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african traditional religion kenya

Although the majority of Africans are adherents of Christianity or Islam, African people often combine the practice of their traditional belief with the practice of Abrahamic religions. This is a 3-hour summary lecture on the basic components of African Traditional Religions. About 10 per cent of the African population is still practicing some form of traditional religion today. Africa is a vast continent, with many races, but in religion as in other matters it is helpful for study to divide the continent at the Sahara Desert. When we speak of African Traditional Religion, we mean the indigenous religious beliefs and practices of the Africans. Most African societies believe in several “high gods” and a large amount of lower gods and spirits. European and other foreign settlers brought most of these religions. 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/ [...]. Umewaen: Journal of Benin & Edoid Studies: Osweego, NY. With a long farming tradition, the Serer high priests and priestesses (Saltigue) deliver yearly sermons at the Xoy Ceremony (divination ceremony) in Fatick before Yoonir’s phase in order to predict winter months and enable farmers to start planting. The Benin Monarchy, Olokun & Iha Ominigbon. For example, within the Samburu tribe of Kenya, a bride lives with her husband until her pregnancy.… Traditional Religions The religions practiced by the majority of people living in Africa are Christianity and Islam. [39], For example, in the Serer religion, one of the most sacred stars in the cosmos is called Yoonir (the Star of Sirius). Some African religions adopted different views through the influence of Islam or even Hinduism.[36]. Religious persecution. 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. These figures represent peo-ple who primarily follow African traditional religion; however, In some traditional African religions, morality is associated with obedience or disobedience to God regarding the way a person or a community lives. [32], Followers of traditional African religions pray to various spirits as well as to their ancestors. 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. Some of the African traditional religions are those of the Serer of Senegal, the Yoruba and Igbo of Nigeria, and the Akan of Ghana and the Ivory Coast. There are common beliefs in Africa although the continent is a large with many different cultures and When he comes he rests on Mount Kenya and four other sacred mountains. Reincarnation in African Traditional Religion By Andrew Rooke. [38] Traditional African religions embrace natural phenomena – ebb and tide, waxing and waning moon, rain and drought – and the rhythmic pattern of agriculture. Introduction to African religion. 1. It is the opposite... […] Quran was written in the 7th century CE. (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.) 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 religion and beliefs of the Kikuyu. However the most dominant ones in Ghana and Africa are Islam and Christianity, both accounting for more than 90% of religious adherents, with the rest, including traditional beliefs, having less than 10% of adherents. 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. One religious ceremony practiced in Gabon and Cameroon is the Okuyi, practiced by several Bantu ethnic groups. 3 Leo Frobenius, The Voice of Africa, Vol. 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 … Main article: African divination 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. He also notes that most modern African folk religions were strongly influenced by non-African religions, mostly Christianity and Islam and thus may differ from the ancient forms. Universality must surely be one key we have to the verity of any doctrine. [17] Traditional African religions also have elements of fetishism, shamanism and veneration of relics. These statements await further exploration by African theologians. Traditional African religions are the traditions of the religious groups in Africa.After Christianity and Islam, they are the third-biggest religious group in Africa.These religions still stick to their traditions. It is impossible to generalize about concepts in African religions because they are ethno-religions, being determined by each ethnic group in the continent. Most Africans are Christians, but is Christianity an African religion? Some castings are done using sacred divination plates made of wood or performed on the ground (often within a circle). 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. 17–19, Parrinder, Geoffrey. The Semitic Abrahamic religion of Judaism is comparable to the latter world view. This builds skills at separating the feelings elicited by this mindset from their situational manifestations in daily life. This belief, just as in the case of the previous one, has a theological basis – the plurality of divinities ( polytheism ). Rites of Passage – In the rites of passage, African traditional religions played a significant role. Other people believed that Ngai’s abode was on Mount Kenya, or else ‘beyond’ its peaks. INTRODUCTION TO AFRICAN TRADITIONAL RELIGION. [18], Traditional African religions can be broken down into linguistic cultural groups, with common themes. All Rights Reserved. Among Nilo-Saharan speakers is the belief in Divinity; evil is caused by divine judgement and retribution; prophets as middlemen between Divinity and man. Diviner (also known as priest) are also sought for their wisdom as counselors in life and for their knowledge of herbal medicine. African religions also share many ideas with world religions such as Judaism and Buddhism. Abstract. African elders offering a bull as sacrifice to God. African religions also share many ideas with world religions such as Judaism and Buddhism. He noted that it is where Africans and for that matter Ghanaians belong. The beliefs and practices of the traditional religions in Africa can enrich Christian theology and spirituality." Traditional African beliefs and cultural practices cannot be fully discussed without the subject of religion being highlighted. The two Abrahamic religions are widespread across Africa, though mostly concentrated in different areas. "Religions of South Africa" pp. The word, is related to the Maasai word Enkai, and was borrowed by both the Kikuyu and Kamba. Most religions can be described as animistic[4][5] with various polytheistic and pantheistic aspects. 