One area which served as an important educational vehicle for the youth in traditional africa was the oral literature. This paper primarily addresses the controversy among scholars on whether oral traditions such as myths, songs, wise sayings, incantations, invocations, legends, etc. Ancestor spirits and their role in african traditional religion. As human beings we sometimes in one way or another become sick, and therefore go for treatment depending on our choice of treatment religious perspective or western medical treatment. The belief occupies an important place in the understanding of the role of the traditional religion in inculcating the ideals of culture and religion among african peoples. They play an important role in designing and implementing health systems involving traditional medicines and spirit possession. In this way, african culture and values can be revaluated, their relevance established and sustained in order to give credence to authentic african identity. Arguably, womens experiences of being in the world and their aspirations to transcend the world of men are reflected in the mwari religion despite the tendency in earlier studies to deal with the religion as an.
Pdf god, divinities and spirits in african traditional. Mwari is said to be tremendously awesome and cannot be approached arbitrarily. When we speak of african traditional religion, we mean the indigenous religious beliefs and practices of the africans. The paper also considers the concept of evil, ethics, justice and time in african traditional religion. The role of african traditional religion, culture and worldview in. African traditional religion has also been the source of inspiration ofre which africa is known, and included in theses are art, music, social institutions, politically systems and the ancient civilization. Exploring the african traditional belief systems in natural. Exploring the african traditional belief systems in. The african continent to understand african religion, it helps to look at africa itself. Contemporary african culture is a mixture of traditional elements and alien features. In five of these countriesbenin, mozambique, guineabissau, liberia, and the ivory coastafrican religion is the majority religion.
In sierra leone, botswana, and burkina faso more than 33 percent follow african religion, although it is not the religion of the majority. It is described as the product of thinking and experience of african forefathers and mothers of. African traditional religion atr and cultural practices in most parts of african communities are environmentally friendly and sustainable, contributing so much to natural resource sustainability and conservation international institute for environment and development iied, 1992. The importance of women in african society is portrayed in a ghanaian proverb which says, a woman is a flower in a garden, her husband is the fence around. The theology of inculturation and the african church. The continued influence of traditional african religion is also evident in some aspects of daily life. Because religion permeates all aspects of a traditional african culture, if an individual rejects the cultures religion, he or she may become isolated from family, friends, and the community. African traditional religion in a globalizing world. This is important in understanding what ubuntu is and what.
They are the guardians of religious and cultural practices of the community. African traditional religion has grown out of the african soil. The culture of a people is what marks them out distinctively from other human. Although african traditional religion is not against a western. Generally, these traditions are oral rather than scriptural, include belief in an amount of higher and lower gods, sometimes including a supreme creator, belief in spirits, veneration of the dead, use of magic and traditional. An overview of shona traditional religion the shona people, like their african counterparts, are profoundly religious.
The traditional african understanding and the interpretation of christianity have deep roots in these fundamental beliefs of the african traditional religions. 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. In fact, africa is a vast continent encompassing both geographic variation and tremendous cultural diversity. In another chapter, puberty rites were mentioned as another rites of passage. Christianity and the african traditional religions. Not being a revealed religion, traditional african religion can be characterized as a natural religion, a religion that derives from the peoples own reflections on this complex world and their experiences in it. The main objective of this paper is to examine african culture and values. A reflection on the african traditional values of marriage. The impact of african traditional religious beliefs and. Role of traditional health practitioners taskshifting and hivaids care dr mosa moshabela director, radar school of public health, university of witwatersrand, johannesburg it is important to remember that acknowledging a practice does not necessarily.
The crosscultural nature for understanding its philosophy is of particular importance because of the radicalone might say even traumatic interface that africa has had with european culture and with western modernity. Mombe inopfuura haipedzi uswa a passing ox does not finish the grazing mweni haaendi nedura. Religion is a fundamental, perhaps the most important, influence in the life of most africans. The meaning and nature of african philosophy in a globalising. This article, therefore, aims at presenting african traditional religion s voice in this important discourse by using the traditional akan people of ghana as a case study. Discuss the roles of ancestors in traditional african communities. Myths, folklores proverbs therefore become the major sources of african philosophy jaja, 1995. This is a 3hour summary lecture on the basic components of african traditional religions. The ancestors are believed to be disembodied spirits of people who lived upright lives here on earth, died good and natural deaths, that is at a ripe old age, and received. The religious beliefs, practices and thehuman characteristics such as love, power, knowledge are transferred to anspeak of african traditional religion we mean the indigenous. During these events usually an offering is made to honour, please and thank the ancestors. Taboos have played important roles in the traditional african society which include the ibite olo land and also exercise great influence on the modern society as well. It further studies the difficulties involved in this study and future of african traditional religion. A paper presented at the 2014 conference of the association of african traditional religion and philosophy scholars.
