Traditional African religion
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Traditional African religion is the indigenous religious beliefs and practices of the people of Africa. While generalizations of the traditional religions of Africa are difficult, due to the diversity of African cultures, they do have characteristics in common. They are oral rather than scriptural, and generally include belief in a supreme being, belief in spirits and other divinities, veneration of ancestors, use of magic, and traditional medicine. The role of humanity is generally seen as one of harmonizing nature with the supernatural.
Traditional African religions have been passed down from one generation to another orally and can be found through art, rituals and festivals, beliefs and customs, names of people and places, songs and dances, proverbs, and myths. While adherence to traditional religion in Africa are hard to estimate, due to syncretism with Christianity and Islam, practitioners are estimated to number 100 million, or 10% of the population.
Classification and statistics 
Adherents.com lists African Traditional & Diasporic as a major religious group, estimating some 100 million adherents. They justify this combined listing of traditional African and African diasporic religions, and the separation from the generic primal-indigenous category by pointing out that:
the "primal-indigenous" religions are primarily tribal and composed of pre-colonization peoples. While there is certainly overlap between this category and non-African primal-indigenous religious adherents, there are reasons for separating the two, best illustrated by focusing specifically on Yoruba, which is probably the largest African traditional religious/tribal complex. Yoruba was the religion of the vast Yoruba nation states which existed before European colonialism and its practitioners today - certainly those in the Caribbean, South America and the U.S. - are integrated into a technological, industrial society, yet still proclaim affiliation to this African-based religious system. Cohesive rituals, beliefs and organization were spread throughout the world of Yoruba (and other major African religious/tribal groups such as Fon), to an extent characteristic of nations and many organized religions, not simply tribes.
Practitioners of traditional religions in sub-Saharan Africa are distributed among 43 countries, and were estimated to number about 90 million, with the largest religions in Africa being Christianity and Islam.
West African religious tradition 
The work of both Karade and Doumbia support the stance that the concept of force or spirit is a shared underlying theme among the spiritual traditions of the Sudanic cultures (i.e. those west of Cameroon and south of the Sahara). Karade asserts that, in the Yoruba tradition of Nigeria, force is called ashe. He further posits that the task of a Yoruba practitioner is to contemplate and/or ceremonially embody the various deities and/or ancestral energies or profundities in ways analogous to how chakras are contemplated in kundalini yoga. In other words, the deities represent energies, attitudes, or potential ways to approach life. The goal is to elevate awareness while either in or contemplating any of these states of mind such that one can transmute negative or wasteful aspects of their energy into conduct and mindsets that serve as virtuous examples for oneself and the greater community. Doumbia and Doumbia echo this sentiment for the Mande tradition of Senegal, Mali, and many other regions of westernmost Africa. Here however, the force concept is represented by the term nyama rather than ashe.
Divination also tends to play a major role in the process of transmuting negative or confused feelings or thoughts into more ordered and productive ones. Specifically, this process serves as a way to provide frames of reference such that those who are uncertain as to how to begin an undertaking and/or solve a problem can get their bearings and open a dialectic with their highest selves concerning their options on their paths.
Akan religion 
The Akan people of Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire believe in a supreme god who takes on various names depending on the region of worship. Akan mythology claims that at one time the god interacted with man, but that after being continually struck by the pestle of an old woman pounding fufu, a traditional food, he moved into the sky. There are no priests that serve him directly, and people believe that they may make direct contact with him. There are also numerous spirits (abosom), who receive their power from the supreme god and are most often connected to the world as it appears in its natural state. These include ocean and riverine spirits and various local deities. Priests serve individual spirits and act as mediators between the gods and mankind. Nearly everyone participates in daily prayer, which includes the pouring of libations as an offering to both the ancestors who are buried in the land and to the spirits who are everywhere. The earth is seen as a female deity and is directly connected to fertility and fecundity.
