African Traditional Religion by Aloysius Muzzanganda Lugira

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By Aloysius Muzzanganda Lugira

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According to tradition veneration of Sagbata arose after an epidemic of smallpox. Thus Sagbata came to be the divinity who protects against smallpox. The Thunder and the Sea Pantheon: Sogbo To the people of Benin the sea, thunder, and lightning represent mysterious forces that are seen in terms of superhuman powers. Therefore anything to do with thunder and the sea is addressed through the pantheon whose head is Sogbo. The Fon Pantheon of Lesser Gods Among the Fon pantheon of lesser gods, the most notable include Legba, the divine trickster; Se, the souls of man; Fa, fate and divination; and Da, the cult of the serpent.

Esu’s function is primarily that of a “special relations officer” between heaven and Earth. He is the “inspector general” who reports to Olodumare on the actions of other divinities and those of human beings. Esu investigates, checks, and reports on the correctness of worship and sacrifices. Because of his assignment as inspector, Music usually accompanies African religious ritual and is used in prayer to request favors or help from the spirit world. The drum unlocks communication with the spirit world.

A hero may be someone who does a great deed for the community or someone who seems touched by the gods, especially chosen from childhood for some higher purpose. Lubaale Mukasa, a god of the Baganda people of East Africa, is an example of a deified hero, a human who has become a god. ) When, as a child, he disappeared from his home and appeared mysteriously on another island, the people there thought he must be superhuman to have appeared, seemingly out of nowhere. He refused to eat 30 African Traditional Religion Bushmen or Baswara people setting traps to catch food.

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