Rooted in Africa, Raised in America: The Africans brought to the New World to toil their lives away as slaves were generally cultivators. They also possessed a wide range of skills that they had used for generations to wrest a living from the land and among these millions of unwilling immigrants were many skilled artisans. They included builders who erected houses for their families and other structures that sheltered their annual harvests.
General Essay on the Religions of Sub-Saharan Africa Religion in Sub-Saharan Africa has changed and evolved over the last two to three thousand years in many different ways. While the traditions depicted in this chart provide examples of those that exist today, and that were affected by the expansion of European colonialism in the 19th century, peoples living in the vast area south of the Sahara desert had already sustained rich systems of belief and practice long before the arrival of Christianity and colonialism, and certainly in some cases befroe the Muslim expansion from the Arabian peninsula.
Islam entered Sub-Saharan Africa in the eighth century, and within six hundred years of the prophet's death had penetrated from the Sahara to the Sudanic belt, and from the Atlantic to the Red Sea, making its presence felt among the indigenous peoples who inhabited this expanse.
Other transplanted religions have had virtually no impact upon Sub-Saharan traditions. With the exception of Judaism, these did not make any permanent incursion into the region until the 19th or 20th centuries.
The chart suggests three wide areas of religious beliefs and practices: Each ethnic group located in a particular territory developed its own religion, usually associated with places of origin, with particular myths, with different ways of understanding God's role in its localized societies, and with the role of the spiritual world in its communal and social life.
In that sense the indigenous religious traditions in the chart date back to ancient societies and ancient land associations as, for example, the Nuer of the Sudan whose ancestors already inhabited their present areas of residence by the year BCE. However, the dates in brackets refer to the first organized period of communal life of a particular group in the area where they reside today.
Over the centuries, groups moved to other areas looking for natural resources needed for their subsistence. Consequently, African indigenous traditions became linked with places of origin, and narratives of migration and cultural and religious adaptation came to be related to communally perceived sacred places.
Ethnic groups were sometimes absorbed by other groups or, as in the case of the Chamba, individuals within groups were assimilated into other groups.
All this suggests not only the presence of religion in pre-colonial Africa but also the syncretic and evolutionary character of indigenous African religion as religious practices changed, were adopted by others, and provided cultural ways of explaining origins and human life in the present and in the future.
All those groups had varieties of accounts concerning their origin, as well as ritual specialists who knew how to communicate with the world of the divine, and with the spriits, and who also had access to places associated with their religion.
The world of the spirits, be they ancestral or nature spirits, exercised a constant intervention in the world of humans, especially in the life of their descendants, and therefore needed to be controlled and predicted. While Islam expanded through the trade caravans, making a particular impact in West Africa and the Sudan before the arrival of Europeans, Christianity was already present in Ethiopia in the early centuries of the Christian Era.
While Portuguese missionaries visited East and Central Africa in the 16th Century, it was only with the arrival of explorers and missionaries in the 19th Century that African religions were challenged by outsiders who reordered their territories and accelerated the process of social and religious change through conversion.
Although the number of practitioners of indigenous traditions in Africa has certainly decreased with the expansion of Islam and Christianity, African religions have continued to maintain their importance. In some cases such as the Oromo of East Africa, reconversion from the world religion to the indigenous traditions has taken place in the last twenty years, while Oromo religion, as a form of cultural expression has been re-emphasized as a marker of communal and national identity.
Most of those indigenous African traditions have also been directly influenced by Islam and Christianity, whereby syncretic processes have managed to rereate ways of being Muslim or being Christian, that speak of the influence of African cultures on the practice of Islam and Christianity, and the influence of Islamic beliefs on cultural appreciations of cosmologies and mythical charts.
On the one hand it is possible to speak of the presence of 'popular Islam' in Africa, on the other hand, it is also possible to see the adaptation of the Christian message in Africa through processes of inculturation or acculturation, as manifestations of cultural or religious syncretism.
On a much smaller scale, Judaism has made some impact on Sub-Saharan African traditions through the Falashas of Ethiopia. The Falashas which means 'exiles' in Amharic, the national language of Ethiopia are believed to be descendants of African groups exposed to Judaism through Jewish communities living in southern Arabia or Egypt.
When this contact first took place is unknown.
Since then relations between the Falashas and their Christian rulers have largely been tarnished by conflict and periodic persecution. The establishment of the state of Israel in encouraged gradual emigration to the new Jewish state.
This process was dramatically accelerated during the Ethiopian famine of when some 13, Falashas were secretly airlifted to Israel.
There are now less than Falashas left in Ethiopia. Far more numerous is the ethnically European Jewish community of South Africa.
European Jews had trade connections with Sub-Saharan Africa two centuries before any permanent settlement was established.Sample Essay on Africa.
Q1. All people of Africa saw the great achievement in the liquidation of colonial regimes and the transferring of political power to Africans. Africans associated high expectations with the declaration of Africa independence.
There was widespread belief that the radical improvement of life will come almost immediately. Alfred Wegener's Continental Drift Theory. We are taught that modern scientists are driven only by reason and facts. It was only early scientists like Galileo who needed to fear the reaction to their radical views.
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Some of the regions below the desert can be divided into regional components: Central Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa and West Africa (Sub-Saharan Africa ).
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