Category Archives: African Traditional Sub-Saharan Cultures

DINKA

#23 Burial Alive: The Master of the Fishing-Spear

When a master of the fishing-spear has fallen sick and is becoming weak, he will call all his people and tell them to bring his whole camp (tribe or subtribe) to his home to bury him whilst he lives. His … Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under African Traditional Sub-Saharan Cultures

DINKA

#22 The Folktale of The Four Truths

THIS IS AN ANCIENT EVENT. A man said to his wife, “I want you to arrange my hair in four parts.” The woman did as he directed. Then he went and sat under a tree and invited everybody to come … Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under African Traditional Sub-Saharan Cultures

BANYORO

#21 The Ghost of a Suicide
     (John Roscoe, 1923)

Though there were certain spirits which were feared, there was no knowledge of a spirit-world or of any spirits created apart from this world: the people stood in constant awe only of disembodied spirits of men, the ghosts. When a … Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under African Traditional Sub-Saharan Cultures

ZULU

#20 The Burial of a King
     (R. C. A. Samuelson, 1929)

When a king dies the fact is kept secret for quite three months, and people are simply told that Inkosi Iyadunguzela, “the king is ailing.” So soon as he is dead a black bull is killed and its hide wrapped … Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under African Traditional Sub-Saharan Cultures

ZULU

#19 Ukugodusa: The First Woman Who Became a Christian
     (L. H. Samuelson, 1912)

There are many, no doubt, who know of the old cruel Zulu custom of “Ukugodusa” (sending home), i.e., doing away with the aged people. If a man was too old and feeble to go to the king’s kraal occasionally, and … Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under African Traditional Sub-Saharan Cultures

ZULU

#18 Godusa: The Old Woman and the Ant-Bear’s Hole
     (R. C. A. Samuelson, 1929)

Here is an instance of a custom of the Zulus, which civilisation would naturally characterise as cruel, but which, with the Zulus was considered merciful. There was a kraal named KwaMbaza, about three miles fromSt. Paul’s Mission Station, and the … Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under African Traditional Sub-Saharan Cultures

ZULU

#17 The Timely Death

The importance of the shades in Zulu life and thinking cannot be overestimated… The few variations in thinking that may be traced are related to differences in rural and urban settings and the tendency for urbanized Zulu to be more … Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under African Traditional Sub-Saharan Cultures

IGBO

#16 An Old Woman’s Pre-Arranged Funeral
     (G. T. Basden, 1921)

Holding the most profound belief in the supernatural, the Ibo is deeply conscious of his relationship to the unseen world, and every precaution must be observed in order to keep the spirit of the departed in a state of peaceful … Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under African Traditional Sub-Saharan Cultures

IGBO

#15 A Murderer Must Hang Himself

Homicide is an offense against the earth deity. If a villager is involved, the murderer is expected to hang himself, after which the daughters of the village perform the rite of sweeping away the ashes of murder. If the murderer … Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under African Traditional Sub-Saharan Cultures

IGBO

#14 Sacrifices, Death, and Burial
     (G. T. Basden, 1938)

… [the] “Ichu-aja”… offering consists of a selection of the following: food, strips of cloth, a gin bottle, a lizard, a chicken or a kid, and other things up to a bull or, in the past, a human being, according … Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under Africa, African Traditional Sub-Saharan Cultures