African Traditional Religion has grown out of the African soil.  Traditional African religions embrace natural phenomena – ebb and tide, waxing and waning moon, rain and drought – and the rhythmic pattern of agriculture. Some castings are done using sacred divination plates made of wood or performed on the ground (often within a circle). The challenge is to study faith, proverbs, traditions and mythology across Africa to identify the fragments of religion passed down as oral traditions and mythology in the great cultures of the continent. Traditional African religion has common themes such as a Creator or High God, positive ancestor influences as well as tricksters, and an afterlife with spirit worlds. This list is limited to a few well-known traditions. Cattle have always been the primary form of subsistence ... Zulus have some common beliefs and traditions. The three essential features of African traditional religions are belief, worship and morality. The prayers are usually short, extemporaneous, and succinct, and may be accompanied by sacrifices and offerings. God is omnipresent, and he is reachable at any time and in any place. This pattern of behaviour is by no means found in all societies, but the concept of intermediaries is found almost everywhere," Mbiti says. The religion of the Yoruba is finding roots in the Islands of the Caribbean and portions of Central and South America. Ancestors can offer advice and bestow good fortune and honor to their living dependents, but they can also make demands, such as insisting that their shrines be properly maintained and propitiated. In African traditional religion the spirits are always present, and requests and offerings are made to them for health, prosperity, and protection. One religious ceremony practiced in Gabon and Cameroon is the Okuyi, practiced by several Bantu ethnic groups. African traditional religion refers to the indigenous or autochthonous religion of the African people. Umewaen: Journal of Benin & Edoid Studies: Osweego, NY. (Worship of the vodun is the original source of the Haitian religion of Vodou, which emerged as a syncretism of African, Roman Catholic, and Caribbean religious traditions by African slaves in Haiti.) As with most traditional groups in Africa, Ndebele life is characterized by an active spiritual world, which exercises great influence over even the smallest issues in daily existence. Enslaved blacks also told traditional stories about the spider Anansi, who was sometimes also depicted as a trickster hare.  Some recognize a dual god and goddess such as Mawu-Lisa. Raleigh, NC: SI. The African * Academic researcher, Department of World Religions & Culture, University of Dhaka. 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. This is a list of African spirits and/or deities found within the traditional African religions.This list also covers spirits and/or deities found within the Afro-American religions—which mostly derives from traditional African religions. Basics. Invocations are calls for God's intervention into a particular matter. ," John S. Mbiti says in African Religions and Philosophy. READ MORE: Nigerian private sector needs to stay home. Symbolism and imagery in traditional religion include the carved statues housed in shrines, the veves traced on the ground in voodoo religion etc. Read More. By and large they had a much better perception of African Traditional Religion and they saw the relevance of the system of beliefs for African traditional society. Traditions by region Major Muslim holidays are observed as national holidays in the Gambia. Most religions can be described as animistic with various polytheistic and pantheistic aspects. This is largely because cosmology and beliefs are intricately intertwined with the natural phenomena and environment. Peavy, D., (2009). When we speak of African Traditional Religion, we mean the indigenous religious beliefs and practices of the Africans. 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. They are mostly requests to satisfy a particular need or to give thanks. centre (Introduction to African Religions, 41, 42). , Although the majority of Africans today are adherents of Christianity or Islam, African people often combine the practice of their traditional belief with the practice of Abrahamic religions. For centuries the barriers of desert, tropical forest, and sea prevented religions from spreading south. Where to look for and find African Tradition Religion? The Caribbean religion known as vodun or voodoo, for example, involves the worship of the vodu, meaning “spirit” in the West African language Fon. While some religions adopted a pantheistic worldview, most follow a polytheistic system with various gods, spirits and other supernatural beings. missionaries. "The reason for this feeling and practice seems to derive mainly from the social and political life of the peoples concerned. Most times many writers see the religions in Africa as homogenous while others see them in plurality. 