what are the beliefs of african traditional religion?
The religions practiced by the majority of people living in Africa are Christianity and Islam. This would mean that they are cut from the community of ancestors in death and (among common African belief) that is the equivalent of hell. Traditional Religion to include the beliefs and practices of Native African peoples with regard to the supernatural, those which were handed down by the ancestors and which people hold on to as their link with both the past and eternity. Thunder is interpreted to be the movement of God, and lightning is God’s weapon by means of which he clears the way when moving from one sacred place to another. There are more similarities than differences in all traditional African religions. The traditional African religions (or traditional beliefs and practices of African people) are a set of highly diverse beliefs that include various ethnic religions . He gave birth to the human community, created the first Kikuyu communities, and provided them with all the resources necessary for life: land, rain, plants and animals. "Traditional Religion", in his. Olupona rejects the western/islamic definition of Monotheism or Polytheism and says that such concepts could not reflect the complex African traditions and are simplistic. Despite the presence of Islam and Christianity, traditional religions in Ghana have retained their influence because of their intimate relation to family loyalties and local mores. Ancestors (ancestral ghosts/spirits) are an integral part of reality. Diviner (also known as priest) are also sought for their wisdom as counselors in life and for their knowledge of herbal medicine. Most religions can be described as animistic with various polytheistic and pantheistic aspects. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishers, 1996. In support, Iwuoha points out that traditional African religion cuts … Main article: List of African mythological figures. Examples include social behaviors such as the respect for parents and elders, raising children appropriately, providing hospitality, and being honest, trustworthy, and courageous. This facilitates better control and transformation of these energies into positive, culturally appropriate behavior, thought, and speech. It is a syncretic religion that combines Roman Catholicism and native African religion, particularly from the religion of the Dahomey region of West Africa (the modern day nation of Benin). Traditional African religions embrace natural phenomena – ebb and tide, waxing and waning moon, rain and drought – and the rhythmic pattern of agriculture. The beliefs and the concepts of beliefs are found in the idea of God, the creators of all things; the concept that has enriched Christianity. There are also religions with a single Supreme being (Chukwu, Nyame, Olodumare, Ngai, Roog, etc.). The African belief in one Creator God on the one hand, and lesser gods on the other hand, raises the question of whether African Traditional Religion should be termed monotheistic or polytheistic. Adherents of traditional religions in Sub-Saharan Africa are distributed among 43 countries and are estimated to number over 100 million. Ghana Table of Contents. Nevertheless, they also display enough family resemblances for us to be able to delineate their main features and to a very reasonable extent fall on them to represent the whole. An African understanding, The List: The World's Fastest-Growing Religions, "US study sheds light on Africa's unique religious mix", Ian S. Markham,(A World Religions Reader. Graphic: Matthew White. The will of the gods or spirits is sought by the believer also through consultation of divinities or divination. 6. The three main religious traditions—African traditional religion, Christianity, and Islam—constitute the triple religious heritage of the African continent. The traditional cosmology expresses belief in a supreme being (referred to by the Akan as Nyame, or by the Ewe as Mawu). African Traditional Religions are sets of diverse beliefs that are followed by people in separate places.  Some recognize a dual god and goddess such as Mawu-Lisa. Only by giving a belief system a proper name can a comprehensive, complex theology and cosmology emerge, along with a m… One religious ceremony practiced in Gabon and Cameroon is the Okuyi, practiced by several Bantu ethnic groups. . While some traditions have a supreme being (next to other deities), others have not. The belief in God as a supreme being is central to all the traditional … For instance, the Yoruba religion has historically been centered in southwestern Nigeria, the Zulu religion in southern Africa, and the Igbo religion in southeastern Nigeria. In many cases, Africans who have converted to other religions have still kept up their traditional customs and practices, combining them in a syncretic way.. This page was last edited on 31 December 2020, at 15:48. In this state, depending upon the region, drumming or instrumental rhythms played by respected musicians (each of which is unique to a given deity or ancestor), participants embody a deity or ancestor, energy or state of mind by performing distinct ritual movements or dances which further enhance their elevated consciousness.  Traditional African religions also have elements of fetishism, shamanism and veneration of relics. There are more similarities than differences in all traditional African religions. Some recognize a dual God and Goddess such as Mawu-Lisa. Individuals cannot reject a particular belief, since beliefs are part and parcel of the wider community. They have replaced indigenous African religions, but are often adapted to African cultural contexts and belief systems. 5. • Maria McCabe-Arreola • 11\13\2020 • INT-244 • Professor Calvin Habig Shoshone • The Shoshone name comes from a Native American tribe that is located in southeastern California, across central and western Nevada, as well as in Northwester Utah, southern Idaho and western Wyoming. Most of Africa's organized religions were brought to the country from Europeans and other foreign settlers. The beliefs and practices of ATR are based upon the faith of the ancient indigenous people (ancestors). Vodou is primarily practiced in Haiti, New Orleans, and other locations within the Caribbean . Some of their beliefs and practices like Caste-system (osu-one The Spiritual Life © 2020. This facilitates better control and transformation of these energies into positive, culturally appropriate behavior, thought, and speech. Peavy, D., (2009). , Traditional African religions can be broken down into linguistic cultural groups, with common themes. Also, this practice can also give rise to those in these trances uttering words which, when interpreted by a culturally educated initiate or diviner, can provide insight into appropriate directions which the community (or individual) might take in accomplishing its goal. , Adherents of traditional religions in sub-Saharan Africa are distributed among 43 countries and are estimated to number over 100 million. In traditional African societies, many people seek out diviners on a regular basis. The defining line between deities and ancestors is often contested, but overall, ancestors are believed to occupy a