2 E. B. Idowu, African Traditional Religion, S.C.M., 1973, p.87. All over the world we find a firm belief in a spiritual reality behind the confusions of daily existence, though understanding of the exact nature of the relationship between the spheres of spirit and matter varies enormously. "Kings, Magic & Medicine". 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. Ngai, says one legend, made the mountain his resting place while on an inspection tour of earth. 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. General Overviews. Christianity was first introduced to the continent by the white man during colonisation. ATR is the original religious belief and practice of the Africans. About 10 per cent of the African population is still practicing some form of traditional religion today. Ngai is the creator and giver of all things, ‘the Divider of the Universe and Lord of Nature’. The will of the Supreme Deity is sought by the believer also through consultation of divinities or divination. [6][1] The role of humanity is generally seen as one of harmonizing nature with the supernatural. Magic – Many of the African traditional religions believe in mysterious forces and magic.Priests (sometimes known as witchdoctors) may cast spells or … This pursuit for Africans has religious implications because, as it is widely known, the Africans are notoriously religious 1 and have a holistic worldview. This is a 3-hour summary lecture on the basic components of African Traditional Religions. There are generally no prohibitions against the practice. 1. Peavy, D., (2009). [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. Most African religions acknowledge the existence of a supreme deity who created the world and then, in most cases, retired from dealing with earthly affairs. According to Gottlieb and Mbiti: The environment and nature are infused in every aspect of traditional African religions and culture. Welcome to the summary lecture of African Traditional Religions. . There are also religions with a single Supreme being (Chukwu, Nyame, Olodumare, Ngai, Roog, etc.). These included marriage rituals which entered adulthood, birth and death. The three main religious traditions—African traditional religion, Christianity, and Islam—constitute the triple religious heritage of the African continent. 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. There are more similarities than differences in all traditional African religions. When Ludwig got to 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. Most African religions acknowledge the existence of a supreme deity who created the world and then, in most cases, retired from dealing with earthly affairs. In recent times, traditional religions, such as the Yoruba religion, are on the rise. 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. The quest for health and healing, which is basic to all cultures and people, is also a central need of the African population. An Egungun masquerade dance garment in the permanent collection of The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. Encyclopædia Britannica. Gods and Spirits. Traditional healer of South Africa performing a divination by reading the bones. Indigenous African religions are by nature plural, varied, and usually informed by one’s ethnic identity i.e. 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]. The traditional African understanding and the interpretation of Christianity have deep roots in these fundamental beliefs of the African traditional religions. Diviner (also known as priest) are also sought for their wisdom as counselors in life and for their knowledge of herbal medicine. The three main religious traditions—African traditional religion, Christianity, and Islam—constitute the triple religious heritage of the African continent. 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. There are many adherents of traditional religions, who came from long ago and are associated with a long autonomous historical development. [40] 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.[41]. Magic – Many of the African traditional religions believe in mysterious forces and magic. [37] The deities and spirits are honored through libation or sacrifice (of animals, vegetables, cooked food, flowers, semi-precious stones and precious metals). The Traditional Religions of Africa. [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. [16], Animism builds the core concept of traditional African religions, this includes the worship of tutelary deities, nature worship, ancestor worship and the belief in an afterlife. According to him, the belief in spirits and ancestors is the most important element of African religions. Welcome to the summary lecture of African Traditional Religions. When we speak of African Traditional Religion, we mean the indigenous religious beliefs This Ghanaian Adinkra symbol means \"except for God\" and symbolizes the supremacy of God. [21][22] New world religions such as Santería, Vodun, and Candomblé, would be derived from this world. They are folk religions, and combine different beliefs.In general, people in the cities confess to either Christianity or Islam. [34] Some recognize a dual god and goddess such as Mawu-Lisa. One religious ceremony practiced in Gabon and Cameroon is the Okuyi, practiced by several Bantu ethnic groups. This facilitates better control and transformation of these energies into positive, culturally appropriate behavior, thought, and speech. to tag the traditional religion of Africans and believe […] [26][20][21][27], Traditional African medicine is also directly linked to traditional African religions. 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. Keywords: Africa, Kenyan Experience, African Traditional Religion, Justice, Reconciliation and Peace. Adapted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Since Africa is a large continent with many ethnic groups and cultures, there is not one single technique of casting divination. Main article: List of African mythological figures. 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. Today, Christianity and Islam are religions practiced by the majority of people living in Africa. 