[23][24][20] 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. Belief. The traditional African religions (or traditional beliefs and practices of African people) are a set of highly diverse beliefs that include various ethnic religions.. 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. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishers, 1996. Encyclopædia Britannica. This pattern of behaviour is by no means found in all societies, but the concept of intermediaries is found almost everywhere," Mbiti says. According to him, the belief in spirits and ancestors is the most important element of African religions. These intercessors include elders, ordained priests, seers, prophets, oracles, diviners (links between God and mankind), medicine-men, and rainmakers, and the spirits of the living-dead (people who have recently died). 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. [35] The deities and spirits are honored through libation or sacrifice (of animals, vegetables, cooked food, flowers, semi-precious stones and precious metals). Followers of traditional African religions pray to various spirits as well as to their ancestors. [36] Traditional African religions embrace natural phenomena – ebb and tide, waxing and waning moon, rain and drought – and the rhythmic pattern of agriculture. The former involves the killing of an animal, which is given in parts or entirely to God. Copyright © 2020 The Gleaner Company (Media) Limited. They respond to this awareness by worshipping through deeds and sayings that vary from community to community. It can be said the worship of God in Africa traditional religion is the very soul of African religion. Shrines are sanctuaries for animals and humans. [1][7], Adherents of traditional religions in Sub-Saharan Africa are distributed among 43 countries and are estimated to number over 100 million. 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 difference between powerful spirits and gods is often minimal. Traditional healers are common in most areas, and their practices include a religious element to varying degrees. 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. [32] Some recognize a dual god and goddess such as Mawu-Lisa. This is also true in the African Traditional Religion. 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. [15], Followers of traditional African religions are also found around the world. In traditional African societies, many people seek out diviners on a regular basis. Sometimes the worship of God is done through intercessors. [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. Praying is the commonest form of worship among traditional African peoples. All these persons serve different purposes. The Benin Monarchy, Olokun & Iha Ominigbon. Traditional Niger-Congo religion also included polytheistic and animistic elements. 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. 17–19, Parrinder, Geoffrey. [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. 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. Praying is the commonest form of worship among traditional African peoples. "The reason for this feeling and practice seems to derive mainly from the social and political life of the peoples concerned. Peavy, D., (2009). Some castings are done using sacred divination plates made of wood or performed on the ground (often within a circle). Normally, when you are born, that is considered a rite of passage, and there are certain kinds of religious activities and rituals and magic chants and various things that are done at the time of birth to protect the child from spiritual danger. This includes also nature, elementary and animal spirits. While some religions adopted a pantheistic worldview, most follow a polytheistic system with various gods, spirits and other supernatural beings. Practiced by several Bantu ethnic groups is comparable to the point of interest in African traditional are... Potions of Central and South America are mostly requests to satisfy a particular.! 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