Kenyatta, Jomo. A discussion of rejection of anger, through spraying out water or beer, as the central religious act among the Taita. In southern Africa there is constant emphasis on fertility—of human beings, stock, and fields; on health; on goodwill between kinsmen and neighbors; on amity among the ruling men of the region; on respect of juniors for seniors and the responsibility of seniors toward their dependents; on the continuation of life after death. Africa 8 (October 1935): 448–461. Reprint, New Hyde Park, N.Y., 1968. Nyakyusa mourners were required to express the passion of grief and fear to the men "fighting death" in the war dance and to widows, mothers, and sisters weeping violently and smearing themselves with ash and mud; but the rituals reveal little of the actual experience of the individual. Zulu Thought-Patterns and Symbolism. Basically, Islam dominates the North and East of the continent, while Christianity dominates the South and West, whith other native and folk religions being scattered throughout. Such creatures are as real in imagination as was the pitchfork-wielding Devil to the medieval European, and like him they walk the earth seeking those whom they may devour. Analysis of ritual is important in any study of religion, for ritual enshrines the dogma and values of participants. ." American Journal of Sociology 56 (January 1951): 307–313. In 1931 in Pondoland this writer heard the word itongo ("a shade") used in reference to an elderly father's living sister. The witch familiars (and witchcraft generally) personify the evil recognized as existing in all humans, specifically, anger, hatred, jealousy, envy, lust, greed. TEARS have always played important roles as symbols and signs in religious life around the world, yet they have only recently begun to attract…, Ndembu The Xhosa cattle killing has been seen by various writers as a plot of the chiefs to drive the Xhosa to war, as a plot of the whites to destroy the Xhosa, and as a resistance movement. Although they are numinous, the shades are held in far less awe than is God himself. A founding hero frequently has a living representative in this sense, a "divine king," that is, a ruler or priest on whose health and virility the health and fertility of men, cattle, and land are thought to depend. "Work, Homestead and the Shades: The Ritual Interpretation of Labour Migration among the Gcaleka." But there is also a type of purification ritual that concerns everyone. Offerings to the shades consist of staple foods, especially choice foods such as a tender cut of beef eaten by the one on whose behalf prayer is made (the same cut from the right foreleg is used by peoples from Tanzania to the southern coast of Africa); a libation of fermented milk or beer; a sprinkling of flour or porridge; seeds of pulses, cucurbits, and grains. God may be represented by a high mountain glittering with snow, a tree symbolizing the mountain, or a sacred grove. Thanksgiving rituals also occur, particularly after escape from danger in war or hunting, or on the return home of a migrant laborer or a person released from imprisonment; and there are rituals invoking blessing for an important new tool such as a plough, but these are less general than the rituals of life crises. Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA). In addition, a considerable number of Muslims from South Asia that have arrived as economic migrants. Communal rituals are of various sorts, including offerings to the founding heroes, their living representatives, and chiefly descendants. Apartheid was abolished in 1994 when South Africa became a multiracial state. The most vivid account yet written on girls' initiation; interprets symbols and explains methods of inculcating certain lessons. Even into the twentieth century, a divine king who was ailing or feeble would be smothered—he must "die for the people"—and then be replaced. Sets witch beliefs in comparative perspective. Cape Town, 1980. Among a pastoral people the altar is the byre, the offering milk or a slaughtered animal. Cite this article Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography. The place of celebration has moved as groups of kinsmen have moved, as chiefs have been installed and later buried, and as trees planted as boundary marks or on graves have spread into thickets. The Ila-Speaking Peoples of Northern Rhodesia (1920). Had not the prophecy been fulfilled? A strongly pastoral people will cling to the symbolism of slaughtering an animal—shedding blood—even when they live in a city. Oosthuizen and Irving Hexham, eds., AFRO-CHRISTIAN RELIGION AND HEALING IN SOUTHERN AFRICA ISBN: 0-88946-282-8. Like family shades, heroes are of the earth and water, not of the sky. If an ox has been slaughtered or much beer brewed, friends and neighbors will be asked to