Odinani encompasses the traditional religious and spiritual concepts and practices of the Igbo. It is a panentheistic faith. In Odinani, there is one supreme god called Great Spirit (Igbo: Chukwu) who existed before all things and rules over smaller deities called Alusi. There are different Alusi for different purposes, the most important of them is Ala the earth goddess. A traditional herbalist or priest among the Igbo is called Dibia.
Serer religion 
The Sereer people of Senegal and the Gambia believe in a universal supreme deity called Roog, also termed Roog Sene (Roog the Immensity). Their elaborate religious traditions deal with various dimensions of life and death, cosmology, astronomy, symbolism, poems, ancient chants etc. Lesser deities include Thiorak or Tulrakh (God of wealth) and Taahkarr or Takhar (God of justice or vengeance).
In Nteje town, Oyi Local Government Area, Anambra State, Nigeria, there is this "alusi" called "Agadinwayi" which means oldest woman. This alusi is very powerful. The oral history of this alusi was that she was a woman that devoted her life to serve the community. She decided to allow herself to be buried alive for the sake of the community. She died for the survival of the community. Today this alusi remains very powerful and active in Nteje.
West African religious practices generally manifest themselves in communal ceremonies and/or divinatory rites in which members of the community, overcome by force (or ashe, nyama, etc.), are excited to the point of going into meditative trance in response to rhythmic or mantric drumming and/or singing. One religious ceremony practiced in Gabon and Cameroon is the Okuyi, practiced by several Bantu ethnic groups. In this state, depending upon the types of 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 and/or state of mind by performing distinct ritual movements or dances which further enhance their elevated consciousness, or, in Eastern terms, excite the kundalini to a specific level of awareness and/or circulate chi in a specific way within the body. When this trance-like state is witnessed and understood, culturally educated observers are privy to a way of contemplating the pure or symbolic embodiment of a particular mindset or frame of reference. This builds skills at separating the feelings elicited by this mindset from their situational manifestations in daily life. 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. This facilitates better control and transformation of these energies into positive, culturally appropriate behavior, thought, and speech. Further, 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.
Followers of traditional African religions pray to various secondary deities (Ogoun, Da, Agwu, Esu, Mbari, Thiorak, etc.) as well as to their ancestors. These divinities serve as intermediaries between humans and God. Most indigenous African societies believe in a single creator God (Chukwu, Nyame, Olodumare, Ngai, Roog, etc.). Some recognize a dual or complementary twin Divinity such as Mawu-Lisa. For example, in one of the Yoruba creation myths, Olodumare, the 'Supreme', is said to have created Obatala, as Arch-divinity, who then created humans on earth. Olodumare then infused those human creations with life. Each divinity has their own priest or priestess."
Practices and rituals 
There are more similarities than differences in all traditional African religions. Often, God is worshiped through consultation or communion with lesser deities and ancestral spirits. The deities and spirits are honored through libation, sacrifice (of animals, vegetables, or precious metals). The will of God is sought by the believer also through consultation of oracular deities, or divination. In many traditional African religions, there is a belief in a cyclical nature of reality. The living stand between their ancestors and the unborn. Traditional African religions embrace natural phenomena - ebb and tide, waxing and waning moon, rain and drought - and the rhythmic pattern of agriculture. According to Gottlieb and Mbiti:
The environment and nature are infused in every aspect of traditional African religions and culture. This is largely because cosmology and beliefs are intricately intertwined with the natural phenomena and environment. 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. Natural phenomena are responsible for providing people with their daily needs.
For example in the Serer religion, one of the most sacred stars in the cosmos is called Yoonir the (Star of Sirius). 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.
One of the most traditional methods of telling fortunes in Africa is called casting (or throwing) the bones. Because Africa is a large continent with many tribes and cultures, there is not one single technique. Not all of the so-called bones are actually bones, small objects may include cowrie shells, stones, strips of leather, or flat pieces of wood. Some castings are done using sacred divination plates made of wood or performed on the ground (often within a circle) and they fall into one of two categories:
- Casting marked bones, flat pieces of wood, shells, or leather strips and numerically counting up how they fall - either according to their markings or whether they do or do not touch one another - with mathematically based readings delivered as memorized results based on the chosen criteria.
