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Forum LockedReligion Of Pre Colonial Africa?

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Malik View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Malik Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Religion Of Pre Colonial Africa?
    Posted: 27-May-2007 at 20:58
Was islam the number 1 religion of pre colonial africa?I mean..throughout west africa and what have you?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Decebal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-May-2007 at 11:26
Well, it depends on which area you're looking at. Most of Sub-Saharan Africa during the pre-colonial period followed animist religions or belief systems typical of hunterer-gather societies. In East Africa, specifically in Ethiopia, and in Nubia between the 5th and 13th centuries, the dominant religion was Christianity. Islam made some inroads on 2 coastlines. The first one was the Indian Ocean coastline, where Islam became the dominant religion from the 8th to 10th century onwards, on a thin stretch of land ranging from the Egypt all the way down to northern Mozambique. Progress inland was very slow, however, and little Islamization of the interior had occured by the 19th century. The other "coastline" was the Sahel, in many ways the shore of the Sahara opposite the Islamic areas of North Africa, ranging from the Senegal to Darfur, and adjacent to "mainland" Sub-Saharan Africa. Islamization here started in the 10th century but with a few exceptions (the upper Senegal valley), was rather superficial, limiting itself to the rulers and upper classes. In general, Islam tended to be so mixed with animist religions in these areas, that muslim travellers such as Ibn Battutta in the 14th century regarded them with horror as pagans. By the 19th century, this syncretism and the growing influence of Islam were enough to prompt Islamic fundamentalists to declare a series of jihads over a huge geographical area, from Usman Dan Fodio in Nigeria, to Amadou Amadou in Senegal.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pixie_gal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Feb-2009 at 18:31
What are the years of dominance for the Amadou Amadou and Usman Dan Fodio?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pixie_gal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Feb-2009 at 18:32
Originally posted by pixie_gal

What are the years of dominance for the Amadou Amadou and Usman Dan Fodio?
Also what would be the description of the Muslim Influence, Government Organization, and some distinctive characters of these societies?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Feb-2009 at 11:34
Originally posted by Malik

Was islam the number 1 religion of pre colonial africa?I mean..throughout west africa and what have you?
Islam counts as a colonial period religion since its spread in Africa was due (in its origin, rather than recently) to Arab colonisation.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Feb-2009 at 14:55
NA yes, subsaharan Africa, no.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Feb-2009 at 16:52

Agreed on the whole (that's why I said in origin). But what about Zanzibar?

I took theoriginal question to mean indigenous religions, about which I think I agree with Decebal - in general animist systems various divine figures more or less typical of early societies everywhere.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Melissa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Feb-2009 at 06:31
What I do know, going back to African religious principles is what the whole continent has in common, (disregarding islam of course) and is practiced today is that of females being considered clean, their bodies holy temples which bring life into the world. Their "monthlies" are celebrated and their breasts regarded as religious ornaments representing the "circle of life." 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Feb-2009 at 13:22
That's just plain wrong. The Zulu for instance weren't allowed near women in menstruation, since it was held to destroy their fighting ability. Taboos against associating with menstruatiing women were widespread in Africa (as, indeed, almost everywhere).
 
You may be thinking about one specific African tribe/people but you are not speaking for all of them, or even the generality.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Melissa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Feb-2009 at 17:34
I guess I was talking about east africa. But the belief that it is a abomination against God for any woman's breasts to be covered is common place And, as far as I’m concerned, both Christianity and Islam are the two worse things thatever happened to the African continent.

Originally posted by Malik

Was islam the number 1 religion of pre colonial africa?I mean..throughout west africa and what have you?

No it was not, not even close.


Edited by Melissa - 07-Feb-2009 at 17:43
Egyptian Hieroglythics in Karnak: "The Blacker she is, the more woman she is. Too much woman blocks the sun."
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Feb-2009 at 18:56
Well, most SS Africa was pagan and animistic. That doesn't mean they share the same set of beliefs all over the region. The believes of the Yoruba may be completely different from what Zulues believed.
 
If someone knows about African religions, please help here.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jfsndvs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Mar-2009 at 00:19
Originally posted by gcle2003

Islam counts as a colonial period religion since its spread in Africa was due (in its origin, rather than recently) to Arab colonisation.
 
