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Portal:Traditional African religions

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Welcome to the Traditional African religions portal


Local ceremony in Benin featuring a zangbeto.

The beliefs and practices of African people are highly diverse, including various ethnic religions. Generally, these traditions are oral rather than scriptural and are passed down from one generation to another through folk tales, songs, and festivals, and include beliefs in spirits and higher and lower gods, sometimes including a supreme being, as well as the veneration of the dead, and use of magic and traditional African medicine. Most religions can be described as animistic with various polytheistic and pantheistic aspects. The role of humanity is generally seen as one of harmonizing nature with the supernatural. (Full article...)

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The Mbuti mythology (or Bambuti mythology) is the mythology of the African Mbuti (also known as Bambuti) Pygmies of Congo.

The most important god of the Bambuti pantheon is Khonvoum (also Khonuum, Kmvoum, Chorum), a god of the hunt who wields a bow made from two snakes that together appear to humans as a rainbow.

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There are several religious festivals found in the various Traditional African religions. Some of these are listed below next to their corresponding religion :

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Ogotemmeli (died 1962) was the Dogon elder and high priest (Hogon) who narrated the cosmogony, cosmology and symbols of the Dogon people to French anthropologist Marcel Griaule during the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, that went on to be documented and adapted by contemporary scholars. A lot of what we know about Dogon religion, cosmogony and symbolism came from Griaule's work, which in turn came from Ogotemmeli—who taught it to him.

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Source: Diouf, Babacar Sédikh, Le Sérère, Paganism Polythéiste ou Religion Monothéiste [in] Camara, Fatou Kiné (PhD) & Seck, Abdourahmane (PhD), "Secularity and Freedom of Religion in Senegal: Between a Constitutional Rock and a Hard Reality", p 860-61 (PDF - p. 2-3) [1]

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