higher level of existence than living human beings and are believed to be able to bestow either blessings or illness upon their living descendants. An Egungun masquerade dance garment in the permanent collection of The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. He then took the first man, Gikuyu, to the top to point out the beauty of the land he was giving him.In traditional African religions, such as the Azande religion, a person is said to have a good or bad conscience, depending on whether he does the bidding of God or malevolent spirits. African religious leaders include the sacred kings and chiefs who often serve as both spiritual and community leaders. Mobolaji Idowu in Olodumare: God in Yoruba Belief (1962), African Traditional Religion: A Definition (1973), Omosade Awolalu in Yoruba Belief and Sacrificial Rites and John Mbiti in The Concept of God in Africa (1970) are a few examples of postcolonial scholars of religion who have resisted and denounced colonial idea that Africans do not know God. The practice of casting may be done with small objects, such as bones, cowrie shells, stones, strips of leather, or flat pieces of wood. Monotheism does not reflect the multiplicity of ways that the traditional African spirituality has conceived of deities, gods, and spirit beings. That is the case concerning issues about Africa and its religious beliefs.  Traditional African religions embrace natural phenomena – ebb and tide, waxing and waning moon, rain and drought – and the rhythmic pattern of agriculture. The Semitic Abrahamic religion of Judaism is comparable to the latter world view. This list is limited to a few well-known traditions. Percentage of population practicing traditional religion. Abrahamic religions are widespread throughout Africa. 17–19, Parrinder, Geoffrey. (1 ½ - 2 pages) Religion provides us with a set of beliefs, values and attitudes, a focal point for developing ritual as well as a variety of social networks therefore giving us a purpose to our lives. Among Niger–Congo-speakers is a belief in a creator God, force or higher deity, which is considered by some to be a widespread and ancient feature of Niger-Congo-cultures, along with other more specialized deities, ancestor spirits, territorial spirits, and beings, as well as evil caused by human ill will and neglecting ancestor spirits, and priests of territorial spirits. This is what makes African Religion a traditional belief. This is largely because cosmology and beliefs are intricately intertwined with the natural phenomena and environment. A belief in ancestors also testifies to the inclusive nature of traditional African spirituality by positing that deceased progenitors still play a role in the lives of their living descendants. According to him, the belief in spirits and ancestors is the most important element of African religions. Yet Ngai is not the distant God that we know in the West. There is neither paradise to be hoped for nor hell to be feared in the hereafter" (Mbiti 1969, pp. For the Kikuyu, according to their primary supreme creator, Ngai, acting through the lesser deities, is believed to speak to and be capable of guiding the virtuous person as one's conscience.  With a long farming tradition, the Serer high priests and priestesses (Saltigue) deliver yearly sermons at the Xooy Ceremony (divination ceremony) in Fatick before Yoonir's phase in order to predict winter months and enable farmers to start planting.. Generally speaking, African religions hold that there is one creator God, the maker of a dynamic universe. And above all, African traditional religion nurses the belief and conviction that there exists good and bad spirits everywhere and that it is only due to the existence of these spirits that communication between humans and the Supreme Being is made possible. , Traditional African medicine is also directly linked to traditional African religions. Some sacred or holy locations for traditional religions include Nri-Igbo, the Point of Sangomar, Yaboyabo, Fatick, Ife, Oyo, Dahomey, Benin City, Ouidah, Nsukka, Kanem-Bornu, Igbo-Ukwu, and Tulwap Kipsigis, among others. The African traditional There are generally no prohibitions against the practice. It is a All Rights Reserved. Traditional healers are common in most areas, and their practices include a religious element to varying degrees. These include: This is why it is qualified as traditional, in comparison to the other religions, e.g. Among Nilo-Saharan speakers is the belief in Divinity; evil is caused by divine judgement and retribution; prophets as middlemen between Divinity and man. Key words: Religion, Christian, Influence, African traditional religion and Value systems Introduction: The African traditional society is a homogenous and close one with its unique characteristic features that set it apart from other cultures of the world. In traditional African societies, many people seek out diviners on a regular basis. Since Africa is a large continent with many ethnic groups and cultures, there is not one single technique of casting divination. These books have a great amount of useful information on this topic, some of it written before colonialism destroyed or greatly modified aspects of traditional culture. African Traditional Religion, African Indigenous Religion and African Traditional Religions are all common terms used to … Its interaction with African traditional religions is therefore governed by the tension between its supra-ethnic universality of its umma and the ethnocentrism of African traditional religion. The word, is related to the Maasai word Enkai, and was borrowed by both the Kikuyu and Kamba. The traditional African religions or traditional beliefs and practices of African people are a set of highly diverse beliefs that includes various ethnic religions. They have been nurtured with the local practices and culture, but still carry some similarities, like pantheism, in their structures. Introduction to African religion. Traditional Religion. More than 100 million Africans still adhere to the traditional African religions. traditional we understand what is aboriginal, natural or fundamental. It can also refer to the institutionalisation of such beliefs and their practices. Natural phenomena are responsible for providing people with their daily needs. If you have any suggestions, questions or need help please feel free to contact us. about African Traditional Religions. The traditional African religions (or traditional beliefs and practices of African people) are a set of highly diverse beliefs that include various ethnic religions. Kingship is integral to African belief systems for at least two reasons. Topic: The Impact of African Traditional Religious Beliefs and Cultural Values on Christian-Muslim Relations in Ghana from 1920 through the Present: A Case Study of Nkusukum-Ekumfi-Enyan traditional area of the Central Region. Native American & African Traditional Religions, Beliefs and Practices. . This belief, just as in the case of the previous one, has a theological basis – the plurality of divinities ( polytheism ). They have replaced indigenous African religions, but are often adapted to African cultural contexts and belief systems. 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