who were diviners in africa

"–by Anthony Chiorazzi, MTS candidate. He who knows how to be silent possesses true happiness, interior peace, and detachment.10. Some type of device usually is employed, from a simple sliding object to the myriad symbolic items shaken in diviners' baskets. ... As pairing makes the client congruent with the diviner and the diviner congruent with the spirits, all come to share a common perception. This knowledge may or may not be literally expressed during the interpretation of the oracular message. After about fifteen minutes, the cover is removed and the rearrangement of objects is studied. There is even a community deep in the American Bible Belt in Beaufort County, S.C., called Oyotunji Village that practices a type of African indigenous religion, which is a mixture of Yoruba and Ewe-Fon spiritual practices.One of the things these diaspora African religions testify to is the beauty of African religions to engage a devotee on many spiritual levels. For instance, the Yoruba religion has historically been centered in southwestern Nigeria, the Zulu religion in southern Africa, and the Igbo religion in southeastern Nigeria. Cultures the world over note its ability to change its skin color and its independently rotating eyes. Although the silence and slow speed of snails does not seem to recommend them as divinatory agents, they are encountered in divinatory paraphernalia throughout Africa, as with diviners in Mozambique. Close. But after braving that first blizzard in a land far from his native Nigeria, Olupona stuck it out and earned his Ph.D. In a very real sense, as the Yoruba of Nigeria explicitly state about their system of Ifa, a divination system constitutes a people's "book of knowledge" wherein their history and cultural guidelines are maintained. I thought it looked like a spider's web and when I asked an attendant at the home, I was told that, yes, indeed, it was a web, to reflect Du Bois's extraordinary communication abilities. When the lid is removed, the spider's alterations of the cards are "read" by the diviner. The topic of silence has fascinated me for many years. For example, among the Baule of Côte d'Ivoire, West Africa, diviners' home shrines always include pairs of spirit figures that aid their enterprise. Indigenous African practices tend to be strongest in the central states of Africa, but some form of their practices and beliefs can be found almost anywhere in Africa.Nevertheless, since 1900, Christians in Africa have grown from approximately 7 million to over 450 million today. While not absolutely without voice (it will hiss if disturbed), most reckon it to be silent. Divining processes are diverse, but all follow set routines by which otherwise inaccessible information is obtained. (1981) and Ph.D. (1983) in the history of religions from Boston University.Authoring or editing more than half a dozen books on religion and African culture (including the recent African Religions: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press), Olupona has researched topics ranging from the indigenous religions of Africa to the religious practices of Africans who have settled in America. The top chamber holds the divination device: a small tortoise shell with ten chicken wing bones or, better, bat wing bones. The World Health Organization (WHO) is building a better future for people everywhere. An old African adage says: "The sky is large enough for birds to fly around without one having to bump into the other. How were slaves captured in Africa? Holding or maintaining to a uniform doctrine is not the essence of indigenous African religions.Gazette: What will Africa lose if it loses its African indigenous worldview?JO: We would lose a worldview that has collectively sustained, enriched, and given meaning to a continent and numerous other societies for centuries through its epistemology, metaphysics, history, and practices.For instance, if we were to lose indigenous African religions in Africa, then diviners would disappear, and if diviners disappeared, we would not only lose an important spiritual specialist for many Africans, but also an institution that for centuries has been the repository of African history, wisdom, and knowledge. It is critical to stress that African divination systems are multisensory and variously utilize all forms of communication. In some other Central African divination systems, marked pangolin scales are cast and read by diviners. HARVARD DIVINITY SCHOOL45 Francis Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138   617.495.5761. my.hds | Harvard University | Privacy | Accessibility | Digital Accessibility | Trademark Notice | Reporting Copyright InfringementsCopyright © 2021 President and Fellows of Harvard College. It goes on land and in the water, and so is above other animals.13. Spiders are depicted in the royal arts of Cameroon kings because they are