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Deities

  • Abassi and Atai
    From Bloomsbury Dictionary of Myth
    Abassi ('god') and Atai ('fate'), in the myths of the Efik people of Nigeria, had two children. MORE
  • Akongo
    From Bloomsbury Dictionary of Myth
    Akongo, supreme Sky-spirit in the myths of the Ngombe people of the river Congo, created human beings and regretted it. MORE
  • Anansi
    From Bloomsbury Dictionary of Myth
    Anansi ('spider'), in the myths of many West African peoples, was a trickster. He began his career as a creator-god, spinning the entire world at the request of the Great Sky-spirit, and was a shape-changer. MORE
  • Chuku
    From Bloomsbury Dictionary of Myth
    Chuku ('great spirit'), also known as Chineke ('maker'), in the myths of the Ibo people of Nigeria, created the universe. MORE
  • Gauna
    From Bloomsbury Dictionary of Myth
    Gauna (also known as Gawa and Gawama), in the myths of the Bushpeople of Botswana, was Death, leader of spirits. He lived in the Underworld, and was forever roaming the Upper World to snatch unwary mortals and carry them below. MORE
  • Mwambu and Sela
    From Bloomsbury Dictionary of Myth
    Mwambu and Sela, in the myths of the Abaluia people of Kenya, were First Man and First Woman. Their father, Wele the creator, made them so that the Sun would have people to shine for. MORE
  • Ogun
    From Africa and the Americas: Culture, Politics, and History
    Ogun is a Yoruba divinity. He is god of metallurgy (iron) and war. He is an Orisha—an agent of God Almighty, Olodumare. MORE
  • Orisha
    From Africa and the Americas: Culture, Politics, and History
    Orisha is the Yoruba term for a deity, or divinity. It is also spelled as orisa, or orixa, in Afro-Brazilian religions. These supernatural beings are part of a well-articulated belief system of the Yoruba that has existed for centuries. MORE
  • Ruhanga
    From Bloomsbury Dictionary of Myth
    Ruhanga, in the myths of the Banyoro people of Uganda, was the god of fertility and prosperity. MORE
  • Sudika-Mbambi
    From Bloomsbury Dictionary of Myth
    Sudika-Mbambi ('thunderbolt') and Kabundungulu ('thunder-from-the-West'), in the myths of the Mbundu people of Angola, were miraculous twins. MORE
  • Unkulunkulu
    From Bloomsbury Dictionary of MYth
    Unkulunkulu ('ancient of days'), in the myths of the Amazulu people of South Africa, and known to the Ndebele people of Zimbabwe as Nkulnkulu, was the first power in existence. MORE
  • Zamba
    From Bloomsbury Dictionary of Myth
    Zamba, creator-god of the Yaunde people of the Cameroons, made the Earth and all its creatures except human beings. MORE

Practices & Beliefs

  • Agwunsi Festival
    From Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary
    Agwunsi, or Agwu, is the god of healing and divination among the Igbo people of Nigeria. He is also the patron of doctors, because he gives herbs and other medicines their power to cure. MORE
  • Animism
    From Dictionary of World Philosophy
    From the Latin anima, i.e. soul, the term animism in general denotes the belief that things such as pebbles, rivers, planet Earth, and, some would say, the entire universe are animated or at least embody a life-principle. MORE
  • Christianity: Topic Page
    One of the world's major religions, it predominates in Europe and the Americas, where it has been a powerful historical force and cultural influence, but it also claims adherents in virtually every country of the world. MORE
  • Coptic Church: Topic Page
    Summary Article: Coptic Christianity from Encyclopedia of Global Religions
    The term Coptic Christianity refers to the various forms of Egyptian Christianity, in particular the Coptic Orthodox Church. Originally, the word Coptic, from the Greek Aigyptos (“Egyptian”), referred to Egyptians in general. However, as Islam became the dominant religion in Egypt, the term evolved to refer specifically to Egyptian Christians. Coptic is also the name of their liturgical language, a form of Egyptian written with Greek and Demotic characters. Of the 10-15 million Coptic Orthodox Christians in the world, the majority are still located in Egypt, with only 2 million spread out among various other countries.
  • Islam: Topic Page
    Islam, one of the world’s great monotheistic religions, was founded (or restored) by the Prophet Muhammad (570-632 CE), who lived in Mecca and Medina on the Arabian Peninsula. MORE
  • Mysticism: Topic Page
    The practice of putting oneself into, and remaining in, direct relation with God, the Absolute, or any unifying principle of life. Mysticism is inseparably linked with religion. MORE
  • Shaman: Topic Page
    Religious practitioner in various, generally small-scale societies who is believed to be able to diagnose, cure, and sometimes cause illness because of a special relationship with, or control over, spirits. MORE
  • Voodoo: Topic Page
    A form of animism involving trances and other rituals. Communication with the dead is a principal feature of voodoo. It is most common in the nations of the Caribbean Sea, especially Haiti, where people sometimes mingle voodoo and Christian practices. MORE
  • Witchcraft: Topic Page
    A form of sorcery, or the magical manipulation of nature for self-aggrandizement, or for the benefit or harm of a client. This manipulation often involves the use of spirit-helpers, or familiars. MORE
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