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. Main article: African divination Kingship is integral to African belief systems for at least two reasons. Traditions can be regarded as beliefs, customs or ways of doing something that has existed for a long time among a particular group of people- the sum total of culture in other words. 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. In some traditional African religions, morality is associated with obedience or disobedience to God regarding the way a person or a community lives. Since Africa is a large continent with many ethnic groups and cultures, there is not one single technique of casting divination. The living stand between their ancestors and the unborn. 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. This extraordinary belief in ancestral interconnection is so strongly embedded in the psyche and consciousness of Africans in general that it is believed to act as a potent spiritual tranquilizer that instills a sense of optimism in them as a people and equally effective enough to produce instant positive results, even in a crisis of the most serious kind. It is being frowned upon from time to time by succeeding generations of young men and women gradually breaking loose from the shackles of poverty and backwardness. The ancestors strongly believe that they could hear, feel, taste and participate in everything being undertaken by the living once they are granted an invitation by them. Escape from it would spell doom for many an African family into whose households can be found an appreciable proportion of totally destitute individuals who are forever seeking family succor and assistance for their existence and livelihood. 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 a bid to ensure increased transparency and accountability in the management... Our National Team, Leone Stars, departed yesterday, 10th November 2020 for Nigeria, where they will play... By Jane B. Mansaray. But thanks to some of Africa’s voluble oral traditions, the immediate past of most of the customs and traditions of their people including their kith and kin would otherwise have been largely lost in antiquity and unable to have been recorded as historical facts and concepts by succeeding generations of enlightened historians, particularly the history of the period before the advent of colonialism. The deities and spirits are honored through libation or sacrifice (of animals, vegetables, cooked food, flowers, semi-precious stones and precious metals). 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. The role of humanity is generally seen as one of harmonising nature with the supernatural. Several examples of such traditional and cultural beliefs and practices abound in Africa. Within Africa itself expressions of culture are abundant such that large amounts of cultural diversity are found not only across different countries but also within single countries as well. Thus, one can appreciate how the lives of the living were interwoven with those of the dead. He is invincible as well. All Rights Reserved. This is the defining characteristic of African religion wherever it is practiced. This facilitates better control and transformation of these energies into positive, culturally appropriate behavior, thought, and speech. These are passed around either by communication or imitation from one generation to another. Traditionally, as now, the Kikuyu were monotheists, believing in a unique and omnipotent God whom they called Ngai. At times rulers have been described as gods or as endowed with God's divinity. Followers of traditional African religions pray to various spirits as well as to their ancestors. Some of us perhaps are too wrapped up in our illusory dreams and wild imaginings to take account of the rich traditional beliefs and cultural practices to which we are indissolubly bound such that we easily dismiss them off-handedly as trivial traits scarcely repaying any serious attention. Some religious and non-religious scholars alike have always highlighted that of all the races in the world that God created the African is said to be the most notoriously religious. Virtue in traditional African religion is often connected with carrying out obligations of the communal aspect of life. He – for Ngai is male – cannot be seen, but is manifest in the sun, moon, stars, comets and meteors, thunder and lightning, rain, in rainbows and in the great fig trees (mugùmò) that served as places of worship and sacrifice, and which marked the spot at Mukurue wa Gathanga where Gikuyu and Mumbi – the ancestors of the Kikuyu in the oral legend – first settled.
african traditional religion beliefs and practices