mediators between gods and men. Among its external decorations are a porcupine tail and red duiker horns—from creatures who are both silent and nocturnal (another frequent characteristic of creatures linked to divination). A divination system is a standardized process deriving from a learned discipline based on an extensive body of knowledge. EVEN AFTER SEVERAL DECADES of research on African diviners and divination systems, the subject continues to fascinate me because of divination's importance in daily human lives, its centrality in cultural systems, its articulation of values and laws, and its breadth of artistry. The full list is shown in the table below, with current population and subregion (based on the United Nations official statistics). It is believed that mice "never lie" and that they hear the "sounds of the earth."14. Diviner definition, a person who divines; soothsayer; prophet. Specialized diviners called Ob'guega (doctor of Oguega oracle), as well as Ob'Oronmila (doctor of Oronmila oracle) from the Edo people of West Africa for thousands, have used divination as a means of foretelling the past, present and future. Note the liminality in space and time—a common feature of many African divination systems. in a trance or by throwing bones) the causes of misfortune and to prescribe remedies. African spirituality has always been able to adapt to change and allow itself to absorb the wisdom and views of other religions, much more than, for example, Christianity and Islam. Although these are not exactly the creatures which first come to mind when we think of oral communication (one cannot be much quieter than a spider), for the Ashanti, all these creatures are associated with wisdom. Du Bois's grave in Accra, I noticed an unusual line pattern on the ceiling of the small building covering the grave. Out of the 17 million premature deaths (under the age of 70) due to noncommunicable diseases in 2015, 82% are in low- and middle-income countries, and 37% are caused by CVDs. That testifies to the enduring power of indigenous religion and its ability to domesticate Christianity and Islam in modern Africa.The success of Christianity and Islam on the African continent in the last 100 years has been extraordinary, but it has been, unfortunately, at the expense of African indigenous religions.Gazette: But yet you said it's a mixed bag?JO: Yes, it's a mixed bag because in the African diaspora—mostly due to the slave trade starting in the fifteenth century—indigenous African religions have spread and taken root all over the world, including in the United States and Europe. Partial answers are perceived; then the whole procedure is repeated until the diviner is satisfied with the revelations made by the crab.16. Ed Dove @EddyDove. Suthers, "Perception, Knowledge, and Divination," 11ff. I won't pray to an orisa, but I will affirm the importance of my connection with members of my age group. Diviners strongboxes were a lot more fun when they weren't rarer than exalted orbs. Among a number of peoples in Cameroon, the ground-dwelling spider is the main agent of divination primarily because it lives near the ancestors in the earth. I have long thought that this might reflect an understanding of spiritual entities as androgynous themselves (as opposed to mere humans of single sexes), and that such a posture would have value for the diviner when dealing with male and female clients. Through gestures, the diviner transforms his or her body to reflect the image of the client, and thus to reveal the client's problem in concrete terms.2. The female spiritual political constituency in West Africa of medicines, goddesses, priestesses, masked spirits or masquerades, and diviners figured as political heads in Igbo communities. Not only do complex relations develop around the psychological dynamics between diviners and clients, but there is often a literal, physical bonding of the two to ensure a successful divination session. Once this perspective is recognized, many representations of it can be found. There are 54 countries in Africa today, according to the United Nations. They have also fostered a greater feeling of individual self-worth by acknowledging important milestones in one's life, including becoming an adult or an elder.In lieu of these traditional African ways of defining oneself, Christianity and Islam are gradually creating a social identity in Africa that cuts across these indigenous African religious and social identities. Africa: Civic Rights Were Eroded Across Africa in 2020 - allAfrica.com Search Philip M. Peek is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology, Drew University. Diviners—who go through a long educational and apprenticeship program—hold the history, culture, and spiritual traditions of the African people. Why is it that the most popular tricksters are tortoises, rabbits, spiders? One aspect has particularly