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ATR affects the way of life of most Africans. The beliefs are expressed in different ways from culture to culture but the same presence of … At the theoretical level, assuming a romantic view of Shona attitudes to nature, it is possible to conclude that Shona traditional religion is necessarily environmentally friendly. There are generally no prohibitions against the practice. [25], 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. The continued influence of traditional African religion is also evident in some aspects of daily life. In traditional African societies, many people seek out diviners on a regular basis. The traditional belief systems, spirituality and faith of West African peoples has been described in more or less disparaging terms over the course of history, broad terms that fail to reflect the complexity and depth of these beliefs: “paganism”, “animism”, “ancestor-worship”, “idolatry”, “fetishism”, “heathenism”, etc. Despite the popularity of world-famous churches, the traditional religions of Africa are still in demand and used, as they were centuries ago. The belief in God as a supreme being is central to all the traditional … (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. 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. Although there are as many indigenous religions in Africa as there are different societies, these religions share many common features and beliefs. Man generally is given to misconception, especially in the midst of conflicting ideas or contending issues. Generally, these traditions are oral rather than scriptural, include belief in a supreme creator, belief in spirits, veneration of the dead, use of magic and traditional African medicine. This is largely because cosmology and beliefs are intricately intertwined with the natural phenomena and environment. 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. The majority of Africans are adherents of Christianity or Islam. This builds skills at separating the feelings elicited by this mindset from their situational manifestations in daily life. The three main religious traditions—African traditional religion, Christianity, and Islam—constitute the triple religious heritage of the African continent. Today, around 10 percent of the African population still practice some form of traditional religion. Although traditional African religion recognises a Supreme God, followers do not worship him or her directly as they do not feel worthy enough. Gods were either self-created or evolved from spirits or ancestors which got worshiped by the people. This is why it is qualified as traditional, in comparison to the other religions, e.g. 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.[42]. 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. If you have any suggestions, questions or need help please feel free to contact us. Generally, these traditions are oral rather than scriptural, include belief in a supreme creator, belief in spirits, veneration of the dead, use of magic and traditional African medicine. [30], 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. Encyclopædia Britannica, (2003), Index of African mythology and creation narratives, List of African deities and mythical figures, Traditional African Religion and other religions, Persecution of traditional African religion, "The world of spirits and the respect for nature: towards a new appreciation of animism", "Animism: Foundation of Traditional Healing in Sub-Saharan Africa", What is religion? [28], 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. There are more similarities than differences in all traditional African religions. There are generally no prohibitions against the practice. In Christian or Islamic communities, religious beliefs are also sometimes characterized with syncretism with the beliefs and practices of traditional religions. Since Africa is a large continent with many ethnic groups and cultures, there is not one single technique of casting divination. More than 100 million Africans still adhere to the traditional African religions. Introduction to African religion. "Kings, Magic & Medicine". African Traditional Religion, African Indigenous Religion and African Traditional Religions are all common terms used to … Monotheism does not reflect the multiplicity of ways that the traditional African spirituality has conceived of deities, gods, and spirit beings. This belief, just as in the case of the previous one, has a theological basis – the plurality of divinities ( polytheism ). Most African societies believe in a single Supreme being (Chukwu, Nyame, Olodumare, Ngai, Roog, etc.). The beliefs and practices of ATR are based upon the faith of the ancient indigenous people (ancestors). African Traditional Religion. [31], 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. to tag the traditional religion of Africans and believe […] 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. Traditional African beliefs are much older and have been practiced in Zimbabwe longer than any other religion in the country. The Semitic Abrahamic religion of Judaism is comparable to the latter world view. While some religions adopted a pantheistic worldview, most follow a polytheistic system with various gods, spirits and other supernatural beings. African people often combine the practice of their traditional belief with the practice of Abrahamic religions. 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. 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. 