Portal:Traditional African religions

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Brooklyn Museum 1989.51.39 Nommo Figure with Raised Arms.jpg
Welcome to the Traditional African religions portal

Introduction

Local African ceremony in Benin featuring a zangbeto.

The traditional African religions (or traditional beliefs and practices of African people) are a set of highly diverse beliefs that includes various ethnic religions. Generally, these traditions are oral rather than scriptural, include belief in an amount of higher and lower gods, sometimes including a supreme creator, belief in spirits, veneration of the dead, 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. According to the author Lugira, "it is the only religion that can claim to have originated in Africa. Other religions found in Africa have their origins in other parts of the world."

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'Zulu traditional religion contains numerous deities commonly associated with animals or general classes of natural phenomena. Unkulunkulu is the highest God and is the creator of humanity. UNkulunkulu ("the greatest one") was created in Uhlanga, a huge swamp of reeds, before he came to Earth. Unkulunkulu is sometimes conflated with the Sky Sun god UMvelinqangi (meaning "He who was in the very beginning"), god of thunder, earthquake whose other name is Unsondo, and is the son of Unkulunkulu, the Father, and Nomkhubulwane, the Mother. The word Nomkhubulwane means the one who shapeshift into any form of an animal.

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Festivals

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

Selected biography

Louis Diène Faye (born : 13 February 1936 at Joal) is a Senegalese anthropologist, author and scholar of Serer religion, history and culture. Himself of Serer heritage, he undertook his secondary schooling at Thiès (in Senegal) before proceeding to study religious sciences and audio-visual at the Catholic University of Lyon.

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Babacar Sédikh Diouf

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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