‘Ugba na ngbam’ – Food Heritage of Mbaise People: Implications for Classroom-Based Ethnoscience and Sustainable National Development

Ernest Onwukwe, Chibuike Nwachukwu, Lynda Ngozi-Olehi


The processing of ‘Ugba’ (Pentaclethra macrophylla Benth), seeds for food, is almost a ritual in Mbaise. Mbaise is a prominent enclave of the Ibo extraction of the present Imo state of South-Eastern Nigeria. Like any other people, they have prominent cultures including foods, and their preparation rituals. The ritual of preparing ‘ugba agworo agwo’(oil bean salad delicacy) has some ‘dos’ and ‘don't. It involves many stages and different handling procedures for the best effects.  This paper examined in detail, the ritual of processing oil bean seeds, the possible science of the stages, chemical compositions, nutritive and economic values of the seed, the dish and the tree. The paper ends with a look at the implications on instructions in ethnoscience  and also tries to answer the question: Is it justifiable and plausible to integrate ethnoscience into formal science classrooms as a way towards sustainability, preservation of cultural heritages  and national development?

Keywords: Oil bean salad, Ugba, Mbaise, Ethnoscience, Food heritage.                                                                  

DOI: 10.7176/JEP/15-1-12

Publication date: January 31st 2024

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ISSN (Paper)2222-1735 ISSN (Online)2222-288X

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