Islam would only count as a colonial period for northern Africa, where they ruled.  Arabs never ruled over the Saharan/Sahelian kingdoms and empires.  Islam spread mostly through contact, trade, and intermarriage. 
 
Like someone mentioned earlier, Islam was not widespread until Usman dan Fodio, Umar Tall, Modibo Adama, and Samory Ture led Jihads throughout West Africa in the 19th century.  But still, Africans tend to mix both Islam and Christianity with indigenous traditions.


Edited by jfsndvs - 17-Mar-2009 at 00:26
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jfsndvs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Mar-2009 at 00:23
Originally posted by pinguin

Well, most SS Africa was pagan and animistic. That doesn't mean they share the same set of beliefs all over the region. The believes of the Yoruba may be completely different from what Zulues believed.
 
If someone knows about African religions, please help here.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Mar-2009 at 11:37
Originally posted by jfsndvs

Originally posted by gcle2003

Islam counts as a colonial period religion since its spread in Africa was due (in its origin, rather than recently) to Arab colonisation.
 
Islam would only count as a colonial period for northern Africa, where they ruled.  Arabs never ruled over the Saharan/Sahelian kingdoms and empires.  Islam spread mostly through contact, trade, and intermarriage. 
 
Like someone mentioned earlier, Islam was not widespread until Usman dan Fodio, Umar Tall, Modibo Adama, and Samory Ture led Jihads throughout West Africa in the 19th century.  But still, Africans tend to mix both Islam and Christianity with indigenous traditions.
I assume when you posted that you hadn't read al Jassas' comment and my agreement with him.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Mayra Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2009 at 13:31
Originally posted by Malik

Was islam the number 1 religion of pre colonial africa?I mean..throughout west africa and what have you?
Noooooooooo......it was not. Before Islam even came in to the land, west africans were worshipping a pantheon of gods and goddesses.  The whole area of what is today benin, togo, nigeria, cameroon, equatorial guinea etc., The names of the gods change but the functions remain the same between tribes, more or less. The Yoruban culture with the Orisas and Ifa divination system have a complex and highly intelligent oral bible to help Man make his way through life.  Esu, Orunmila, Sango, Ogun, Osun, Oya, Buruku, Moolu, Egungun, Egbe, Olokun, Obaluaiye, Ossain, Obatala, and many more comprise this belief. The Yoruba have their own creation "myth" of the world and how it was populated. Islam can't even touch it.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2009 at 13:47
And my favorite: Yemaya (That in Brazil is called Iemanja)
 
For you, Mayra. A song of Cuban singer Celia Cruz, in Spanish and Yoruba (I guess is Yoruba; please confirm)
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Mayra Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2009 at 13:56
Originally posted by pinguin

And my favorite: Yemaya (That in Brazil is called Iemanja)
 
For you, Mayra. A song of Cuban singer Celia Cruz, in Spanish and Yoruba (I guess is Yoruba; please confirm)
 
Wow! Nice song! Thank you Pinguin! Clap Yes, it is yoruba praise song.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2009 at 15:36
What I like about it is that starts as a typical Hispanic Cuban song, with references to the Virgin of Regla, and all the Cuban standard cannon of Music then, suddenly and without warning, it turns into a Yoruba ritualistic tune.
 
So, can you understand it? If so, could you put the Yoruba words and the translation, please!!!!


Edited by pinguin - 21-May-2009 at 15:38
"He who attempts to count the stars, not even knowing how to count the knots of the 'quipus'(counting string), ought to be held in derision."

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Mayra Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-May-2009 at 22:27
hello pinguin..Okay I will try, I don't really like listening to song lyrics and trying to figure them out especially in fast yoruba with a thick cuban accent LOL I just did a quick run through... 
yemonja dodo awo yo jo yemonja   
yemonja yo lodo moremi
mi aree kete bi aremi 
mi aree goo bi aya lode
 
It is saying Yemonja: fresh and  changing/bathing/renewing her skin with fresh water
Yemonja Queen of the River Dance
Yemonja is happy outside
She is big like someone fetching fresh water
 
That is the best I can do...maybe someone else can do better, undoubtedly...
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-May-2009 at 22:37
Thanks very much! That's wonderful.
I doubt even Celia Cruz knew what she was singing. I tried to find info in cuban sites, or the lyrics translated but none existed.
"He who attempts to count the stars, not even knowing how to count the knots of the 'quipus'(counting string), ought to be held in derision."

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