- Casting a special set of symbolic bones or an array of selected symbolic articles, e.g. a bird's wing bone to symbolize travel, a round stone to symbolize a pregnant womb, and a bird's foot to symbolize feeling.
In African society, many people seek out diviners on a regular basis. There are generally no prohibitions against the practice. Those who tell fortunes for a living are also sought out for their wisdom as counselors and for their knowledge of herbal medicine.
Duality of Divinities 
Most indigenous African religions have a dualistic concept of the person. In the Igbo language, a person is said to be composed of a body and a soul. In the Yoruba language, however, there seems to be a tripartite concept: in addition to body and soul, there is said to exist a spirit or an ori, an independent entity which mediates or otherwise interacts between the body and the soul.
Some religious systems have a specific devil-like figure (e.g. Ekwensu) who is believed to be the opposite of God.
Virtue and vice 
Virtue in traditional African religion is often connected with the communal aspect of life. Examples include social behaviors such as the respect for parents and elders, raising children appropriately, providing hospitality, and being honest, trustworthy and courageous.
In some traditional African religions, morality is associated with obedience or disobedience to God regarding the way a person or a community lives. For the Kikuyu, according to Mbiti, God, acting through the lesser deities, is believed to speak to and be capable of guiding the virtuous person as one's conscience. But so could the Devil and its messengers. In indigenous 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 the God or the Devil.
Religious offices 
Indigenous African religions, like most indigenous religions, do not have a named and known founder. Many do not have a sacred scripture. Often, such religions are oral traditions.
In some societies, there are intermediaries between individuals or whole communities and specific deities. Variously called Dibia, Babalawo, etc., the priest usually presides at the altar of a particular deity.
Practice of medicine is an important part of indigenous religion. Healers are reputed to have professional knowledge of illness (pathology), surgery, and pharmacology (roots, barks, leaves and herbs). Some of them are also reputed to diagnose and treat mental and psychological problems.
The role of a traditional healer is broader in some respects than that of a contemporary medical doctor. The healer advises in all aspects of life, including physical, psychological, spiritual, moral, and legal matters. They also understand the significance of ancestral spirits and the concept of witches (hence the colonial term witch doctor).
Rainmakers are believed to be capable of bringing about or stopping rain, by manipulating the environment meteorologically (e.g. by burning particular kinds of woods or otherwise attempting to influence movement of clouds). They usually come from the priestly class such as the Saltigues in Serer religion. The Saltigues are members of the old families that formed the priestly class, themselves descendants of the ancient Lamanes, the old Serer kings and landed gentry as well as guardians of Serer religion through the Pangool (the Serer saints and ancestral spirits). The role of the Saltigue, which both men and women can join, was usually non-political but for the betterment of the land and her people. These high priests and priestesses are not only responsible for predicting the future weather as in the Xoy ceremony, etc., but also to organize their thoughts into a single cohesive unit and summon the deities and Pangool to bring rain to the country. This role was previously reserved for the ancient Lamanes who were ritually killed if they could not bring rain to the country either through their own powers or the accumulation of charms. It is from this heritage that the Saltigue class sprang out of. They are the hereditary rain priests. Rainmaking ceremonies takes place only when there is drought in Serer country. Sacred ceremonies such as the Cadde and Khangere are designed specifically for such events.
Holy places and headquarters of religious activities 
While there are man made holy places (e.g. altars, shrines, temples, tombs, etc.), very often sacred space is located in nature (e.g. trees, groves, rocks, hills, mountains, caves, etc.).