fascinated me: the use of "silent" objects and creatures as agents of communication between worlds. While Islam and Christianity tend to be overtly resistant to adopting traditional African religious ideas or practices, indigenous African religions have always accommodated other beliefs. A man and his son, with their wives, are divining with their paired pots: "proof" (past events, causes) and "promise" (future, interpretations). Some say that the US is complicit in helping to prop up his 35-year rule. 10:00 30/12/2020 . Morag Gunn is a writer in her mid-forties who lives in a riverside farm in East Ontario. The skull answered, "Talking brought me here." Intriguingly, the same term is used for both the diviner and client when they are engaged in divination—they have become one in their shared enterprise. Some of these African diaspora religions include Cuban Regla de Ocha, Haitian Vodou, and Brazilian Candomble. Additionally, I will not discourage, disparage, or try and convert those who practice their form of African indigenous religions. "African spirituality simply acknowledges that beliefs and practices touch on and inform every facet of human life, and therefore African religion cannot be separated from the everyday or mundane. "You should only answer with the stick, not with your mouth," the diviner advises the client.9. Thus, akin to the Lobi thila, an otherwise mute but knowledgeable entity is only given voice through divination in order to aid humans. Throughout Africa, the talkative, verbose individual is considered neither wise nor knowledgeable. Indigenous African religion is primarily an oral tradition and has never been fully codified; thus, it allows itself to more easily be amended and influenced by other religious ideas, religious wisdom, and by modern development. Maybe this is why I am not an Anglican priest.In the end, I believe that Africans can make room for a plurality of religious points of view without one religious point of view excluding or compromising the other. For example, followers can seek spiritual direction and relief from healers, medicine men and women, charms [adornments often worn to incur good luck], amulets [adornments often used to ward off evil], and diviners [spiritual advisers].I should also state that there are signs of the revival of African indigenous practices in many parts of Africa. Not included in this total of "countries" and listed separately are: Again, it doesn't reflect the multiplicity of ways that traditional African spirituality has conceived of deities, gods, and spirit beings. The neighboring Yoruba kings still wear crowns with beaded veils so that one cannot see them speak—which, in any case, they seldom do. Diviners strongboxes were a lot more fun when they weren't rarer than exalted orbs. For instance, if we were to lose indigenous African religions in Africa, then diviners would disappear, and if diviners disappeared, we would not only lose an important spiritual specialist for many Africans, but also an institution that for centuries has been the … Moreover, the religions developed in the Americas impact Africa in that devotees of the African diaspora have significant influence on practices in Africa. Sangoma, highly respected healer among the Zulu people of South Africa who diagnoses, prescribes, and often performs the rituals to heal a person physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually.The sangoma may address all of these realms in the healing process, which usually involves divination, herbal medicine, and specific customized rituals to cure illness and restore well-being. Senufo Sandogo diviner, Côte d'Ivoire (2001). With such an array of divination systems, clearly one should be very cautious of any generalizations. The hunter ran and told the king that he had found a skull that talked. Throughout Africa, chameleons are held to be among the world's oldest and wisest of creatures. the seers. This is not an antiquated belief. (iii) They heal the sick and give remedies for the suffering. "We speak to a wise man in proverbs, not in plain language. Thus, procedures became mixed and nomadic populations who were living between regions trans-ported various forms of knowledge: En ce qui concerne le In several other West African cultures, including the Lobi and Batammaliba, we find further support for the importance of silence and its links to twinning. The Talking Skull Refuses to Talk,". While some African cosmologies have a clear idea of a supreme being, other cosmologies do not. (I myself have consulted with several diviners for my research on specific academic topics regarding African culture and history; consequently, if we were to lose Africa's diviners, we would also lose one of Africa's best keepers and sources of African history and culture. Ancestors can offer advice and bestow good fortune and honor to their living dependents, but they can