In some African religions, the supreme deity continues to have dealings with humans after creating the world. Initiation rites have many symbolic meanings in my area Ika. The arrival in Africa of CHRISTIANITY and Islam had a major impact on the development of African religions. African Ceremonies Inc, a 501c3 charitable foundation, is dedicated to the preservation of African tribal traditions through the photographic documentation of ceremonies and customs, thereby ensuring that the strength and essence of African culture is preserved for the history of mankind and for the education of future generations. they also paint young girls, competing to produce the most decorative designs. Ceremonies that mark the stages of life provide clear definitions of society's expectations of the individual, and they give him or her a sense of identity and belonging. Because infant mortality remains high, the people of many African cultures are extremenly superstitious during the first few year of a child's life, and carry out rituals to protect it from hazards. The common experiences that they undergo during the intiation period also bind the individuals together and reinforce the idea of community. Their beliefs deal with the relation of humans to the divine and with communication between the human world and the spirit world. All of the males of the same age in a community participate as a group in the communal ceremonies that mark each transition. ). Masquerades: Senufo Nufori Acrobats, Ivory Coast. The performances serve to bring communities back into harmony with the spirit world and with each other, through shared activity and entertainment. The whole community comes together around a fire for several hours or even an entire night, led by healers and elders. The importance of ritual in indigenous African tradition cannot be overstated. Ritual serves as a gateway to the land of ancestors and to the realm of Spirit. From birth until death, some ritual marks every milestone in a person’s life. Traditions and ceremonies are disappearing rapidly across Africa. VIDEO: Wodaabe males spend hours beautifying themselves in preparation for the Yaake charm dance. For example, within the Samburu tribe of Kenya, a bride lives with her husband until her pregnancy.… Masquerades: Bedik Harvest Masks, Senegal. Generally the rituals called on the spirits of ancestors or the spirits of nature for help and assistance. Wearing lion-mane and ostrich-feather headdresses and carrying buffalo-hide shields, they encircle the sacred ritual house. In fact, most African languages lack a word that could be translated as “religion,” and many of the words associated with the idea have a meaning closer to “custom” or “proper behavior” than to “religion.”. The individuals chosen vary from one society to another but may include men who have fathered children and women who were the firstborn in their families. The possessed person often does not recall the experience. Death is the final passage in a long chain of transitions. Creation myths are an essential part of African religions. Although African rites of passage appear similar, there is notable difference in the style of celebration. These rites provide individuals with instruction about what will be expected of them during the next phase of their lives. Kola Nuts. Religious beliefs and rituals play a central role in the everyday lives of most Africans. Putting a price on the bride. By eating the animal's flesh together, the community symbolically renews the communal bond that was disrupted by the pollution of the affected individual. The Brooklyn Museum exhibition travelled to museums throughout the USA, South America and Europe. As they enter the adult world during their teenage years, African youngsters undergo a variety of initation rituals. Feb 5, 2020 - Explore Love Africa Stays and Tours Co's board "Rituals, Ceremonies & Spirituality", followed by 222 people on Pinterest. This, combined with Beckwith and Fisher’s extraordinary photographic skills, creates an intimate portrayal of ceremonies long held secret that might have never been recorded. According to Macmillan Encyclopedia of Death and Dying, death rituals in Africa are to ensure that the deceased is properly put to rest so his spirit is at peace and he can take his place among the protective ancestors. The youth are ritually introduced to the art of communal living. See more ideas about African, Africa, African culture. It may also involve performing actions such as wild dancing or working oneself up into an ecstatic state to show closeness to the source of divine and spiritual power. Well-known examples include the bori cult of northern Nigeria and the zar cult of northeastern Africa, in which women possessed by spirits form cult groups around the particular possessing spirits. Among the Surma, however, men are said to be drawn to a woman who is a hard worker and has a cheerful nature, whereas women are attracted by masculine strength. Africans use divination to explain and combat forms of evil and to identify its source—either spirits or other humans. Few African societies make a rigid distinction between religious behavior and other forms of social conduct. The following portraits reveal the extraordinary diversity of traditional bridal dress and jewelery designs across the continent. From birth to death, these rites of passage regulate and give expression to meaningful changes in people's lives. When a person with no special religious status is possessed, it is seen as a sign that he or she has been chosen by the spirits and linked to their world. 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