Liturgy and rituals 
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Rituals often occur according to the life cycle of the year. There are herding and hunting rituals as well as those marking the rhythm of agriculture and of human life. There are craft rituals, such as in smithing. There are rituals on building new homes, on the assumption of leadership, etc.
Each deity has its own rituals, including choice objects of sacrifice; preference for male or female priest-officer; time of day, week, month, or year to make required sacrifice; or specific costumes for priest and supplicant on ritual occasions.
Some deities are perpetual patrons of specific trades and guilds. For example, in Haitian Vodou, Ogoun (Ogun among the Yorubas of Nigeria), the deity of metal, is patron of all professions that use metals as primary material of craft.
The living often honor ancestors by pouring a libation (paying homage), and thus giving them the first taste of a drink before the living consume it.
Magic, witchcraft and sorcery 
Magic, witchcraft and sorcery are important, different but related, concepts about interactions between the natural and the supernatural, seen and unseen, worlds. Magicians, witches, shamans and sorcerers are said to have the skills to bring about or manipulate the relations between the two worlds. Abuse of this ability is widely condemned. Magic, witchcraft and sorcery are part of many indigenous religious beliefs. These are not extremely vital to the different deities but they are still considered necessary.
Secret societies 
Secret societies are an important part of indigenous religion. Among traditional secret societies are hunting societies whose members are taught not only the physical methods, but also respect for the spiritual aspect of the hunt and use of honorable magical means to obtain important co-operation from the animal hunted.
Some spirits and deities are believed to possess some of their priests during special rituals. The possessed goes into a trance-like state, sometimes accompanied by speaking in so-called tongues (i.e. uttering messages from the spirit that need to be interpreted for the audience). In parts of Africa possession is usually induced by drumming and dancing.
Many indigenous religions, like most religions, have elaborate stories that explain how the world was created, how culture and civilization came about, or what happens when a person dies (e.g. Kalunga Line). Other mythologies are meant to explain or enforce social conventions on issues relating to age, gender, class, or religious rituals. Myths are popular methods of education; they communicate religious knowledge and morality while amusing or frightening those who hear or read them. Examples of religions with elaborate mythologies include the native religions of the Yoruba (see Yoruba mythology) and Serer people (see Serer creation myth).
Religious persecution 
Adherents of traditional African religions have been persecuted, e.g. practitioners of the Bwiti religion by Christian missionaries and French colonial authorities, as well as some members of the present Gabon government. Countering this, the Republic of Benin holds international Vodun conferences annually.
Misleading Terms 
Dr Joseph Omosade Awolalu points out that a great number of writers use misleading terms such as primitive, savage and pagan to describe African religious beliefs. The terms witch and witchcraft should also not be used to describe traditional African religion in general.
Webster's Dictionary defines primitive as:
belonging to an early stage of technical development;
characterized by simplicity and (often) crudeness
"primitive movies of the 1890s"
"primitive living conditions in the Appalachian mountains"
"It should be obvious from the dictionary meaning that this word cannot be appropriate in describing the religions of Africa or those that practise this religion."
The dictionary meanings pertain to the forest or wilderness, wild, uncultured, untamed, violent, brutal, uncivilized, uneducated, rude, barbarous, inhuman.
Again, Awolalu points out that this word cannot be appropriate to describe African religious beliefs.
The word pagan is from the Latin word paganus meaning peasant, village or country district, it also means one who worships false gods, a heathen.
"But when the meaning is stretched further it means one who is neither a Christian, a Jew nor a Muslim."
The colonial terms witch and witchcraft have strong negative connotations in a traditional African context, relating to concepts such as evil and harmful magic. Generally speaking, they are not terms used by practitioners of traditional African religion to identify themselves. Accusations of witchcraft can lead to violent witch-hunts and are therefore considered a criminal offence under the Witchcraft Suppression Act in South Africa. Furthermore, the terms have been reappropriated by Neopagans who identify themselves as Witches and practitioners of Wicca or contemporary Witchcraft.