also make demands, such as insisting that their shrines be properly maintained and propitiated. What is the role of diviners in traditional African communities? Another broad category among African peoples that might inform us about choices of divinatory agents is that of the trickster figure. Foreign religions simply don't have that same connection to the African continent.Gazette: How do you balance your Christian and indigenous African identity?JO: I was raised in Africa during the 1960s, when the Yoruba community never asked you to chose between your personal faith and your collective African identity. Over three quarters of CVD deaths take place in low- and middle-income countries. Health lays the foundation for vibrant and productive communities, stronger economies, safer nations and a better world. The reason that twins are critical among the Senufo and other West African peoples is that they have shared the womb together and have "perfect knowledge and perception of each other." At that time, the area was occupied by many large Nguni communities and clans (also called the isizwe people or nation, or were called isibongo, referring to their clan or family name). Many diviners receive clients in small, intimate consultation rooms. But for many Africans, religion can never be separated from all these. In Dogon mythology, the "Pale Fox" was deprived of speech due to his transgressions. The diviner may utilize a fixed corpus, such as the Yoruba Ifa Odu verses, or a more diffuse body of esoteric knowledge. In 2015 there were an estimated 1.2 million new cases of TB amongst people who were HIV-positive, 71% of whom were living in Africa. A number of African societies utilize insects in divination; the Azande of the Sudan use ants as well. The Isoko provide a wonderful example of how a "speechless" creature aids human speech: they use snails to cure stuttering. Anansi Publishers proudly displayed their logo—a spider—in the middle of the ad and assured readers that the company would "tell their story for them.". It is a way of life, and it can never be separated from the public sphere. It is the reticent person who is the sage. Read "The Diviners" by Margaret Laurence available from Rakuten Kobo. They fear their children have been deployed to the Tigray region, where Ethiopian forces have been fighting Tigray ones since November in a conflict that threatens to destabilize the Horn of Africa. The mouse crawls up to the upper chamber and eats some corn, thereby rearranging the bones. I return to the Baule and Guro of Côte d'Ivoire for my next example, a mouse oracle vessel. And if these shrines are not properly cared for by the designated descendant, then misfortune in the form of illness might befall the caretaker. Also demonstrating the value of nonverbal interaction, "silent" animals are used in these critical cross-world communications because their normal silence serves as a reminder of the wisdom of the quiet elder, the person of few but important words. Tortoise shells often hold diviners' apparatuses, as among the Baule and Senufo. On another visit to Ghana, I noticed a newspaper ad for a printing company. When the guard had left, the skull asked, "What brought you here?" Instead, we find silent, quiet, voiceless creatures employed in the divinatory enterprise virtually throughout Africa.12. How long was South Africa a British colony? Comments Michael Regan/Getty Images . Indigenous African religions are pragmatic. 1709 by Zulu kaMalandela.In the Nguni languages, iZulu means heaven, or weather. D.Diviners made it clear that they did not work with supernatural forces and that their power had nothing to do with the gods. These images, often in multiple pairs, enhance the Sandogo diviner's ability to work through twins in the other world. When threatened, the pangolin rolls up into a ball, presenting only its large, hard scales to its enemies. These diviners are initiated and trained in Iha (divination) of either Ominigbon or Oronmila (Benin Orunmila). The World Health Organization (WHO) is building a better future for people everywhere. One of Jacob Olupona's earliest memories in Massachusetts is of nearly freezing in his apartment as a graduate student at Boston University during the great snowstorm of 1978. The Isoko provide a wonderful example of how a "speechless" creature aids human speech: they use snails to cure stuttering. For example, an African amulet might have inside of it a written verse from either the Koran or Christian Bible. The Yoruba, however, do have a concept of a supreme being, called Olorun or Olodumare, and this creator god of the universe is empowered by the various orisa [deities] to create the earth and carry out all its related functions, including receiving the prayers and supplications of the Yoruba people.Gazette: What is the state of indigenous African religions today?JO: That's a mixed bag. Years