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African Festivals
Ceremonies


    In most African religions rituals are used on different occasions. They make generous offerings of the first crops harvested. They sacrifice animals, such as chicks, hens, sheep or bulls in order to gain new strength or to become well.

    The ceremonies are initiation rites, which are a series of trials undergone by adolescents on the threshold of adult life, or funerals, which are celebrated at great length and expense.

    kenyan Flag tanzanian Flag

    In Kenyan and Tanzanian Masai celebrating the rites of passage from young warrior status to adult life. The red ochre color of war is replaced by a white stripe of peace.

    In traditional beliefs the living remained in communion with the dead they would ask for their advice, offering them a sacrifice so that they could drink its reviving blood.

    Mali Flag

    The Dogon tribe who live in Mali, often have a masked dancer on stilts perform at funerals. The performer is suppose to show the dead pictures of the world they have left.

    Their are special all-pervasive religious aspects of life that are expressed spontaneously through dance.

    Most ceremonies are performed for everyday importance such as food, shelter, birth and death.

    In Uganda the Napore spearmen perform a ceremony before each hunt to appease the evil spirits and to ask the sun to bring them luck. The spears are blessed by the old men of the tribe then the hunters fan out though the bush to look for antelopes.

    The Fanti men roving fishermen rove along the shore to the beat of drums raise their voices in prayer with "Oh fish spirit lead the fishes to the nets. Let the small ones go and lead only the big ones, make the nets strong so they will be able to hold all the fish."

    During the Bakatue festival, the people of Elmina welcome the new fishing season with processions and competitions. This opening of the Benya lagoon, or river, to fishing after a period of ritual closure, is an event which is held annually on a Tuesday, usually in July.

    At this event you'll find the village chiefs are all decked out in their finery and their family follow close behind with poles that carry totems and historical figures. Plus, they carry wooden stools that have a very strong symbolic power to the people of the village. Umbrellas protect the chief as they make their procession through the village in celebration of the opening of the fishing season.

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