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. While some traditions have a supreme being (next to other deities), others have not. When we speak of African Traditional Religion, we mean the indigenous religious beliefs and practices of the Africans. 5.8). [33] This includes also nature, elementary and animal spirits. For example, in 14 of the 19 countries surveyed, more than three-in-ten people say they sometimes consult traditional healers when someone in their household is sick. The nature of the two classes of religions are very different from each other. Generally, these traditions are oral rather than scriptural, include belief in a supreme creator, belief in spirits, veneration of the dead, use of magic, and traditional medicine. The traditional African religions or traditional beliefs and practices of African people are a set of highly diverse beliefs that includes various ethnic religions. This is largely because cosmology and beliefs are intricately intertwined with the natural phenomena and environment. 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. ), are excited to the point of going into meditative trance in response to rhythmic or driving drumming or singing. African Traditional Religions are sets of diverse beliefs that are followed by people in separate places. The term \"community\" is used here to refer to a grouping of persons in a particular area who lead a fairly similar cultural life, within a given people or in a town.BELIEF IN GOD. This list is limited to a few well-known traditions. 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. […] This literature was highly treasured by many Jewish enthusiasts, in... […] Judea and the Therapeutae in Egypt, were said to have a “secret”... […] (طهارة‎, ṭaharah) is an essential aspect of Islam. Diverse traditional beliefs and practices of African people, Encyclopedia of African Religion (Sage, 2009). Westerners, and even most misinformed Africans, are wont to use derogatory words such as primitive, idolatry, paganism etc. [35], 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. This is why it is qualified as traditional, in comparison to the other religions, e.g. The religions practiced by the majority of people living in Africa are Christianity and Islam. 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. This article examines some of the beliefs and practices underlying traditional African religion's attitudes to nature with reference to Shona religion of Zimbabwe. Traditional healers are common in most areas, and their practices include a religious element to varying degrees. The will of the gods or spirits is sought by the believer also through consultation of divinities or divination. Natural phenomena are responsible for providing people with their daily needs. "Religions of South Africa" pp. Some traditional African beliefs claim that witches and wizards are not admitted to the spirit world and therefore do not receive a proper burial; they may even be burned, or chopped up and fed to hyenas. This heritage, though contemporarily more dynamically evidenced, has a long history and influence. Common Beliefs Common Beliefs Although Africa is a huge continent with many different peoples and traditional religions, some beliefs and practices are common through many of the religions. Most of Africa's organized religions were brought to the country from Europeans and other foreign settlers. Virtue in traditional African religion is often connected with carrying out obligations of the communal aspect of life. These include: This list is limited to a few well-known traditions. The traditional African religions or traditional beliefs and practices of African people are a set of highly diverse beliefs that includes various ethnic religions. Thus, linguistic experts such as Christopher Ehretand Placide Tempels have applied their knowledge of languages towards reconstructing the original core beliefs of the followers of these traditions. S. Mbiti, John (1991). See also: Divination, Early-20th-century Yoruba divination board. The practice of casting may be done with small objects, such as bones, cowrie shells, stones, strips of leather, or flat pieces of wood. [8][9], 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. The difference between powerful spirits and gods is often minimal. According to Lugira, “it is the only religion that can claim to have originated in Africa. Some castings are done using sacred divination plates made of wood or performed on the ground (often within a circle). [6][1] The role of humanity is generally seen as one of harmonizing nature with the supernatural. 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. In recent times, traditional religions, such as the Yoruba religion, are on the rise. Main article: List of African mythological figures. He summarizes that traditional African religions are not only religions, but a worldview, a way of life. 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. It is an amalgam of moral ideas and practices that permeates all of life at personal and social levels (ibid.). The traditional African understanding and the interpretation of Christianity have deep roots in these fundamental beliefs of the African traditional religions. Abrahamic religions are widespread throughout Africa. For example, in the Serer religion, one of the most sacred stars in the cosmos is called Yoonir (the Star of Sirius). An Egungun masquerade dance garment in the permanent collection of The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. 