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.. Introduction This article explores the place of African Traditional Religion (specifically Congolese Traditional Religion) in inter-religious encounters with Christianity in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Praying is the commonest form of worship among traditional African peoples. Zulu Religion Burials Like many cultures, the Zulu people believe that life doesn't end with death but continues in the spiritual world. African traditional religions is a term referring to a variety of religions indigenous to the continent of Africa.. , Traditional African religions generally believe in an afterlife, one or more Spirit worlds, and Ancestor worship is an important basic concept in mostly all African religions. Death is seen as a person's deeper connection with all creation. Religion and information. This was not unusual. Every person who dies within the Zulu tribe must be buried the traditional way. 37The Supreme Being 38. Xhosa traditional music places a strong emphasis on group singing and ... Power and Resistance in an African Society: The Ciskei Xhosa and the ... that had been taken from us we accept western religion as our own when there are people who relatively own the religion and are practising their worship … 3.3 AIC’S AND AFRICAN TRADITIONAL RELIGION There is a veritable smorgasbord of denominations within the South African AIC move-ment, many of which consist of a single congregation. Attributes of God (Supreme Being) in Africa: Attributes of God refers to words or phrases ascribing traits, properties, qualities or characteristics to the "There is no limit as to where and when African peoples perform one or more act of worship. Blessings are good wishes being asked of God, such as, "God be with you". , Traditional African religions can be broken down into linguistic cultural groups, with common themes. 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. It is best understood as the traditional African worldview. Among Afro-Asiatic-speakers is henotheism, the belief in one's own gods but accepting the existence of other gods; evil here is caused by malevolent spirits. A place of worship is a specially designed structure or consecrated space where individuals or a group of people such as a congregation come to perform acts of devotion, veneration, or religious study. Some African religions adopted different views through the influence of Islam or even Hinduism.. Since Africa is a large continent with many ethnic groups and cultures, there is not one single technique of casting divination. It is the most popular for decoration and can often be seen printed on cloth or stamped on pottery.The rapid spread of Pentecostal Christianity and fundamentalist Islam has greatly affected the role of indigenous religion in African society. Ancestors (ancestral ghosts/spirits) are an integral part of reality. He summarize that traditional African religions are not only religions, but a worldview, a way of life. Some people worship God throughout the entire day, as they believe God is everywhere, seeing and hearing them, while for others, formal worship is arbitrary, unnecessary even, as they feel their awareness and acceptance of God's omnipresence, omniscience and omnipotence are within themselves worship. The name itself means 'dance in honour of the gods', and music and dance are important parts of … In a country with around 41 million illiterate adults, where only 92 million have internet access, religious and traditional leaders are crucial in the transmission of information. This builds skills at separating the feelings elicited by this mindset from their situational manifestations in daily life.  San religion is generally non-theistic but a belief in a Spirit or Power of existence which can be tapped in a trance-dance; trance-healers. , When this trance-like state is witnessed and understood, adherents are privy to a way of contemplating the pure or symbolic embodiment of a particular mindset or frame of reference. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishers, 1996. Traditional African religion is very popular and arrived here … Africa, the place of origin of all humankind, is divided into numerous political and cultural regions, reflecting its diverse range of histories, ethnicities, languages, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors. The aim of the study is to facilitate the inculturation of the Christian faith in traditional Venda religion and culture, by trying to understand the present relation between the Christian faith and traditional Venda religion and culture, as it is found in the ‘religion of ordinary women and men’ in Venda. Sufism and traditional African beliefs have a significant influence on the Islamic religion practiced in the Gambia. Altars are sacred spots used for offerings and sacrifices, and can be found in shrines and temples or in the open air. , Some researchers, including historical ethnolinguist Christopher Ehret, suggest that certain monotheistic concepts, such as the belief in a creator god or force (next to other gods, deities and spirits) are ancient and indigenous among peoples of the Niger-Congo ethnolinguistic family (of much of West Africa and Central Africa) and date to the beginning of their history, in a form substantially different from the monotheism found in Abrahamic religions. Shrines are sanctuaries for animals and humans. People worship him whenever the need arises," Mbiti says. They have replaced indigenous African religions, but are often adapted to African cultural contexts and belief systems. of God in any African Traditional Religion is asking for trouble, because the meaning of the English terms come with such a long his-tory, from the Latin, of theological baggage, that it is not