african gods and goddesses pdf

African gods and goddesses pdf

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Introduction

The Gods and Spirits of Africa

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This collection of fascinating, mysterious, and revealing tales captures the immense sweep and diversity of African mythology.

Embed Size px x x x x All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means,electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage or retrieval.

Introduction

Embed Size px x x x x All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means,electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage or retrieval. Facts On File books are available at special discounts when purchased in bulk quantities for businesses,associations, institutions, or sales promotions.

I want to thank the friends who helped me with and supported methrough the enormous amount of research that has gone into this book. Special thanks go to Brown Publishing Network for providing me theopportunity to explore the rich heritage of African mythology. Africa is the worlds sec-ond largest continent in area after Asia.

The continent spans about5, miles from north to south and about 4, miles from east to westat its widest part in the north. The geography of Africa is as varied asone might expect in such an immense area. Strips of fertile land atnorthern and southern extremes of the continent gradually fade into thevast reaches of the Sahara Desert in the north and the smaller KalahariDesert in the south. Narrow bands of brush and scrub forest and grass-lands border the deserts.

Tall mountainsmany of which are extinctvolcanoestower over the rolling, grassy savannas. Broad and powerfulrivers cut across the continent, making their way to the sea. In the cen-ter of Africa is a great equatorial rain forest. Wherever the land wascapable of supporting human life, people settled. They developed agri-culture and animal husbandry, learned metalworking, founded cities, andbuilt empires. To refer to Africans or African culture as if the inhabitants of thisenormous continent represent one people is an error.

Peoples ways oflife, religions, traditions, and mythologies vary greatly from region toregion and even from one tribe to a neighboring tribe. Wherever theylived, Africans developed lifestyles, worldviews, religions, traditions, andmythologies that were as different from one another as their physicalenvironments. Also because of its size, outside influences on Africa varied from placeto place. The great civilization of ancient Egypt dominated other cul-tures that developed along the Nile River.

Peoples on the Red Sea coastwere influenced by the peoples of southern Arabia across the sea. It was settled by the ancientPhoenicians, Greeks, Romans, and Arabs, all of whom exerted their owninfluences on North African culture, traditions, and mythologies. Central Africa, south of the Sahara, remained uninfluenced by outsidecivilizations for millennia.

Its peoples developed their own unique reli-gions, worldviews, and mythologies. Humans use mythology and ritual to establish a sense of community,identity, and an understanding of their place in the universe. These tools. We read myths not only to learn about the culture inwhich the myth originated, but to discover what was in the hearts andminds of the myth makers.

This book explores the surviving mythologi-cal traditions of Africa outside Egypt and from the earliest known mythsto the most recent. The myths of African peoples give us a glimpse intotheir ways of life and worldviews. Because of the vast numbers of tradi-tions and almost limitless numbers of tales, it is impossible to representthem all in a book of this size.

We have attempted to include a samplingof myths that are representative of particular cultures and that comefrom as wide a variety of cultures as possible. Human life began in Africa. Anthropological evidence in the form offossil skulls, bone fragments, and other artifacts shows that the firsthominidsupright primates who walked on two legsevolved in EastAfrica around 5 million years ago.

By , years ago, hominids whomigrated out of Africa had spread throughout Asia and Europe. Fossilremains of the first modern humansHomo sapiensthat date back, years were found in Ethiopia in This is evidence thatmodern humans also evolved in Africa and spread out from there. Prehistoric African PeopleSome 30, years ago, the San people of southern Africa began paint-ing pictures on rock outcroppings and cliffs. San rock art is a valuable aidto understanding San religion and mythology, both of which have sur-vived to this day.

Over many thousands of years, the geography of Africa has changedmore than once. Between around and B. The northern half of Africa became a lush prairie,populated by hunters, herders, and farmers. Archaeologists have learnedabout these peoples lives from the thousands of rock paintings discov-ered throughout the region.

Scenes showing everyday activities, rituals,musicians, and decoratively costumed dancers give a glimpse into thecustoms, traditions, and ceremonial lives of these ancient people.

Nothing, however, is known about their myths. About 4, years ago around B. Lands that were once fertile became desert. Today, the sands of the Sahara cover the beds of ancient rivers and theruins of cities that flourished long ago. The people of the Sahara migrat-ed to more hospitable lands. They took with them their religions, cus-toms, traditions, and mythology. From the Sahara, people dispersed inthree directions. Some went north to the coast of the MediterraneanSea.

There, they merged with the local people and formed the Berberculture. Some settled in the fertile lands along the Nile River and later. The Rise of African KingdomsSome of historys oldest and most advanced civilizations developed inAfrica.

The civilization of Egypt arose around B. It was conquered by Alexander the Greatin B. The first African civilization after Egypt was Kush.

TheKushites were an Egyptianized people who lived between the first andthird cataracts of the Nile River. Around B. Kush grew so strongthat in the eighth century B. The Kushite religion closely resembled Egyptian religion. It con-tained all the major Egyptian gods, with Amon as the principal god, andthe related Egyptian mythologies as well. The Kushite dynasty ended with the Assyrian invasion of Egypt inthe seventh century B.

The Kushites retreated south. In , the capi-tal moved to Meroe. By about , Meroe had become an empire thatlasted for years. In addition to Egyptian deities and mythology,Meroe had its own regional gods; among them was a lion-headed war-rior god who appears in rock carvings.

While Meroe declined, the kingdom of Axum in the highlands ofwhat is now Ethiopia grew in power. According to Greek and Romansources, Axum was thriving by the first century A. Axums languageand system of writing were Semitic. After conquering Kush and acquir-ing territories in Arabia, Axum controlled one of the most importanttrade routes in the world. The Axumite religion was derived fromArabic religion and was polytheistic, or based on the belief in manygods. In Axumite mythology, gods controlled the natural forces of theuniverse.

In the fourth century A. He declared Axum a Christian statethe first in theworld. Axum remained a strong empire and trading power until the riseof Islam in the seventh century A. Africans developed iron-making technology early, around the sixthcentury B. Beginning in the first century A. The spread ofthis important technology was the result of the migrations of Bantu-speaking people. Bantu is a family of closely related languages that rep-resent the largest language family in Africa.

Around the first centuryB. This migration continued until about A. Wherever the Bantu migrated, they brought with them their language,culture, agricultural skills, knowledge of technology, traditions, andmythology. Themes common. Post on Dec views. Category: Documents 11 download. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means,electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage or retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the publisher.

For information contact: Facts On File, Inc. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN alk. Mythology, African. L96 These tools v maintain the traditions of a culture and reflect what is most important inpeoples lives.

Still others migrated south into the heart ofthe continent. Mythology Greek mythology. Earthquakes: an introduction. Hindu Mythology Japanese Mythology.

The Gods and Spirits of Africa

Embed Size px x x x x All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means,electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage or retrieval. Facts On File books are available at special discounts when purchased in bulk quantities for businesses,associations, institutions, or sales promotions. I want to thank the friends who helped me with and supported methrough the enormous amount of research that has gone into this book. Special thanks go to Brown Publishing Network for providing me theopportunity to explore the rich heritage of African mythology.

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Not sure of the spelling? Try entering just the first three or four letters. African mythology covers a vast area. Traditional African belief is overwhelmingly monotheistic. African Creator Gods seem to follow a distinctive pattern — they are all extremely dissatisfied with their creations.

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List of African mythological figures

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  • Agesislao A. 28.04.2021 at 18:14

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