Saturday, August 3, 2019

The African Experience: A Curse or Blessing :: Research Papers

The African Experience: A Curse or Blessing The native African places an immense amount of importance and respect on Nature. Its effects determine certain predicaments that control and direct African lives, and how outsiders, especially Westerners, perceive them. Never before has a group of people followed so religiously and faithfully a baffling phenomenon such as nature. Nature worship has deep roots in the African tradition and is now a full and indispensable branch of the African heritage. Nature defines Africa to the world as the â€Å"Cradle of Mankind.† To the African, Nature also acts as a mediator between the gods in the heavens and man on earth. This relationship, I feel, has been greatly misinterpreted by the vacuous and ethnocentric civilized world: it has been tagged as ‘black magic,’ ‘voodoo,’ and other meager figments of unfortunately parochial imaginations. What an insult! Oh may the gods forgive them, for they know not what they do. â€Å"In the beginning was the water, and the water was with god, and the water was god.† This quote clearly defines how the natural elements such as land (earth), sun, moon, lightning, and, in this case, water are considered not just as the vital necessities that help sustain life but as the gods of life. They are built honorary shrines as an act of appreciation and appeasement. In Egypt, in northeast Africa, a great temple was built for Isis, the water god. This temple was built so flamboyantly as an attempt to try and reflect architecturally how important the Nile is to the people of Egypt. Without the Nile, Egypt would have been a barren, desolate place, incapable of supporting life; just an eastern extension of the Sahara Desert. Therefore, the great river is considered a miracle, a miracle from the gods, given in order that man may continue to exist and not be annihilated. Hence the magnificence of the Temple of Isis. African peoples had a lot of mysteries in their continent which they tried to explain. And once again, they turned to their superiors in the supernatural world, the gods. For example, if lightning should strike, that would be an ominous sight, implying that the gods are angry with the people; an extraordinary harvest or rain after a long, intolerably dry season would be considered as an act of favor towards man by the gods. All this was the Africans’ way of trying to understand the unexpected and to explain the inexplicable, functioning much as science does in contemporary Western society. Why, then, does this entire system connote barbarism or a rustic, undeveloped mentality when used in its original context, or when approached by the

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.