at all natural to give space to the African meanings in their context. This is part of democracy. Though there is no strict time and place of worship, worship takes place in special shrines, temples, altars, groves and other sacred places used for public sacrifices and prayers. Gods were either self-created or evolved from spirits or ancestors which got worshiped by the people. Shrines are located in a separate room or a quiet area of the home. ... Cosmic Force, cultural distortion, darkness and superstition, material God, Traditional Religion. Traditional healers are common in most areas, and their practices include a religious element to varying degrees. Traditional religion and beliefs of the Kikuyu. Traditional African religions also have elements of fetishism, shamanism and veneration of relics. This facilitates better control and transformation of these energies into positive, culturally appropriate behavior, thought, and speech. 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. 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. A traditional African practitioner would have no need to ascribe to any one “religion” in that there would no conflict in his mind between his traditional African spirituality and another faith for they would not be mutually exclusive. Between the 1500s and the 1800s, many thousands of Africans were brought to the Americas as slaves. There are generally no prohibitions against the practice. The name itself means 'dance in honour of the gods', and music … An important preoccupation of Mbiti’s work has been to show that knowledge of God and the worship of God have been staples of African life from the earliest times on the continent. Main article: Persecution of traditional African religion.  The deities and spirits are honored through libation or sacrifice (of animals, vegetables, cooked food, flowers, semi-precious stones and precious metals). In traditional African societies, many people seek out diviners on a regular basis. "It is also an act and occasion of making and renewing contact between God and man ... ," John S. Mbiti says in African Religions and Philosophy. According to Gottlieb and Mbiti: The environment and nature are infused in every aspect of traditional African religions and culture. Christian missionaries first arrived in the country by invitation of King Moshoeshoe I in the 1830s. This study attempts and examines what some scholars have written about African traditional religion, its beliefs and practices, and brought it together to form what may be called the worship of God in the religion. Monotheism does not reflect the multiplicity of ways that the traditional African spirituality has conceived of deities, gods, and spirit beings. traditional culture, Islam and Christianity have inspired them most. The traditional African religions or traditional beliefs and practices of African people are a set of highly diverse beliefs that includes various ethnic religions. , Nigerian American professor of indigenous African religions at Harvard University, Jacob Olupona summarized the many traditional African religions as complex animistic religious traditions and beliefs of the African people before the Christian and Islamic "colonization" of Africa. 62 African Traditional Religion A traditional mask from Benin inWest Africa worn during the Gelede ceremony.The masks are worn by men during a ritual performance that takes place between March and May at the beginning of the new agricultural season. Animism, belief in innumerable spiritual beings concerned with human affairs and capable of helping or harming human interests.Animistic beliefs were first competently surveyed by Sir Edward Burnett Tylor in his work Primitive Culture (1871), to which is owed the continued currency of the term. , West and Central African religious practices generally manifest themselves in communal ceremonies or divinatory rites in which members of the community, overcome by force (or ashe, nyama, etc. S. Mbiti, John (1991). A building constructed or used for this purpose is sometimes called a house of worship.Temples, churches, synagogues and mosques are examples of structures created for worship. In the United States Vudon is more predominant in the states along the Gulf of Mexico. The ancestors are generally believed to reside in an ancestral realm (spiritworld), while some believe that the ancestors became equal in power to deities.. From the Traditional Music and Cultures of Kenya, a multimedia encyclopaedia dedicated to all Kenyan tribes, including music and dance, history, culture, society, religion and beliefs, rituals and daily life, fables, legends, riddles and proverbs. RELIGION AS A PERCENTAGE OF WORLD POPULATION: 1.3 percent OVERVIEW. African Traditional Religion is associated with fatalism, rooted in animism and ancestor veneration. Their myths and legends helped shape the black cultures that developed in the Caribbean islands and the United States. , Followers of traditional African religions are also found around the world. If you meant “Yoruba traditional religion”, I would still have a hard time answering you because the traditional Yorubas believed in so many things. A building constructed or used for this purpose is sometimes called a house of worship.Temples, churches, synagogues and mosques are examples of structures created for worship. 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