Rituals are as much a celebration of the role of the dead as it is mourning his passing, They also play a role in drawing attention both to the individual's emergence from childhood and the assumption of responsibilities associated with adult life. Interested institutions may inquire at African Ceremonies Inc, a 501c3 charitable foundation. Their journeys have taken them over 270,000 miles, through remote corners of 40 countries, and to more than 150 African cultures. Exhibtion Curator — William Siegman, Curator, Brooklyn Museum of Art, 2000Photographers — Carol Beckwith & Angela Fisher, African CeremoniesExhibtion Coordinator — www.photokunst.com, “Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher are not only truly remarkable to the accompaniment of Voodoo drum rhythms, worshippers spin into possessed states and perform extraordinary feats after summoning the powr of their god through a series of offerings made in the Koku fetish shrine. In almost every instance, as life changes, Africans appeal to spiritual forces for help and guidance. African view of Death Body painting is performed by the Surma both to beautify and to make men more formidable in combat. Possession is seen as a mystical link between the person being possessed and the spiritual agent that takes control. More often this duty falls to a host of lesser spirits or mystical beings. By eating the animal's flesh together, the community symbolically renews the communal bond that was disrupted by the pollution of the affected individual. Among the Massai, for example, a male moves from role to role - from young cattle herder to bachelor warrior to married family man to elder of the community - through a series of ceremonies extending over 25 years. The Wodaabe also place great emphasis on physical beauty and personal charm. Male Circumcision with Knife. Interesting Facts about Traditional Religions of Ancient Africa The wedding ceremonies of Swazi and Zulu traditionalists involve elaborate rituals aimed at ensuring the future cooperation of the ancestors of the bride and groom. Kola Nuts. Jamaican Revivalism is a mix of European and African religious traditions, turned into something uniquely Jamaican. The possessed person often does not recall the experience. Here are some common African initiation rituals. This … Traditional African marriages comprise a series of ceremonies that range in length from a day to a week. As in the Christian and Muslim faiths, the supreme being of African religions possesses attributes that define him as the opposite of humans—immortal, all powerful, all knowing, and incapable of error. In most traditional African societies, the worlds of the living and the dead are perceived as equally real. Contact and communication between the living and the nonliving are at the heart of almost all African religions. Sooth Saying-Puff Adder In Mouth. There are four important rites of passages in Africa communities, namely; Birth; Puberty; Marriage; Death; Today we will focus on death, funeral and burial in African culture and traditions. VIDEO: After harvest, Surma men paint each other's bodies with intricate patterns, using a paste made from chalk found at the riverbank. Lobola is an ancient and controversial Southern African tradition in … 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. VIDEO: Once every three years, devotees of the Voodoo deity Koku gather for a spectacular seven-day celebration called Kokuzahn. Revivalism Ceremonies. Religious beliefs and rituals play a central role in the everyday lives of most Africans. Feb 5, 2020 - Explore Love Africa Stays and Tours Co's board "Rituals, Ceremonies & Spirituality", followed by 222 people on Pinterest. The following portraits reveal the extraordinary diversity of traditional bridal dress and jewelery designs across the continent. Once every 12 years, the Dogon hold a communal funeral ceremony known as the Dama to honor the passing of deceased villagers into the afterworld. In all African societies, childhood is a time for learning responsibilities and skills that enable children to contribute to their communities. Another form of communication with the spirit world is the practice of divination. The Beckwith Fisher Archive contains approximately 500,000 photographic images, diaries, field journals, drawings, video recordings, and museum-scale exhibition materials. This separation occurs because of the wickedness of humans, which causes them to break up into many cultures and languages and lose their divine nature. Many Africans regard myths as representing basic truths, though they may be clothed in fanciful narratives. Among them is the practice of slaughtering an ox and attaching gall bladders to the bride's head. Not all of the transitions in life are dramatic: some are seasonal, such are the ritual blessing of the earth before harvesting crops or going hunting. This powerful exhibit of African tribal ceremonies reflects 30 years of commitment to preserving the endangered cultures and peoples of 90 tribes across Africa. Diviners, the men and women who perform divination, are believed to speak for spiritual forces. The institution to be chosen must be a venue for ongoing study and research, committed to making the Archive accessible to students, scholars, and the general public, thereby insuring that the legacy of Africa’s ancient cultures