Seventhly, there was considerable hostility to african traditional religion. Traditional african societies also observe environmental ethics that help in regulating their interactions with the natural environment shastri et al. The african continent experienced its own form of training and learning before it was colonized and even before. Why is religion important to society and its people. Oral literature encompasses fables, folktales, legends myths and proverbs. As in most of subsaharan africa, atr is the indigenous religion of sierra leone.
Strangers and visitors were generously received and fed. Sex refers to a persons biological characteristics. In order to understand the people of africa fully, an indepth study of the religious beliefs of its people must be carried out. African traditional religion, rituals, worldview, healing, postwar healing. The advantages of african traditional education include passing on of essential values from the community as well as defining the roles of both boys and girls distinctly. African traditional religion, mainly by the west and also by some africans themselves who very often, out of sheer ignorance, misinformation have not bothered to know it. The role of african traditional religion, culture and worldview in the context of postwar healing among the dinka community of southern sudan alex kamwaria department of philosophy and religious studies kenyatta university p. Myth is a very common feature of african indigenous religion. Tabona shoko analyses the traditional karanga views of the causes of illness and disease, mechanisms of diagnosis at their disposal and the methods they use to restore health, shoko discusses the views of a specific african independent church of the apostolic tradition. Comparative religions atr african traditional religion introduction three religions dominates african continent.
Answers i they create a sense of security for the community. They helped people to preserve moral rules that help them as individuals and as communities to live a peaceful and harmonious life. African religions and philosophy is a systematic study of the attitudes of mind and belief that have evolved in the many societies of africa. The african spirit of communality is maintained through the extension of hospitality to others. Some african religions adopted different views through the influence of islam or even hinduism. Here again the writer made mention of the various ceremonies which accompany puberty and its significance in african traditional religion. God, divinities, ancestors, african, traditional, religion.
For example, in 14 of the 19 countries surveyed, more than threeinten people say they sometimes consult traditional healers when someone in their household is sick. Gender refers to the different roles that are assigned to males and females. This papers tries to analyse what the africans believe would happen in the afterlife. Religion creates a sense of community some people join a religion in order to feel included in a smaller subsection of a larger society. Narratives about the creation of the universe cosmogony and the nature and structure of the world cosmology form the core philosophy of african. African culture has experienced rapid change since the colonial invasion. It presents the worldview, philosophical nature and foundation of african traditional religion. The concept of god, divinities and spirits in african traditional religious ontology has been so misunderstood by many scholars to the point of seeing africans as people who did not know the. Oral sources and the study of african traditional religion george i. African religions, religious beliefs and practices of the peoples of africa. Africans, for one reason because religions are important phenomena in all the. Women in african traditional religions i37 munal ritual addressed to spiritual beings constitutes religion narrowly defined though communal cults may be performed to benefit groups ranging in magnitude from the swazi or ganda states to the households within them. In discussing african culture and values, we are not presupposing that all african societies have the same.
In ijebuland, traditional festivals are observed by the adherents of the traditional religion to mark important social and cultural events in the lives of the people and these are culminated in series of performances, entertainments, rites and rituals. Give reasons why reading the bible is important to christians. Importance of religious parallels and commonalities the similarities and parallels between ancient egyptian religion, and traditional african religions suggest they derive from a common african family of certain religious ideas and practices these include. The african metaphysic, to be sure, is a theistic metaphysic. Faso more than 33 percent follow african religion, although it is not the religion of the majority.
Shona mwari literally he who is, or ndebele umlimu, is believed to be active in the everyday lives of people. African traditional religion atr and cultural practices in most parts of african communities are environmentally friendly and sustainable, contributing so much. The role of women in african religion the sunday mail. 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. Before we examine the role of women in african traditional religion, certain methodological issues have to be resolved. These figures represent people who primarily follow african traditional religion. The traditional religion supports various ways of preserving health and dealing with. Since african traditional religion, promotes integral development that goes beyond mere economic globalization, this paper defends the thesis that atr plays a very important role in the.
The influence of christianity on african traditional religion and african christian. The main characteristics of african traditional religion. This paper examines the concept and philosophy of african traditional religion from the viewpoint of africans. Common names ascribed to the shona mwari include musikavanhu, nyadenga and deza. This belief, just as in the case of the previous one, has a theological basis the plurality of divinities polytheism. They believe in the supreme being known by various names. African philosophy is the reflective inquiry into the marvels and problematic that confront one in the african world, in producing systematic explanation and sustained responses to them iroegbu, 1994. The traditional african religions or traditional beliefs and practices of african people are a set of highly diverse beliefs that includes various ethnic religions.