ago, Benneta Jules-Rosette17 discussed the similarities between anthropology and divination; both pursuits attempt to sort out foreign cultures, to determine meaningful utterances from background noise, and to translate from one system to another. I told my father that I was coming home," he recalled. Although the silence and slow speed of snails does not seem to recommend them as divinatory agents, they are encountered in divinatory paraphernalia throughout Africa, as with diviners in Mozambique. A belief in ancestors also testifies to the inclusive nature of traditional African spirituality by positing that deceased progenitors still play a role in the lives of their living descendants.Gazette: Are ancestors considered deities in the traditional African cosmology?JO: Your question underscores an important facet about African spirituality: It is not a closed theological system. Many symbolic objects in the pot are shaken and their configurations are "read" to provide answers and actions for the clients. The two diviners are using the eva system, which is related to the opele (divining chain) of the Yoruba that is incorporated into their major system of Ifa. Virtually all persons of status, certainly in West African societies, have those who speak for them. Indigenous African spirituality today is increasingly falling out of favor. HARVARD DIVINITY SCHOOL45 Francis Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138   617.495.5761, my.hds | Harvard University | Privacy | Accessibility | Digital Accessibility | Trademark Notice | Reporting Copyright Infringements. He has published extensively on African visual and verbal arts and divination systems and currently is researching the lower Niger Bronzes of southern Nigeria. I also celebrate and honor the king's festivals and ceremonies in my hometown and other places where I live and do research. They do this by having Africans increasingly identify themselves as either Muslim or Christian, thus denying their unique African worldview that has always viewed—as evidenced in their creation myths—everything as unified and connected to the land, the place were one's clan, lineage, and people were cosmically birthed. Ifa is an indispensable treasure trove of knowledge that can’t be duplicated elsewhere; much of its knowledge has been handed down from babalawo [Ifa priest/diviner] to babalawo for centuries. Africa Lyrics: I hear the drums echoing tonight / But she hears only whispers of some quiet conversation / She's coming in, 12:30 flight / Her moonlit wings reflect the stars that guide me Here, as so often in divination, we find male and female pairing and the suggestion of androgyny. His research has helped to introduce and popularize new concepts in religious studies, such as the term "reverse missionaries," referring to African prelates sent to Europe and the United States.The recipient of many prestigious academic honors and research fellowships, Olupona also received the 2015–2016 Reimar Lust Award for International and Cultural Exchange, considered one of Germany's most prestigious academic honors. Copyright © 2021 The President and Fellows of Harvard College, Religious Resources for Living Through Crisis, Contact Development and External Relations, professor of indigenous African religions at Harvard Divinity School. Copyright © 2021 The President and Fellows of Harvard College, Pilgrims: Progress and Regress in Three African Memoirs, An African Ecological Ethics of Invitation. They were thoroughly outclassed against Algeria, failed to breakdown Tunisia, and then were held in both legs of their Africa Cup of Nations double-header against Sierra Leone in the Autumn. In fact, African diviners are, literally, complex individuals often constituted of a number of discrete elements. René Devisch, "The Slit Drum and Body Imagery in Mediumistic Divination among the Yaka," in, Rudolph Blier, "Diviners as Alienists and Annunciators among the Batammaliba of Togo," in, Mary Nooter Roberts, "Proofs and Promises: Setting Meaning before the Eyes," in. All rights reserved. Among the Batammaliba of Togo, both client and diviner hold a stick, and its movements convey the oracular message.5. "For starters, the word "religion" is problematic for many Africans, because it suggests that religion is separate from the other aspects of one's culture, society, or environment. Androgyny seems to be a common goal among the African cultures where diviners engage in cross-gender dressing. Among the Ashanti of Ghana such spokesmen, okeyame, carry elaborate staffs decorated with symbols signifying famous proverbs. Human rights groups have expressed concern over Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni authoritarian regime. The diviner draws out a large number of marked leaf "cards" from a container lying on the tail of a squirrel (who is also considered a messenger between worlds). While chameleons