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. Christianity and Islam, which are considered as foreign since their doctrines and practices came from outside of Africa. All aspects of weather, thunder, lightning, rain, day, moon, sun, stars, and so on may become amenable to control through the cosmology of African people. human diviners. 1komma5grad-quellen – Matthias Ziemer Photography says: Earth’s Crisis and Evolution Series- Part 1 Finding Commonality in Religious and Spiritual Pathways – SacredFireofKnowledge says: Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window), Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window), Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window), Persecution of traditional African religion, 1komma5grad-quellen – Matthias Ziemer Photography, ... [Trackback] [...] Read More Infos here: slife.org/ethics-in-religion/ [...], […] https://www.discovermongolia.mn/about-mongolia/culture-art-history/religion-in-mongolia https://slife.org/mongolian-shamanism/ https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/what-religions-are-practiced-in-mongolia.html […], ... [Trackback] [...] Find More Informations here: slife.org/western-slang-lingo-and-phrases/ [...], ... [Trackback] [...] Read More: slife.org/mens-rights-movement/ [...]. To understand the issue one must go back to the beginnings of anthropology in the 19th century and follow its evolution (see 19th-Century Background). Characteristics Of African Traditional Religions 898 Words | 4 Pages. Such separation and subsequent contemplation of the nature and sources of pure energy or feelings serves to help participants manage and accept them when they arise in mundane contexts. According to Gottlieb and Mbiti: The environment and nature are infused in every aspect of traditional African religions and culture. This facilitates better control and transformation of these energies into positive, culturally appropriate behavior, thought, and speech. Today, the continent's various populations and individuals are mostly adherents of Christianity, Islam, and to a lesser extent several traditional African religions. Other religions found in Africa have their origins in other parts of the world.”. 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. African Traditional Religion is now widely taught in African universities, but its identity remains essentially negative: African belief that is not Christianity or Islam. Traditionally, as now, the Kikuyu were monotheists, believing in a unique and omnipotent God whom they called Ngai. Umewaen: Journal of Benin & Edoid Studies: Osweego, NY. Traditional Religion. Traditional/Indigenous African religions are the traditional beliefs and practices of African people including the various traditional religions and customs. However, it is a known fact that many of Christians and Muslims in CAR incorporate their indigenous religious practices in their everyday lives. 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. When he comes he rests on Mount Kenya and four other sacred mountains. Most religions can be described as animistic[4][5] with various polytheistic and pantheistic aspects. African religions, religious beliefs and practices of the peoples of Africa.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.In fact, Africa is a vast continent encompassing both geographic variation and tremendous cultural diversity. Religion in Igbo traditional society partakes fully of all the features of world traditional religion, including its beliefs, sacred myths, oral qualities, strong appeal to the hearts of adherents, high degree of ritualization, and possession of numerous participatory personages such as officiating elders, kings, priests, and diviners. The African traditional He had human characteristics, and although some say that he lives in the sky or in the clouds, they also say that he comes to earth from time to time to inspect it, bestow blessings and mete out punishment. African Religion embraces Spiritual, political and social aspects of human beings. Some African religions adopted different views through the influence of Islam or even Hinduism.[36]. The word, is related to the Maasai word Enkai, and was borrowed by both the Kikuyu and Kamba. In support, Iwuoha points out that traditional African religion cuts … Britannica Book of the Year 2003. African Traditional Religions are sets of diverse beliefs that are followed by people in separate places. 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. . Myths of various African peoples relate that, after setting the world in motion, the Supreme Being withdrew, and he remains remote from the concerns of human life. Unlike Western mythology, African myths are not recounted as a single narrative story, nor is there any established corpus of myth. African Traditional Religion. Among Nilo-Saharan speakers is the belief in Divinity; evil is caused by divine judgement and retribution; prophets as middlemen between Divinity and man. They have replaced indigenous African religions, but are often adapted to African cultural contexts and belief systems. Sierra Leone, a small country on the western coast of Africa, has a unique history of religious diversity. Religion in Africa is multifaceted and has been a major influence on art, culture and philosophy. 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. So normally we refer to African Traditional Religions in the plural, and it’s simply summarized or written in notation form as “ATR” – African Traditional Religion. 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