is preserved and understood by future generations worldwide. Many prophets have founded new Christian churches that focus on African concerns, including healing, well-being, material success, and long life. A Boloye band accompanies acrobatic Nufori dancers as they tumble before mourners at a funeral. In all African societies, WITCHCRAFT AND SORCERY usually express jealousy and hatred between rivals, and it is assumed that the victim and evildoer know one another. In order to display their charm, the dancers form long lines, rise up on their toes, roll their eyes and flash their teeth. Unjust or unexplained misfortune is typically blamed on humans known as witches and sorcerers. A typical birth ritual among the Ndebele-speaking people of Zimbabwe begins with the woman leaving her husband during her ninth month of pregnancy to go to her own parents' home. Increasingly, however, African marriages are compromises between strict family arrangements and the independent choices of couples. In some societies, individuals may choose whom to marry, and in others, marriages are carefully arranged to bond families together. Yet certain aspects of African faiths differ from those of most world religions. Feasting, dancing, animal sacrifice and blessings ensure the community's participation in marriage rituals and bond the two families to each other and to their larger world. It is to rituals, dances, masquerades, storytelling and folk celebrations with all their theatrical elements, then, that one must look for such an African definition. Feasting, dancing, animal sacrifice Their aim has been to document as fully and artistically as possible the traditional rituals that persist more or less unchanged, even in the modern world. 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. Male circumcision is a practice that is being carried out in Africa like … As with sacrifice, one effect of possession is the purification of the victim and a change of status, such as being removed from certain family or social obligations. VIDEO: Introduction to the work of photographers Carol Beckwith & Angela Fisher through African Ceremonies Inc, their Charitable Foundation. The most common regular sacrifices are rites of passage, which are rituals performed at important moments of transition in a person's life. They are often associated with a sacred site, which may serve as their dwelling place or shrine. The Nguni in southern Africa call the slaying of the ox "the returning ox," because the beast accompanies the deceased back home to his or her family and enables the deceased to act as a protecting ancestor. In such cases, the evil is removed through sacrifice. Nor are all of them communal: many are personal, such as the passage from health to illmess. However, the deeper meaning of the myths may be available only to individuals who have the special training or insight needed to communicate with the world of the spirits. Of all the tribal traditions, this one is arguably the most magical. These ceremonies are rooted in healing rituals dating back to before the enslavement of African peoples and the conquest of Mexicans in North America. However, while the God of Christians and Muslims is concerned about all humans, the supreme deity of African religions generally cares only for the people of a particular society. These multi-talented photographers have also been involved in the making of four films about traditional Africa including Way of the Wodaabe (1986) The Painter and the Fighter, and Millennium: Tribal Wisdom and the Modern World. 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 creation story emphasizes the separation between humans and the divine, which is often represented by the division between the earth and the sky. The common experiences that they undergo during the intiation period also bind the individuals together and reinforce the idea of community. It can also be initiated by spirits through possession of humans. However, relatively few Africans—even those who identify themselves as Muslims or Christians—have completely abandoned traditional religious beliefs and practices. Often performed on a regular basis, sacrifices are usually conducted to remove contamination caused by existing conditions. Although African rites of passage appear similar, there is notable difference in the style of celebration. The ceremony ends with a blessing from the senior elders, who spray the new generation of elders with mouthfuls of milk and honey-beer. They exist in a state of perpetual balance and rebalance; actions performed by the inhabitants of one world have a corresponding effect on the other, some beneficial and others detrimental. The evildoer may be punished or even killed, especially if accused of witchcraft or sorcery on many occasions. Courtship and marriage traditions vary greatly. Other common African myths deal with the relationship between humans and animals and the differences in the natures of men and women. In rites of passage, the person being initiated is typically separated from the everyday world both physically and symbolically. Generally considered living aspects of the supreme deity, these spirits may hold power over humans, who are usually unaware of them. Many wedding ceremonies in different countries have different traditions. 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