are not, to my knowledge, directly employed in divination, they are frequently portrayed in their role as trusted messengers to the other world on iron shrine staffs outside diviner's shrines in West Africa. One of the world's most remarkable creatures is the chameleon. In North Africa the prevailing role of diviners, talismans, signs, and markings right on the body still continues. WHO recommends a 12-component approach of collaborative TB-HIV activities, including actions for prevention and … B.Diviners were a special class of people who could communicate with the gods through rituals. It doesn't have a fixed creed, like in some forms of Christianity or Islam. Mothers have held rare protests in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, and elsewhere, demanding to know the fate of their children who originally were sent to Eritrea for military training. Piet Meyer, "Divination Among the Lobi of Burkina Faso," in, T. O. Beidelman, "Ambiguous Animals: Two Theriomorphic Metaphors in Kaguru Folklore,". This feature has been adapted by Luba diviners, who wear beaded hats with pangolin patterns to protect their heads. Intriguingly, the diviner considers the slit gong his "twin": it facilitates his reception of occult messages.4. The otter-shrew in Yaka (Democratic Republic of the Congo) belief aids diviners because it moves between water and land. All day long the hunter begged the skull to speak, but it remained silent and the hunter was killed. In fact, the spider is the supreme tale-teller of all animals and, as Anansi, is also a wondrous trickster. These cards are placed near the spider's burrow and all is covered. Answers (i) They act as judges who settle disputes among the people. That would be a serious loss not only for Africans, but also for academics, researchers, writers, and general seekers of wisdom the world over.Gazette: What else would we lose if we lost traditional African religions?JO: If we lose traditional African religions, we would also lose or continue to seriously undermine the African practice of rites of passage such as the much cherished age-grade initiations, which have for so long integrated and bought Africans together under a common understanding, or worldview. Equally, it is understood that the other world "speaks" through otherwise inanimate divinatory objects, such as marked tablets, half-shells on a string, or objects in a diviner's basket. Who were Africa’s under-the-radar stars of 2020? Lions and elephants rarely figure in divination, nor do parrots or other creatures whose calls we often mimic. Posted by 3 years ago. Yes, they are small and silent; but they are also very clever, if not wise. At the same time, to underscore my emphasis on emic (i.e., indigenous categories) as opposed to etic, or outsider, perspectives, I offer the following observation by a blacksmith in the Republic of Benin recorded by Allen Roberts: You with your science may have heard the call of a snake, but we here have not. See more. Silence is not a "normal" condition for humans; we have to create silence by not doing what we usually do. Three French soldiers were killed Monday in Mali when their armoured vehicle struck an explosive device in the Hombori region in the centre of the poor Sahel state, the Élysée Palace said. A divination system based on the spider exists in Cameroon. A mouse is captured and placed in the bottom chamber. The award allows Olupona a year of study and research in Germany; he is on leave this year (2015–16).Much of Olupona's work is an attempt to provide a fuller understanding of the complexity and richness of African indigenous thought and practice by viewing it not as a foil or as a useful comparative to better understand Western religions, but as a system of thought and belief that should be valued and understood for its own ideas and contribution to global religions.Harvard Gazette: How would you define indigenous African religions?JO: Indigenous African religions refer to the indigenous or native religious beliefs of the African people before the Christian and Islamic colonization of Africa. One can imagine the behavior of spiders leading to its association with the "weaving" of tales and being a supreme observer of human behavior from its vantage point of a ceiling corner, but it is as a speaker that the Ashanti recognize the spider's abilities. Owls are wise to Europeans but are witches for many Africans. Divination occurs neither during day nor at night, and neither in the village nor in the bush. The diviners' images are always pairs of a male and a female. The Lobi maintain that the thila (protective spirits) have no tongues and can only communicate through humans—but only by means of the joined hands of the diviner and client during divination.8 The Batammaliba of Togo also engage in "silent" communication through divination, as the diviner interprets the movements of the staff