Niger corridor. It also addresses the various social interactions at play in the movement of herbal medications. With an in-depth interview and ethnographical methods through a border study approach with some of these discourses, it explores the hurdles of transnational herbal practitioners crossing the border and subsequently, the processes involved to get a good bargain for trading in the host communities. The paper explains how these various processes have implications for the circulation of herbal medicine, goods, and services in Niger and Nigeria respectively.

Mot-clé : Border Crossing, Herbal Medicine, Interaction, Negotiation, et Transnational Trading

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