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Portal:Traditional African religions

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


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 Animism 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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The Okuyi is a rite of passage practiced by several Bantu ethnic groups in different countries mainly across the west coast of Central Africa. Some of the countries where the rite is exercised include Cameroon in West Central Africa, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. Traditionally, the rite is performed at numerous special occasions including funerals and weddings. Usually when an infant reaches four months of age or when a child becomes an adolescent, an Okuyi ritual is applied as well. Today, the Mekuyo rite is exercised by a range of ethnic peoples within the Bantu cluster. The coastal community known as Ndowe, also known as playeros, is a primary example, as peoples across Equatorial Guinea frequently perform the ritual in public. Gabon has two chief ethnic groups that exercise the Okuyi rite including the Mpongwe and Galwa from Lambaréné, Gabon.

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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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Safi Faye (born November 22, 1943) is a Senegalese film director and ethnologist. She was the first Sub-Saharan African woman to direct a commercially distributed feature film, Kaddu Beykat, which was released in 1975. She has directed several documentary and fiction films focusing on rural life in Senegal.

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Ram Swarup quoted in Koenraad Elst (2002)

Source: Swarup, Ram [in] Elst, Koenraad, Who is a Hindu? : Hindu Revivalist Views of Animism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Other Offshoots of Hinduism, Voice of India (2002), p. 72, ISBN 9788185990743

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For more Traditional African religion topics, see Category:Traditional African religions.



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