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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Divination: the penumbra of African traditional religion
Author:Dime, C.A.
Periodical:Orita: Ibadan Journal of Religious Studies
Geographic term:Subsaharan Africa
Abstract:The study of the different African mantic systems is important not only to know but also to understand African religious beliefs and practices. These mantic systems are perhaps the main repositories of the 'traditional body of knowledge of our people, embracing history, philosphy, medicine and folklore', the lifeblood of African indigenous and religion, and the verses, praise names and esoteric languages of these mantic techniques are in fact the unwritten scriptures of African traditional religion. Brabi (=divination) was also an important factor making for social cohesion in traditional society. In an introductory section the popular Western concept of divination and the African concept are discussed. Both are found wanting with regard to the African concept of prognostication generally as embedded in the Uzo (Ijaw) word fiyebobra, 'pre-natal choices'. Possible reasons for the indifference, by and large, to the study of prognostication are also examined. Notes, ref.