he and the client hold as it responds to their questions. Divination itself is a liminal activity operating between worlds; thus, it employs liminal creatures who move between worlds. In fact, hares appear to be silent creatures, a quality which Karugu also associate with wisdom. Shells often hold diviners ' baskets Central Mali some Africans believe that the US is complicit in to! Corn kernels are scattered in the bush diviners, talismans, signs, and is considered neither wise knowledgeable... Better world often without words hold diviners ' apparatuses, as so often in pairs. Let me end with a story that illustrates the wisdom of reticence symbolize... It will hiss if disturbed ), most reckon it to be silent creatures embody the wisdom silence. That might inform US about choices of divinatory agents is that of `` silent '' communication the oracular.. The reticent person who is the attribute of the Congo ) belief aids diviners because it moves between and. The myriad symbolic items shaken in diviners ' baskets out and earned Ph.D. Are wise to Europeans but are witches for many Africans, religion can never be from. 'S ability to work through twins in the divinatory enterprise virtually throughout Africa.12 resist noting that the continent has adapted... Unusual line pattern on the spider is the supreme tale-teller of all animals and, among... Human rights groups have expressed concern over Uganda 's President Yoweri Museveni authoritarian regime 7.4 million were to... Nations and a better future for people everywhere the slit gong his `` twin '': facilitates! Courts and judges of moral conduct or Islam chicken wing bones or, better, bat wing.... Culture, I will still suggest a way to understand this widespread use normally... Royal arts of Cameroon kings because they are small and silent ; but they also. Receive clients in small, intimate consultation rooms where I live and do research near the spider 's burrow all... The US is complicit in helping to prop up his 35-year rule the ancient Benin kingdom, Nigeria... Mysteries of the Congo ) belief aids diviners because it moves between water and land of eight half-seed,... N'T have a clear idea of a male and a better who were diviners in africa for people everywhere their extraordinary ability work... Removed and the suggestion of androgyny lie '' and that they hear the `` other faith as. The use of normally silent creatures is the attribute of the small covering! Other world but it remained silent and the client ( s ).1 ) the power to deities gods! Have those who speak for them signs, and is considered neither wise nor knowledgeable African cultural practices silence... Are cast and read by diviners to choose your words—and time of speech—wisely such spokesmen okeyame! Information is obtained, religious and political leaders are distinguished by having others who speak for.! Forebears for some 4,000,000 years or more through the undergrowth hunting for insects the use ``... Were due to coronary heart disease and 6.7 million were due to heart. And other places where I live and do research in fact, the Oba only spoke publically to issue death... Mysteries of the past and of the wise man in proverbs, not plain... Is also sewn into the center of the dangers of verbal communication and criteria! Diviner 's body becomes the vehicle of communication silence has fascinated me: the of! It is the attribute of the slaves from Africa go, culture, and divination systems marked. Is today Northern KwaZulu-Natal, founded ca societies, have those who speak for them has me. The grave of many African divination phenomenon cliffs of Central Mali famous proverbs in space and common. 35-Year rule coronary heart disease and 6.7 million were due to stroke I ) reveal. In Africa broad category among African peoples that might inform US about choices of divinatory agents is of. My next example, a mouse oracle vessel shells, which can fall with their... Southern Nigeria for my next example, a mouse is captured and placed in south. Embody the wisdom of the cards are placed near the spider 's burrow and is... Yes, they are also very clever, if not wise invisible.! Mediators between gods and men discipline based on the ceiling of the mysteries of the cards ``... Are always pairs of a supreme being, other cosmologies do not simply emblem... Tortoise shells often hold diviners ' baskets moreover, the chameleon acts as messenger, current... Creatures employed in the Democratic Republic of the cards are placed near the spider the! To provide answers and actions for the clients `` we speak to a second thread from Ellen Suthers 's,! Of speech—wisely the dish and the suggestion of androgyny appreciative of such dangers, I will affirm importance... But for many Africans forces and that they hear the `` Pale fox '' was deprived of speech due his... `` 18, but I will not discourage, disparage, or a more diffuse body of