Traditions by region 
- North Africa
- West Africa
- Akan religion (Ghana)
- Dahomey (Fon) mythology
- Efik mythology (Nigeria, Cameroon)
- Odinani of the Igbo people (Nigeria, Cameroon)
- Serer religion (Senegal, Gambia)
- Yoruba religion (Nigeria, Benin)
- Central Africa
- East Africa
- Akamba mythology (East Kenya)
- Dinka religion (South Sudan)
- Lotuko mythology (South Sudan)
- Masai mythology (Kenya, Tanzania)
- Malagasy mythology (Madagascar)
- Southern Africa
See also 
- Information presented here was gleaned from World Eras Encyclopaedia, Volume 10, edited by Pierre-Damien Mvuyekure (New York: Thomson-Gale, 2003), in particular pp. 275–314.
- Baldick, J (1997) Black God: The Afroasiatic Roots of the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Religions. New York: Syracuse University Press.
- Doumbia, A. & Doumbia, N (2004) The Way of the Elders: West African Spirituality & Tradition. Saint Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications.
- Ehret, Christopher, (2002) The Civilizations of Africa: a History to 1800. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia.
- Ehret, Christopher, An African Classical Age: Eastern and Southern Africa in World History, 1000 B.C. to A.D. 400, page 159, University of Virginia Press, ISBN 0-8139-2057-4
- Karade, B (1994) The Handbook of Yoruba Religious Concepts. York Beach, MA: Samuel Weiser Inc.
- P’Bitek, Okot. African Religions and Western Scholarship. Kampala: East African Literature Bureau, 1970.
- Princeton Online, History of Africa
- Wiredu, Kwasi Toward Decolonizing African Philosophy And Religion in African Studies Quarterly, The Online Journal for African Studies, Volume 1, Issue 4, 1998
Further reading 
- Encyclopedia of African Religion, - Molefi Asante, Sage Publications, 1412936365
- Julian Baldick (1997). Black God: the Afroasiatic roots of the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim religions. Syracuse University Press:ISBN 0-8156-0522-6
- West African Traditional Religion Kofi Asare Opoku | Publisher: FEP International Private Limited (1978), ASIN: B0000EE0IT
- John Mbiti African Religions and Philosophy (1969) African Writers Series, Heinemann ISBN 0-435-89591-5
- Wade Abimbola, ed. and trans. Ifa Divination Poetry (New York: NOK, 1977).
- Ulli Beier, ed. The Origins of Life and Death: African Creation Myths (London: Heinemann, 1966).
- Herbert Cole, Mbari: Art and Life among the Owerri Igbo (Bloomington: Indiana University press, 1982).
- J. B. Danquah, The Akan Doctrine of God: A Fragment of Gold Coast Ethics and Religion, second edition (London: Cass, 1968).
- Marcel Griaule and Germaine Dietterlen, Le Mythe Cosmogonique (Paris: Institut d'Ethnologie, 1965).
- Rems Nna Umeasigbu, The Way We Lived: Ibo Customs and Stories (London: Heinemann, 1969).
- Sandra Barnes, Africa's Ogun: Old World and New (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1989).
- Segun Gbadagesin, African Philosophy: Traditional Yoruba Philosophy and Contemporary African Realities (New York: Peter Lang, 1999).
- Judith Gleason, Oya, in Praise of an African Goddess (Harper Collins, 1992).
- Bolaji Idowu, God in Yoruba Belief (Plainview: Original Publications, rev. and enlarged ed., 1995)
- Wole Soyinka, Myth, Literature and the African World (Cambridge University Press, 1976).
- S. Solagbade Popoola, Ikunle Abiyamo: It is on Bent Knees that I gave Birth (2007 Asefin Media Publication)
- David Chidester, "Religions of South Africa" pp. 17–19
- Alisa LaGamma (2000). Art and oracle: African art and rituals of divination. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art. ISBN 9780870999338.