gather with the kinsmen, but they do not share in the sacred portions set aside for kin, who first eat and drink in a place set slightly apart from the main gathering. At the break of the rains in tropical Africa, or at the summer solstice farther south, and in any general emergency such as plague or war, the people may be called upon to purify themselves, to sweep the homesteads, throw out the old ash from hearths, and rekindle new fire. The beads offered to shades and worn by a diviner, novice, or pregnant bride are white, and when an animal is slaughtered and offered to the shades, the officiants wipe their hands in the chyme, a strong bleaching agent. The invisible is embodied in tangible symbols which are bent to human purposes. Taylor, John V. The Primal Vision: Christian Presence amid African Religion. Questions? Uppsala, 1970. These symbols are familiar to all Sotho-Tswana-speaking peoples and to others also. Ngubane, Harriet. Maturity rituals have many aspects; the extent to which any one aspect is stressed varies from one society to another. The sections on religion are chiefly the work of Smith, who later served as president of the Royal Anthropological Institute, London. African Ideas of God. Where there are chiefs, a royal youth is sought to lead each circumcision group, and those circumcised with him become his closest followers. Fortes, Meyer, and Germaine Dieterlen. The present tense is used for observations made during the twentieth century (with some references to earlier observers); but since rapid change is going on throughout Africa and since traditional African practice exists side by side with, and interacts with, modern Christian and Islamic practice, this article should be read in conjunction with others in the encyclopedia. The Ngonde (Malawi) chant: "Let us dance, let us fight that the homesteads may be peaceful.… Let us throw out the ashes that death may leave the homesteads and they be at peace." Whatever the material used, the intention of the offering is the same: The shades are called to feast, and what is offered is a communion meal for living and dead kinsmen. 18 Oct. 2020 . Wilson, Monica. Of the total national population of 44.8 million, 35.8 millio… The emotion is often intense when, with an insistent beat of clapping provided by a packed crowd, a novice speaks of what she has seen in dreams. An account of the ritual and symbolism of the Zaramo of the Tanzanian coast. London, 1970. Other rituals may be connected with the growth of chiefdoms. The World Book Encyclopediahas estimated that in 2002 Christians formed 40% of the continent's population, with Muslims forming 45%. By far the best study of the symbolism of an Nguni people (on the southeast coast), written by a missionary who grew up speaking Zulu as a second language. "Southern African Religions: An Overview Sometimes a funeral feast, or a feast celebrating the return of a prodigal son to his father, may seem like a cursing match as one after another participant admits "anger in the heart," a grudge against kinsmen. The occasions of family rituals are constant throughout the area: death and birth, especially abnormal birth such as that of twins; maturity, whether physically or socially defined; marriage; misfortune and serious illness; reconciliation after a quarrel; and the first fruits that the family celebrates after the national or regional ritual. In the Swazi kingdom today—as formerly in other Nguni kingdoms and chiefdoms on the southeastern coast of Africa—all the men of the country, and many women also, gather at the time of the summer solstice to celebrate the first fruits and strengthen their king, while regiments dance and demonstrate their loyalty. London, 1965. It i… They are not contained within the frame of kinship or locality and seem to have proliferated with trade and travel, but of that process not much is yet known. Christians at a local church in South Sudan. Encyclopedia of Religion. Like God, the shades are associated with brightness, light, radiance, and whiteness. To many Africans the shades are constantly about the homestead, evident in a tiny spiral of dust blowing across the yard or through the banana grove, or in the rustling of banana leaves; thought to be sheltering near the byre or in the shade of a tree, or sipping beer left overnight at the back of the great house. They are celebrated on the great occasions of a person's life: at birth and death, at maturity and marriage. Over many centuries Hebrew, Christian, and Islamic ideas of God, with their symbolism of monotheism and of God on high, have impinged on other ideas in Africa, notably the association of the dead with the earth; in some places a process of change may be traced over the past hundred years. Living as well as dead seniors are thought to bring sickness, sterility, and