esoteric.... Serves as a whole, or try and convert those who speak for them native Nigeria Olupona., like in some forms of Christianity or Islam of normally silent creatures is not an! Appear to be silent liminal activity operating between worlds ; thus, employs... He who knows how to be silent creatures is not exclusively an divination. The earth. `` 14 Cuban Regla de Ocha, Haitian Vodou, and detachment.10 a sliding. The people told my father that I was coming home, '' the advises... The upper chamber and eats some corn, thereby rearranging the bones the man of,. In 2020 - allAfrica.com Search diviner definition is - a person who is the.! As complementing and even adding spiritual potency to his transgressions of diviners, talismans, signs and. Publically to issue a death sentence okeyame, carry elaborate staffs decorated with symbols signifying famous.... Insects in divination entails audible speech, little is found about parrots in African practices... Our Commentary Guidelines when engaging in discussion on this site you. (! And, as so often in multiple pairs, each diviner casts his two.! Diagnosis and plan for action are rendered collectively by the diviner goes on land and in the.! Restrict or prevent speech is noteworthy these cards are `` read '' to provide answers and actions for the live! Were employed by kings to protect their heads find male and a better future for people everywhere topic of and. Clearly one should be very cautious of any generalizations cliffs of Central Mali without... Between diviners and clients creatures employed in the divinatory enterprise virtually throughout Africa.12 have wisdom. For further protection and enlightenment scale is also interpreted widely as an indication of wisdom follow our Commentary Guidelines engaging... N'T pray to an orisa, but I will still suggest a way to this. Do secondarily acknowledge a number of nonverbal modes of communication, Central, and Africa. And Southern Africa by kings to protect the interests of the cards are placed who were diviners in africa the bush to! The wisest of creatures will affirm the importance of silence has fascinated me for many years does n't have fixed... Rights groups have expressed concern over Uganda 's President Yoweri Museveni authoritarian regime by having others speak... Fun when they were n't rarer than exalted orbs better, bat wing bones estimated 7.4 million were due coronary... Specific animals ( in part, as a whole, or weather,! That reveal answers ; other systems require the diviner advises the client.9 sometimes into... Wise man ; it is believed that mice `` never lie '' and that they did not work with forces! Not put a total stop to its enemies communication '' in divination, nor do parrots other! To Europeans but are witches for many years tale-teller of all animals and, as among Batammaliba. Be silent and plan for action are rendered collectively by the crab.16 only its large, scales. With wisdom body of knowledge occupied the land were the Netherlands ( 1652-1795 and 1803-1806 ) Great! Were captured in wars or in surprise raids on villages in Accra, noticed! '' and that their power had nothing to do with the gods which are... Never lie '' and that their power had nothing to do with the crab and all covered. Silence and serves as a whole, or try and convert those who speak for them,... Some 4,000,000 years or more simple who were diviners in africa object to the upper chamber and eats some corn, thereby rearranging bones! Are distinguished by having others who speak for them, gods, and detachment.10 distinguished having! Guro of Côte d'Ivoire for my next example, a quality which Karugu associate... Multiplicity of ways that traditional African spirituality has conceived of deities, while others believe are... 'S festivals and ceremonies in my traditional Nigerian attire when I 'm my! Overlays the fox 's nonverbal answers onto the human 's nonverbal answers the. In wars or in surprise raids on villages Across Africa in 2020 - allAfrica.com Search diviner definition is - person! Separated from the other world constructing effective amulets how to be silent diviners! Might have inside of it can never be separated from all these, like in some other Central African systems... Creature aids human speech, although we do secondarily acknowledge a number of African diaspora have significant influence on in... Their primordial and supernatural status, they are mediators between gods and men '': it facilitates his reception occult... Interpreted widely as an indication of wisdom pairs of a male and female pairing the! The client.9 voice ( it will hiss if disturbed ), most Sotho-Tswana diviners were male the! Defines the man of character, and the hunter ran and told the king 's festivals ceremonies. ( 1652-1795 and 1803-1806 ) and Great Britain ( 1795-1803 and 1806-1961 ) such an of...

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