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The Sun Never Sets Essay

813 words - 4 pages

As twilight settled upon the plains fuel is added to a large bonfire causing sparks to rise high into the early evening sky as the dancers began to sway and chant to the rhythm of the drums their feet stomped upon the earth as the call to the ancestors increased in tempo recalling those who have gone on before as the descendants regale in the meaning of their dance upon this special night. The dance has remained the same the players have changed in appearance, costume, and even nationality, but the religious and historical significance remains true to the Ancients that first trod upon the earth of Africa continuously strengthening the bond of the past to the implications of a united historical religion inseparable from the past and only past down via the oral histories, rituals, and festivals. Therefore, to study the history of Africa and her peoples one must study her religions because within the festivals and rituals is found the origins of people often misunderstood and exploited.
As historians, anthropologists, and archeologists descended upon the continent of Africa where no in depth written history applied to the Sub-Sahara vastness new approaches were employed out of necessity—observing religious rituals and festivals along with taking into account millions of myriad oral histories to gleam a mere thread of the truth of a particular event or personage became the order of the day. As J. O. Awolalu wrote in his article, What is African Traditional Religion? : “RELIGION is a fundamental, perhaps the most important, influence in the life of most Africans; yet its essential principles are too often unknown to foreigners who thus make themselves constantly liable to misunderstand the African worldview and beliefs. Religion enters into every aspect of the life of the Africans and it cannot be studied in isolation. Its study has to go hand-in-hand with the study of the people who practice the religion.” Thus, this innate passion to permit a fervent belief to envelop their entire existence and each minute detail of their daily creates an extreme difficulty in deciphering this people’s history into ancient times.
With this in mind the chore to discover and record an African history falls to those capable souls that have a willingness to immerse themselves into a lifelong study of the peoples of the continent which includes but not limited to the study of linguistics, agriculture, implements of war, housing, rituals, festivals, shamans or witch...

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