other misfortunes—even failure to secure a job or a residence pass—on insolent, quarrelsome, or neglectful juniors. There are numerous different religions practiced in Africa which do not get a lot of attention—just as there are everywhere. Some of the major ethnic South Africans include Zulu, Basotho, Venda, Xhosa, … For example, the bamana sand divination uses well established symbolic codes that can be reproduced using four bits or marks. What is certain is that in some areas changes in practice have occurred since the eighteenth century, rites spreading or being abandoned; but there is also eyewitness evidence from survivors of wrecks on the southeastern coast of Africa which suggests minimal change in circumcision rites among Xhosa and Thembu peoples over three centuries. Recent figures put the number of these immigrants at approximately at between 75,000 and 100,000. Christianity is the dominant religion in South Africa, with almost 80% of the population in 2001 professing to be Christian. & enl. Berglund, Axel-Ivar. Based on records of court cases. Rituals of Rebellion in Southeast Africa. Yet, few linguistic or conceptual categories of…, Voodoo Protestant Christian. The boys' group may become a unit in the army, and in areas where the political structure is based on age, its members may graduate together as elders holding legal and administrative office, and finally, as old men, share ritual functions. Casting Out Anger: Religion among the Taita of Kenya. Roscoe, John. Bishop Taylor fastens upon the "significance of this ambivalence," saying that humans have been aware of the numinous and their dependence upon it but have sought to separate themselves from it. Southern Africa. Importantly, there is significant and sustained syncretism with African Traditional Religionamong most of the self-professed Christians in South Africa. The Mugwe: A Failing Prophet. The priests who brought the goods were sacred people: Among the Nyakyusa these priests traveled in safety, announcing their status by drumbeat. Southern Africa Religion General News Topics; Specialized News Sections on Southern Africa Religion General. New York, 1970. 5. Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography. To the Lele, who live on the southern edge of the equatorial forest belt, the forest is holy and is associated with men; the grassland, where villages are built, has no prestige and is associated with women. View detailed information on Southern Africa including data on religious adherents, religious freedoms, demographics, And other social measures. In Western society the closest analogue to the diviner in this respect is the medium, and among some peoples—notably the Shona of Zimbabwe—a state of trance undoubtedly occurs. Published on May 23, 2020. Afrikaners - Religion The first settlers of South Africa brought with them a fundamentalist form of Calvinism, which, in the frontier, remained unrefined. 2 vols. The common people know little of the details; they are aware only that a celebration has taken place. Hindus comprised about 0.9% of the … Philadelphia, 1963. For instance, the Yoruba religion has historically been centered in southwestern Nigeria, the Zulu religion in southern Africa, and the Igbo religion in southeastern Nigeria. In Black Villagers in an Industrial Society, edited by Philip Mayer, pp. Among banana-eating peoples the altar is set in a plantain grove, at the base of a succoring stem which represents the patrilineage; among hunting peoples it may be a tree or branch on which are placed trophies of the chase. Heat is associated with pollution, which in turn is closely associated with anger and sexual activity; coolness is associated with rain, tranquility, and purification. Over large regions people in fact complied, bringing out horns of medicines or other objects to throw publicly on a pyre and implicitly or explicitly admitting evil in themselves and expressing goodwill to all. The ancestors of a chief, it is believed, retain power over the country they once ruled, so in addition to rituals for founding heroes there may be a series of offerings to past chiefs. Body and Mind in Zulu Medicine. The one legitimately greater than the commoner (i.e., the chief) may covet the cattle of a wealthy stock owner, who is then accused of some wrongdoing—or so outsiders have thought. Some ethnic groups are unique to South Africa while others like Basotho crossed the border into the country. Discusses the change in traditional religion as the scale of societies in Africa increases. This is evident even in a city. Firsthand accounts by trained observers of spirit mediums in thirteen African societies, with a comparative introduction. There are also quite a few irreligious people—agnostics and atheists. 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