Welcome to the summary lecture of african traditional religions. Traditional african religion is a way of life in which ancestors are part of every major event such as wedding, births and deaths as well as less important ones such as getting a job and finishing university. African traditional religion african studies oxford. African traditional religion cannot easily be studied by nonafricans. African traditional religion has also been the source of inspiration ofre which africa is known, and included in theses are art, music, social institutions, politically systems and. The role of african traditional religion, culture and world. More so, myths encode the traditional settings of the african. The purpose of this is to help to orient a person who would like to work in the context of africa. It is the religion which resulted from the sustaining faith held by the forebears of the present africans, and which is being practised today in various forms and various shades and intensities by a very large number of. What are the advantages and disadvantages of african. The religious beliefs, practices and the provision of social services of these immigrant religions have impacted on the religious and cultural life of the traditional. This paper is a trawl of literature on african traditional religion1 atr and. In general, people communicate with mwari through the.
The religious beliefs, practices and the provision of social services of these immigrant religions have impacted on the religious and cultural life of the traditional communities. Some notes on animal symbolism in african religion and. African religion is traditional for the following reasons. Box 4384400100, nairobi, kenya abstract it is the opinion consensuses of a few scholars that the institution of marriage has continued to. Through these festivals, the values and beliefs of the people are demonstrated. They counteracted various derogatory names given to air. In considering traditional subsaharan african religious systems for study, one is confronted not only by the multiplicity of potential. This article, therefore, aims at presenting african traditional religions voice in this important discourse by using the traditional akan people of ghana as a case. Since african traditional religion, promotes integral development that goes beyond mere economic globalization, this paper defends the thesis that atr plays a very important. It is the religion which resulted from the sustaining faith held by the forebears of the present africans, and which is being practised today in various forms and.
It is an important means of expression through which man. Introduction the question of the nature of african philosophy has engaged the minds of african philosophers for decades. That theology must be open to the aspiration of the people of africa if it is to help christianity to become incarnate in the life of the peoples of the african continent. The importance of oral traditions cannot be adequately quantified in the study of african traditional religion. In african religion, women encourage hard work and industrialisation for sustainable development. Local african culture was oppressed for many years by white south africans, who find their cultural roots in western countries. African traditional religion and concepts of development. Religion serves as the structure around which all other activities, such as cultural, economic, political and social organizations are built. A few years ago kenneth kaunda of zambia wrote these revealing. Held at nnamdi azikiwe university, awka, chike okoli multipurpose hall.
Myth provides answers for a student of african traditional region seeking interpretations to such fundamental and cardinal. Introduction for many decades, the concept of supreme being god, divinities and ancestors the livingdead in african traditional religious thought has been a controversial and misunderstood concept. Ancestor spirits and their role in african traditional. African traditional religion and the coming of christianity. And we agree with professor idowu that the purpose of the study should be. African traditional people users, subscribers and sympathizers. Apart from oral traditions be it by arts, story, songs, tales and drama, festivity, experiential participation is the second source for the study of atr. What is the role of ancestors in traditional african communities. Traditional songs, poems and dances have also been integrated with traditional worship styles of western origin. Pdf the concept of diseases and health care in african. African religion cannot be separated from daily life. Its subject matter is, african reality, african experience and how the african understand and interpret these experiences. Some notes on animal symbolism in african religion and culture jacob kehinde olupona african american and african studies program, university of california at davis, 467 ken hall, davis, ca 95616. A reflection on the african traditional values of marriage and sexuality dr.
Without the religious frameworks that guide these actions, many people may not feel morally obligated to address societal problems, making religion important to society and its people. African traditional religion is a thriving scholarly business, but a serious disconnect exists between contributions that celebrate a generalized african traditional religion and those that describe particular religions and aspects of religion on the basis of ethnographic and archival research. It also shows that the worship of god in african traditional religion is through sacrifices, offerings, singing, dancing and prayers. Any african christian who raised it risked victimization.
African traditional religion south african history online. Using kenya as a case study, this paper, drawing from africas religious worldview, urges religious groups in africa to inculcate in their adherents the importance of. In traditional african communities, hospitality had no limit of function. In this second edition, dr mbiti has updated his material to include the involvement of women in religion, and the potential unity to be found in what was once thought to be a mass of quite separate religions. African traditional religion in a globalizing world arc journals. It should be noted that any attempt to generalize about the nature of african religions risks wrongly implying that there is homogeneity among all african cultures. African traditional religions religion in zimbabwe. It is therefore important to attempt to describe african influences in theology and worship, as has been done for celtic spirituality.560 705 1435 444 1219 1476 18 527 1162 1210 692 1407 509 1525 1084 308 169 509 1064 278 1316 891 562 77 1416 427 53 449 394 531 644 802 1193 943 346 392 1056 238 920