These figures represent peo-ple who primarily follow African traditional religion; however, Gods and Spirits. According to Lugira, “it is the only religion that can claim to have originated in Africa. Today, around 10 percent of the African population still practice some form of traditional religion. The quest for health and healing, which is basic to all cultures and people, is also a central need of the African population. When we speak of African Traditional Religion, we mean the indigenous religious beliefs , 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.  The two Abrahamic religions are widespread across Africa, though mostly concentrated in different areas. ), are excited to the point of going into meditative trance in response to rhythmic or driving drumming or singing. Magic – Many of the African traditional religions believe in mysterious forces and magic.Priests (sometimes known as witchdoctors) may cast spells or … 17–19, Parrinder, Geoffrey. Followers of traditional African religions pray to various spirits as well as to their ancestors. 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 noted that it is where Africans and for that matter Ghanaians belong. , Traditional African religions can be broken down into linguistic cultural groups, with common themes. 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. Gods were either self-created or evolved from spirits or ancestors which got worshiped by the people. , 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. 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. Traditional healer of South Africa performing a divination by reading the bones. , 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 pursuit for Africans has religious implications because, as it is widely known, the Africans are notoriously religious 1 and have a holistic worldview. Welcome to the summary lecture of African Traditional Religions. According to Clemmont E. Vontress, the various religious traditions of Africa are united by a basic Animism. But before those two religions arrived, there were several traditional religions practiced. The Traditional Religions of Africa. When we speak of African Traditional Religion, we mean the indigenous religious beliefs and practices of the Africans. The beliefs and practices of the traditional religions in Africa can enrich Christian theology and spirituality."  This includes also nature, elementary and animal spirits. 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.. Some castings are done using sacred divination plates made of wood or performed on the ground (often within a circle). 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. For example, within the Samburu tribe of Kenya, a bride lives with her husband until her pregnancy.… Virtue in traditional African religion is often connected with carrying out obligations of the communal aspect of life. Natural phenomena are responsible for providing people with their daily needs. 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. History of African traditional religion. For centuries the barriers of desert, tropical forest, and sea prevented religions from spreading south. See also: Divination, Early-20th-century Yoruba divination board. In the United States Vudon is more predominant in the states along the Gulf of Mexico. 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. Diviner (also known as priest) are also sought for their wisdom as counselors in life and for their knowledge of herbal medicine. 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? Today, Christianity and Islam are religions practiced by the majority of people living in Africa. Umewaen: Journal of Benin & Edoid Studies: Osweego, NY. Therefore, one... […] Sunni Muslims perform the following: […], Manjonjo Healers of Chitungwiza of Zimbabwe. 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. There are common beliefs in Africa although the continent is a large with many different … Keywords: Africa, Kenyan Experience, African Traditional Religion, Justice, Reconciliation and Peace. One religious ceremony practiced in Gabon and Cameroon is the Okuyi, practiced by several Bantu ethnic groups. The traditional African religions or traditional beliefs and practices of African people are a set of highly diverse beliefs that includes various ethnic religions. 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, 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. , Followers of traditional African religions are also found around the world. 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. An Egungun masquerade dance garment in the permanent collection of The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. . Christianity and Islam make up the largest religions in contemporary Africa, and some sources say that less than 15% still follow traditional African religions. For many Africans and Ghanaians, in particular, it is religion more than anything else that shapes their worldview and participation in … The two Abrahamic religions are widespread across Africa, though mostly concentrated in different areas. It is the opposite... […] Quran was written in the 7th century CE.  The role of humanity is generally seen as one of harmonizing nature with the supernatural. 1. Examples include social behaviors such as the respect for parents and elders, raising children appropriately, providing hospitality, and being honest, trustworthy, and courageous. Today, the countries of Africa contain a wide variety of religious beliefs, and statistics on religious affiliation are difficult to come by. Traditional Africa religions. Most African societies believe in several “high gods” and a large amount of lower gods and spirits. About 10 per cent of the African population is still practicing some form of traditional religion today.  New world religions such as Santería, Vodun, and Candomblé, would be derived from this world. In some traditional African religions, morality is associated with obedience or disobedience to God regarding the way a person or a community lives. Raleigh, NC: SI. While some religions adopted a pantheistic worldview, most follow a polytheistic system with various gods, spirits and other supernatural beings. General Overviews. The three main religious traditions—African traditional religion, Christianity, and Islam—constitute the triple religious heritage of the African continent. Christianity came to Africa from the outside, it happened, as the legend says, in 42, then the Orthodox Coptic Church was formed by the Apostle Mark. 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. African Traditional Religion is referred to the diverse beliefs that are included in various ethnic regions in Africa.The religion is characterized mainly by: 1.Supreme Being The African societies and ethnic communities believed in a supreme being who had different names for different communities.The people worshiped this God through singing,offering sacrifices,dancing,dedications … For example, in the Serer religion, one of the most sacred stars in the cosmos is called Yoonir (the Star of Sirius). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traditional_African_religions Peavy, D., (2009). 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. Among Nilo-Saharan speakers is the belief in Divinity; evil is caused by divine judgement and retribution; prophets as middlemen between Divinity and man. Its study has to go hand-in-hand with the study of the people who practise the religion. Rites of Passage – In the rites of passage, African traditional religions played a significant role.These included marriage rituals which entered adulthood, birth and death. According to Gottlieb and Mbiti: The environment and nature are infused in every aspect of traditional African religions and culture. There are common beliefs in Africa although the continent is a large with many different cultures and Introduction Africa today suffers from what Kiogora (1993) refers to as the ‘Phenomenon of religious … In many traditional African religions, there is a belief in a cyclical nature of reality. This is largely because cosmology and beliefs are intricately intertwined with the natural phenomena and environment. "Religions of South Africa" pp. The Spiritual Life © 2020. In Sierra Leone, Botswana, and Burkina Faso more than 33 percent follow African religion, although it is not the religion of the majority. "Kings, Magic & Medicine". S. Mbiti, John (1991). 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 … This is part of democracy. There are generally no prohibitions against the practice. Most religions can be described as animistic with various polytheistic and pantheistic aspects. This page was last edited on 31 December 2020, at 15:48. If you have any suggestions, questions or need help please feel free to contact us. 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. Encyclopædia Britannica. African religions also share many ideas with world religions such as Judaism and Buddhism. Traditional Niger-Congo religion also included polytheistic and animistic elements. One religious ceremony practiced in Gabon and Cameroon is the Okuyi, practiced by several Bantu ethnic groups. However, there were many traditional religions practiced prior to the arrival of these two religions. where one’s family came from. There are also religions with a single Supreme being (Chukwu, Nyame, Olodumare, Ngai, Roog, etc.). From the Traditional Music and Cultures of Kenya, a multimedia encyclopaedia dedicated to all Kenyan tribes, including music and dance, history, culture, society, religion and beliefs, rituals and daily life, fables, legends, riddles and proverbs. The religion of the Yoruba is finding roots in the Islands of the Caribbean and portions of Central and South America.