An African’s “Search for Identity” 1. Nuclear Family 2. Extended Family 3. Age-Set 4. Clan 5. Lineage (ancestry) TRIBE (communal living)
Mask With Headcloth, Zaire (19c) Tribal Mark scarification
Problems of Tribalism Today 1. The tribe is more important than the nation. 2. Communication problems. 3. Inter-tribal warfare civil wars. 4. Tribal favorites for government jobs: Nepotism Breaks down tribal traditions. Urbanization: Tribal intermingling on the job.
Traditional African Religion ANIMISM 1. Belief in one remote Supreme Being. 2. A world of spirits (good & bad) in all things. 3. Ancestor veneration. 4. Belief in magic, charms, and fetishes. 5.Diviner mediator between the tribe and God.
Other Religions in Africa ISLAM 25%* Nigeria largest sub-Saharan Muslim countries. CHRISTIANITY 20%
Common Traits or Characteristics of Traditional African Tribal Life • The good of the group comes ahead of the good of the individual. • All land is owned by the group. • Strong feeling of loyalty to the group. • Important ceremonies at different parts of a person’s life. • Special age and work associations. • Deep respect for ancestors. • Religion is an important part of everyday life. • Government is in the hands of the chiefs [kings].
West Africa • West African Forest Region • Senegambia, Benin • Significant contributions to New World population via transatlantic slave trade • Small self-supporting agricultural villages • High value placed on land cultivation • Yams, plantains, bananas, beans … fish oysters … monkeys, rabbits
African Kingdoms … this map indicates major kingdoms but certainly not all tribes, cultures, or language groups.
Sudan • Songhay • Niger region … western/central • Islam … greater centralization • Muhammad Toure • Leader who enhanced economic prosperity • Abundant food supply • Large canoe fleet - trade with Timbuktu
Ethiopia • East African Christian Kingdom • Muslim state of Adal began invasions in 1500s • Muslims forced conversion to Islam and destroyed Christian art, Ehtiopian cultural treasures, etc. • Portuguese … re-conquest under Roman Catholicism
Ethiopia • More invasions form central Africa • Eventually Jesuit missionaries • European Christianity vs. Coptic Christianity • Ethiopia very much split among various Christian sects, Muslims, Anamists, etc.