Idowu, with J.O. Portsmouth, N.H.: Heinemann Educational Books, 1991. Since it is a religion practised by living persons today, changes are to be expected. Its various indigenous spiritual systems, usually called African traditional religions, are many. The Sukuma and Nyamwezi people of Tanzania believe that twins are ancestors because multiple births indicate an excess of fertility. "How Man Makes God in West Africa: Yoruba Attitudes toward the Orisa." It initiates the process of attaining ancestorhood. Many Africans practice ancestor veneration. Next are divinities and ancestors, who represent the invisible world. Persian and Arab merchants introduced Islam in East Africa by trading in coastal towns up and down the eastern seaboard. In African traditional religions guidance is provided through myths, which are handed down orally. Traditional African Belief. Only by giving a belief system a proper name can a comprehensive, complex theology and cosmology emerge, along with a mor… To promote the welfare of communities, societies have established taboos and consequences for breaking them. Òrìsà-Nlá loves snails cooked in shea butter, Òrúnmílá prefers rat and fish, and Èsù loves rooster. Depending on the kind of religious activity, various religious authorities may preside over specific rituals. How can the ancestors live in the underworld and at the same time return to their lineage to live again? The large numbers of Africans living in North, Central, and South America introduced enduring forms of African religious culture through music, dance, festivals, and martial arts. Despite this, certain kinds of clothes, accessories, and permanent or temporary bodily accoutrements distinguish devotees from others. The emphasis on Christian studies that had long dominated the religious studies field was replaced by an emphasis Islamic studies and African traditional religions. Many communities maintain elaborate calendars of festivals that run throughout the year. Ancestors are generally the deceased elders (of either gender) who have passed from the realm of the living to that of the superhuman. Ifa Religion is an indigenous, earth centered African spiritual tradition which was conceptualized by the Yoruba people of Nigeria, West Africa. They observe certain taboos, such as abstinence from sex, or they make pilgrimages to sacred forests, rivers, and mountains in honor of the deities. the concentration of spiritual powers in the hands of a single individual. The ceremonies are usually performed apart from the community to preserve an aura of mystery for initiates. There is great variation in the traditions and rituals surrounding death. The most powerful religious leaders are spirit mediums, members of a family or clan who are responsible for communication between an ancestor and his or her descendants. As goddess of peace and mother of her people, Alà provides and protects them, deriving her great strength from the land. African arts and religious meaning overlap in visual symbols, music, dance, proverbs, riddles, names of people and places, myths, legends, beliefs, and customs. Portsmouth, N.H.: Heinemann, 1990. Shrines and temples are adorned with elaborate carved images of the deities that convey the power of the gods and ancestors. Younger generations must care for their elders, children must obey their parents and elders, and parents must teach, provide, and care for their children. The uninitiated are the rest of the members of the religious group, who have not performed any major initiation rituals that qualify them to serve in the group's inner circles. Traditional African Belief continues to have a significant influence in Ghana because of the intimate relation to local mores and family loyalties. Similar to the oral traditions, the arts of architecture, design, sculpture, textiles, dance, drumming, and music function as sacred "texts," transmitting and reinforcing traditional religions for new generations. The elders determine what displeases the ancestors, whom to blame for the ancestors' displeasure with the living, and who will interpret the ancestors' will. It is the most popular for decoration and can often be seen printed on cloth or stamped on pottery. They usually contain revered religious objects and are used for religious activities such as pouring libations, performing rituals, saying prayers, and making offerings. The Igbo people of Nigeria's Owerri region traditionally believe that Alà, goddess of Earth, together with Amadióhà, god of thunder and lightning, oversee the essential aspects of village life. 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