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. [1] Generally, these traditions are oral rather than scriptural and passed down from one generation to another through folk tales, songs and festivals,[2][3] include belief in an amount of higher and lower gods, sometimes including a supreme creator or force, belief in spirits, veneration of the dead, use of magic and traditional African medicine. living religion in Africa cannot be ignored as Africa struggles with challenges facing it today. For centuries the barriers of desert, tropical forest, and sea prevented religions from spreading south. They include the Protestants, Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Independent and non-affiliated Christians. Natural phenomena are responsible for providing people with their daily needs. […] 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. In some traditional African religions, morality is associated with obedience or disobedience to God regarding the way a person or a community lives. Yet certain aspects of African faiths differ from those of most world religions. 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. In Africa the traditional religions are a major source for the study of the African experience of God. The deities and spirits are honored through libation or sacrifice (of animals, vegetables, cooked food, flowers, semi-precious stones and precious metals). This facilitates better control and transformation of these energies into positive, culturally appropriate behavior, thought, and speech. 3 And similar to this was the dialogue that took place between Edwin Smith, who had gone out as a missionary to Africa, and Emil Ludwig, an eminent biographer. To efficiently study the African Traditional Religion (ATR), one must also study the people who practice this religion. History of African traditional religion. 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. For many Africans and Ghanaians, in particular, it is religion more than anything else that shapes their worldview and participation in … Traditional African religions embrace natural phenomena – ebb and tide, waxing and waning moon, rain and drought – and the rhythmic pattern of agriculture. 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. Gods and Spirits. The symbol can be found throughout Ghana. Westerners, and even most misinformed Africans, are wont to use derogatory words such as primitive, idolatry, paganism etc. 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,[19][20][21] 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. It deals with their cosmology, ritual practices, symbols, arts, society, and so on. The historiography of African religions and religions in Africa presents a remarkable shift from the study of 'Africa as Object' to 'Africa as Subject', thus translating the subject from obscurity into the global community of the academic study of religion. There are more similarities than differences in all traditional African religions. He summarizes that traditional African religions are not only religions, but a worldview, a way of life. The will of the gods or spirits is sought by the believer also through consultation of divinities or divination. 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. Diverse traditional beliefs and practices of African people, Encyclopedia of African Religion (Sage, 2009). Religion enters into every aspect of the life of the Africans and it cannot be studied in isolation. In traditional African societies, many people seek out diviners on a regular basis. The practice of casting may be done with small objects, such as bones, cowrie shells, stones, strips of leather, or flat pieces of wood. 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. According to Gottlieb and Mbiti: The environment and nature are infused in every aspect of traditional African religions and culture. But before those two religions arrived, there were several traditional religions practiced. 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. Traditionally, as now, the Kikuyu were monotheists, believing in a unique and omnipotent God whom they called Ngai. [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. 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. Because religion is a way of life, it relates to culture and society as they affect the worldview of the African people. They counteracted various derogatory names given to AIR. African traditional religion refers to the indigenous or autochthonous religions of the African people. The possessed are referred to as “horsemen,” because they are … ), World Christian Encyclopedia, summarized here, "Ancient African Religion Finds Roots In America", "The Need to Re-Conceptualize African Traditional Religion", The Civilizations of Africa: A History to 1800, Black God: the Afroasiatic roots of the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim religions, Sayings of the Ancient One - Wisdom from Ancient Africa, culture-exchange.blog/animism-modern-africa, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Traditional_African_religions&oldid=997452558, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles with dead external links from October 2016, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Manjonjo Healers of Chitungwiza of Zimbabwe, Information presented here was gleaned from, Chidester, David. A wide variety of religious beliefs, and speech go hand-in-hand with the supernatural who practice this religion only. 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An inspection tour of earth contact us the Divider of the traditional religions played a significant role in every of... Indigenous or autochthonous religions of the African population is still practicing some form of African! ] [ 1 ] the role of humanity is generally seen as one harmonizing! Response to rhythmic or driving drumming or singing evolved from spirits or ancestors which got worshiped the! On a regular basis not one single technique of casting divination within a circle ) connected carrying., tropical forest, and was borrowed by both the Kikuyu and Kamba of life was. Else ‘ beyond ’ its peaks, varied, and spirit beings areas, and combine different beliefs.In general people... Him, the Voice of Africa are United by a basic Animism adopted different views through influence. Mount Kenya and four other sacred mountains the primary God, also referred to as the Supreme Deity being by... 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