African Culture. African Culture. Background:The Yoruba. The Yoruba peoples of West Africa have lived in the southwestern area of what are now Nigeria and the Republic of Benin
PowerPoint Slideshow about ' African Culture' - sema
An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation
Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.
This mask is worn over the head of a female elder who dances for the Sande women\'s society.
The mask displays and celebrates Mende ideals of female beauty and virtue: elaborately braided hair (cosmetic skills, sexuality); neck creases (full-bodied, good health); smooth, broad forehead (nobility, intelligence); lowered eyes (contemplativeness, restraint); well shaped ears; small nose; small mouth (not given to gossip); composed expression (inner serenity), smooth skin (youthfulness).
To the Bamana people, farming is the most important and noblest profession.
At planting time, men of the Chi-Wara association of farmers dance with headresses like these in the fields to honor Chi- Wara, the mythical "farming animal" that taught agriculture to the ancestors of the Bamana. The headdresses, always danced in male and female pairs, depict the antelope-like Chi-Wara and display the process of successful cultivation.
Among the Yoruba, twins (ibeji) are special children whose birth can bless their parents with good fortune.
The Yoruba have one of the highest rates of twin births in the world.
If a twin dies, the mother commissions a memorial figure (two if both twins die), and the soul of the deceased twin is transferred to it.
The mother dresses the statuette in cloth and adorns it with jewelry, and keeps it near her bed. She also offers it food and prayers weekly and performs more elaborate rituals on the occasion of birthdays and annual festivals.
The Baule believe that before people are born into this world they have a spouse in the other world, and that these spouses occasionally become angry or jealous and disturb the lives of their living partners.
When this happens, a diviner recommends that an altar be established where the spirit may receive offerings and be appeased. The carved figure of the "spirit spouse" should be beautiful in order to please the spirit and attract it to the shrine..
this piece depicts a "tree of life" motif: the members of an extended family, including past and present generations, gently supporting each other, generation after generation, around the family ancestor.
The religion of the Yoruba people in West Africa, who live in Nigeria and Benin, is a thousands of years-old tradition of nature worship and ancestor reverance.
In addition to the worship of one God, named Olodumare, the Yoruba worship dozens of deities known as "Orishas" who are personified aspects of nature and spirit. The principal orishas include Eleggua, Oggun, Ochosi, Obatala, Yemaya, Oshun, Shango, Oya, Babalu Aiye, and Orula.
At the tambors elaborate altars are created, and then food is offered to the Orishas.
Depending on the nature of the celebration, percussionists and drummers (often playing the sacred 3-piece bata drums) play precise rhythms directed to specific Orishas while those present sing call-and-response songs in archaic Yoruba, causing the Orishas to descend and possess initiated priests and priestesses of the religion.
The first ritual, stepping into the world usually takes place the week after the child is born.
This divination not only provides parents with guidelines by which to raise their child, but it is both a literal and metaphorical representation of the child\'s first step into the world.
To form this representation, the diviner takes the feet of the child, who is only seven days old, and places them on the divination tray in order to symbolize his introduction into the physical world.
This action allows the persona of the child to be revealed and facilitates the successful rearing of the child by his parents.
At three months of age, the child will undergo a second ritual entitled knowing the head, "This time the objective is to learn the nature of the inner head (ori inu)--or personality--that the animating spirit or soul (emi) brought to the world, so the parents can help the child coordinate the two"
The information the diviner acquires allows for the integration of the child\'s personality and soul, and provides him with a foundation in the world of the living.
In this ritual, the child\'s second steps into the physical world are taken as the diviner touches the child\'s head to the to the ground and then to the divination tray. These symbolic steps build upon those taken by the child when he was only days old.
There are ten paths indicative of Yoruba morals and expectations which, when ritualistically split in half, assume either negative or positive connotations.
The diviners job is to relate the significance of the path on which the child travels and to determine the necessary sacrifices that will allow the child to stay on the correct course throughout his life.
The third ritual through which the child will pass is the culmination of his initiation into Yoruba adulthood. Known as Itefa or the establishment of the self, this fourteen day ritual is complex due to the child\'s heightened self-consciousness.
The Itefa ritual focuses on developing the child\'s personal identity and consequent social interaction.
The steps taken by the child as he walks from the village to the sacred grove, which again hold both literal and metaphorical significance, are reflective of the child\'s inner journey from a state of dependence on his elders to a state of self-sufficiency
The role of the diviner permeates numerous integral segments of Yoruba life, as exemplified by the three rituals of Yoruba childhood.
Most importantly, diviners are responsible for the progression of life and facilitate this progression through the guidance they provide for children and their parents.
In traditional African life women play a significant role in the religious activities of society.
One of the areas where this role is prominent, is in offering prayers for their families in particular and their communities in general.
In many areas there were (and still are) women priests (priestesses); almost everywhere in Africa the mediums (who are so important in traditional medical practice) are nearly always women; those who experience spirit possession are in most cases also women.