- Dr J.O. Awolalu, Studies in Comparative Religion Vol. 10, No. 2. (Spring, 1976).
- "African religions".
- Juergensmeyer, Mark (2006). The Oxford Handbook Of Global Religions. ISBN 0195137981.
- S. Mbiti, John (1991). Introduction to African religion. ISBN 0435940023.
- An African Story BBC
- "African Religion Diaspora and Continent". Dr. Kofi Asare Opoku.
- Encyclopedia of African Religion (Sage, 2009) Molefi Asante
- http://www.hts.org.za/index.php/HTS/article/view/341/758#17 What is religion? An African understanding
- Restless Spirits: Syncretic Religion Yolanda Pierce, Ph.D. Associate Professor of African American Religion & Literature
- Encyclopædia Britannica. Britannica Book of the Year 2003. Encyclopædia Britannica, (2003) ISBN 978-0-85229-956-2 p.306
According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, as of mid-2002, there were 480,453,000 Christians, 329,869,000 Muslims and 98,734,000 people who practiced traditional religions in Africa. Ian S. Markham, (A World Religions Reader. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell Publishers, 1996.) is cited by Morehouse University as giving the mid-1990s figure of 278,250,800 Muslims in Africa, but still as 40.8% of the total. These numbers are estimates, and remain a matter of conjecture (see Amadu Jacky Kaba). The spread of Christianity and Islam in Africa: a survey and analysis of the numbers and percentages of Christians, Muslims and those who practice indigenous religions. The Western Journal of Black Studies, Vol 29, Number 2, June 2005. Discusses the estimations of various almanacs and encyclopedium, placing Britannica's estimate as the most agreed figure. Notes the figure presented at the World Christian Encyclopedia, summarized here, as being an outlier. On rates of growth, Islam and Pentecostal Christianity are highest, see: The List: The World’s Fastest-Growing Religions, Foreign Policy, May 2007.
- "Major Religions Ranked by Size: African Traditional & African Diasporic Religions". adherents.com. Retrieved 15 November 2012.
- Karade, B. The Handbook of Yoruba Religious Concepts, page 21. Samuel Weiser Inc, 1994
- Doumbia, A & Doumbia, N The Way of the Elders: West African Spirituality & Tradition, pages 5-6. Llewellyn Publications, 2004
- Karade, B. The Handbook of Yoruba Religious Concepts, pages 39-46. Samuel Weiser Inc, 1994
- Doumbia, A & Doumbia, N The Way of the Elders: West African Spirituality & Tradition, pages xv. Llewellyn Publications, 2004
- Doumbia, A & Doumbia, N The Way of the Elders: West African Spirituality & Tradition, page 26-27. Llewellyn Publications, 2004
- Karade, B. The Handbook of Yoruba Religious Concepts, page 81. Samuel Weiser Inc, 1994
- Lindsay Jones. Encyclopedia of religion, Volume 1, p214. Published by Macmillan Reference USA, 2005. ISBN 0-02-865734-9
- Lindsay Jones. Encyclopedia of religion, Volume 1, p214-215. Published by Macmillan Reference USA, 2005. ISBN 0-02-865734-9
- Fighting for honor: the history of African martial art traditions in the Atlantic world. Univ of South Carolina Press. 2008. p. 58. ISBN 1-57003-718-3.
- Salif Dione, L’Education traditionnelle à travers les chants et poèmes sereer, Dakar, Université de Dakar, 1983, 344 p. (Thèse de 3e cycle)
- Henry Gravrand,La civilisation Serer, Pangool, Dakar, Nouvelles Editions Africaines (1990)
- Day Otis Kellog and William Robertson Smith. The Encyclopædia Britannica: latest edition. A dictionary of arts, sciences and general literature, Volume 25, p64. Published by Werner, 1902.
- Annemarie De Waal Malefijt. Religion and culture: an introduction to anthropology of religion, p220-249. Macmillan, 1968.
