Religion has always played a major part in the different cultures of Africa.
Each group of people in separate regions of the continent have creation stories that tie them directly to the God
or Gods they worship.
Usually the God would create the Earth and animals and last would create the humans to take dominion over the
region in which the people happen to inhabit.
The four primary sources for the study of African religion are the:
- Oral traditions that are told from parents to children and priests to the people for centuries.
- Archeological and linguistic evidence tells of the remaining of the ancient people's beliefs by physical
evidence of their religion and way of life and the speech patterns that have evolved over the years.
- The religions that are still practiced give a definitive view of the way religions were practiced in the old days.
- The arts and sacred spaces have to do with what is considered Holy by the different practicing groups.
Many beliefs common among different African religions appear in their creation stories such as:
The religious leaders in many of Africa's religions have tried, sometimes in vain, to preserve the society from
- The spiritual cosmos populated by divine beings, sometimes in a hierarchial order.
- The belief of Earth and material life as created.
- A multitude of Gods and other spirits.
- The role of ancestors.
- A belief in sacred places and spaces such as a mountain that God inhabits.
- Males and females as parts of the cosmic scheme.
- Idea of society being organized around values and traditions drawn from common beginnings in history.
foreigners encroaching upon their lands and customs.
Their role has always been to preserve the histories and traditions of the people. They teach the ways of survival
to the people, be it wedding procedures or planting times the village priest is there to and serve through the God.
The rituals practiced in many traditional African societies are all connected by the belief of being stepping stones
to the ultimate goal of death and the afterlife. There are rituals that enhance all of the transitional stages of life
such as birth, puberty, initiation into adulthood, marriage, having children, old age, death and life after death.
The rituals allow the people celebrating to know what is expected of them in the next stage of their life and what is
Information compiled from individual study.
Photo from Sacred Source catalog (Click the image for the website).
© 1997-2009 Blessedbelief.com
A Kwa Ba of the Ashanti