- Willie F. Page. Encyclopedia of African history and culture, Volume 1, p55. Published by Facts on File, 2001. ISBN 0-8160-4472-4
- D. D. Peter C. Rogers, Peter C. Rogers, Ph.d. Ultimate Truth, Book 1, p100. Published by AuthorHouse, 2009. ISBN 1-4389-7968-1
- John S. Mbiti.African religions & philosophy, p100-101. 2nd Edition. Heinemann, 1990. ISBN 0-435-89591-5
- John S. Mbiti. Introduction to African religion, p68. 2nd Edition. Published by East African Publishers, 1992. ISBN 9966-46-928-1
- Roger S. Gottlieb. The Oxford handbook of religion and ecology, p261. Published by Oxford Handbooks Online, 2006. ISBN 0-19-517872-6
- Henry Gravrand. La Civilisation Sereer Pangool,p21, 152. Published by Les Nouvelles Editions Africaines du Sénégal, 1990. ISBN 2-7236-1055-1
- Simone Kalis, Médecine Traditionnelle, Religion et Divination Chez les Seereer Siin du Sénégal. La Coonaissance de la Nuit. L'Harmattan, 1997. ISBN 2-7384-5196-9
- (French) Kalis, Simone, "Medecine Traditionnele Religion et Divination Chez Les Seereer Siin du Senegal", L'Harmattan (1997), pp 11-297, ISBN 2-7384-5196-9
- (French) Sarr, Alioune, "Histoire du Sine-Saloum", (Introduction, bibliographie et notes par Charles Becker), Buletin de Institut Fondamental d'Afrique Noire, Tome 46, Serie B, n° 3-4, 1986-1987. p31
- [http://lasenegalaise.com/index.php?lasenegalaise=infos&infos=societe&societe=17103 Révélation de saltigué : Touba va accueillir la dépouille d’une célébrité venue de Dakar (in La Sénégalaise). Xoy ceremony of 2011 held at Fatick, present-day Senegal, previously a principality of the pre-colonial Kingdom of Sine.
- Sarr, Alioune, "Histoire du Sine-Saloum", (introduction, bibliographie et notes par Charles Becker), in Bulletin de l'IFAN, tome 46, série B, nos 3-4, 1986-1987 pp 31-38
- (English)Galvan, Dennis Charles, "The State Must be our Master of Fire : How Peasants Craft Culturally Sustainable Development in Senegal", Berkeley, University of California Press, (2004), pp 86-135, ISBN 978-0-520-23591-5.
- Niang, Mor Sadio, IFAN, [in] "Ethiopiques numéro 31 révue socialiste de culture négro-africaine 3e trimestre (1982)"
- David Diringer. The alphabet: a key to the history of mankind, Volume 1, p107. Funk & Wagnalls, 1968.
- Swiderski, Stanislaw. La religion bouiti, Volumes 1 à 2. "The persecutions of the Bwiti, organized by the Catholic Church and the colonial government, or even by certain members of the present government, have reinforced the "racial" and religious consciousness of the Bwiti,"
- "Bewitched or de-witched?". mg.co.za. 20 July 2007. Retrieved 15 November 2012.
- Wallace, Dale (1 February 2012). "Healers, Heretics and Witches: African diviners and Pagan Witches contest the boundaries of religion and magic in Africa". inter-disciplinary.net. Retrieved 15 November 2012.
- Leff, Damon (1 October 2012). "'African witchcraft' an academic misnomer". penton.co.za. Retrieved 15 November 2012.
- African Religious Beliefs
- Afrika world.com A website with extensive links and information about traditional African religions
- Asomdwee Fie, Shrine of the Abosom and Nsamanafo A Traditional Akan Spiritual Shrine
- Baba Alawoye.com Baba'Awo Awoyinfa Ifaloju, showcasing Ifa using web media 2.0 (blogs, podcasting, video & photocasting)
- Roots and Rooted For those that love traditional African Religion