African traditional religion

See also: History - Religion | South Africa religion

African Philosophy - Bruce B. Janz
Site on "philosophy which focuses on Africa, philosophy done in Africa, and philosophy that is part of the traditional conversation among African philosophers." Includes links to full text documents, reading lists, course syllabi, African philosophers, conferences, journals, topics within African philosophy, etc. Prof. Janz is with the Philosophy Dept., Augustana University College, Alberta, CANADA.

African Religion - Wim van Binsbergen
Full text articles and photographs on "(1) popular Islam in North Africa; (2) historical African religion in South Central Africa; (3) Christian churches in South Central and Southern Africa; (4) historical African religion in West Africa; (5) historical African religion in Southern Africa..." Includes the sangoma mediumistic cult of Southern Africa: limitations and potential of an interpretation in terms of commodification," and "Witchcraft in modern Africa as virtualised boundary conditions of the kinship order." Has a forum on "on anthropological and intercultural-philosophical aspects of African religion." See also his site Wim van Binsbergen. van Binsbergen is a Professor at Erasmus University, Rotterdam and a certified spirit medium/ diviner/ priest in the sangoma tradition of Southern Africa. [KF]

African Societies (Rome, Italy)
In English, French and Italian. "Monthly e-magazine on the invisible Africa." Edited by CERFE - Standing Commettee for Africa of Gruppo CERFE, Rome, Italy. Full text articles online. Issue no. 3 has articles on traditional religion. [KF]

African Traditional Religion - Chidi Denis Isizoh
Isizoh's site has full-text articles such as "The Role of  Women in African Traditional Religion" by John Mbiti, "Crime & African Traditional Religion" by S.A. Adewale, articles on Christianity, Islam and African religions and a 49 page bibliography of books and articles.

African Traditional Religions - Irving Hexham
Has the full text of Atoms and Ancestors, by Frederick B. Welbourn (1968) which Prof. Hexham cites as "a classic introduction to African religions." Also has Welbourn's "A Sacral Kingship in Buganda? An Essay in the Meaning of 'Religion," his "Towards a Definition of Religion," and "An Empirical Approach to Ghosts." Also has: "Christian Responses to Witchcraft and Sorcery" by Stephen Hayes, originally published in Missionalia, Vol 23, No 3, Nov 1995 and information about Isiah Shembe, the Zulu prophet and founder of an independent church. The website is part of  Irving Hexham's Nurel Home Page. Hexham isProfessor, Department of Religious Studies, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada.

Archives de Sciences Sociales des Religions (Paris)
In French. Has full text articles on Afro-Latin American religions. Journal "fondée en 1956 sous l’égide du CNRS." Published by Éditions de l'École des hautes études en sciences sociales / Éditions de l’EHESS. Its purpose is "promouvoir une perspective comparative, élargie à toutes les religions, et à toutes les aires culturelles."

Association of Religion Data Archives
National profiles for each country. Can compare two countries. Need to use statistifcal programs (SPSS, Stata) to use some data files. Use Quick Lists to compare nations, regions, government and religion. International maps (African continent, countries). Some rankings are puzzling - assigning high religious persecution to Uganda when a U.S. State Dept 2011 report says " There were no reports of societal abuses or discrimination based on religious affiliation" in Uganda. Based at Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, [KF]

Ifa Foundation of North America
Page on the religious practice of  Ifa. By Philip Neimark, an American businessman in Bloomington, IN, for  the "dissemination of information regarding Ifa and Orisa worship to interested Westerners".  Associated with the Imole Oluwa Institute of Nigeria.

Internet African History Sourcebook - Paul Halsall
Has full-text sources for African history arranged by topics. Includes Islam in Africa, ancient Egyptian religion, Ethiopia and Christianity, African traditional religion. Maintained by Paul Halsall, Fordham University. [KF]

Journal of Religion in Africa
"...founded in 1967 by Andrew Walls. In 1985 the editorship was taken over by Adrian Hastings, who retired in 1999. It is interested in all religious traditions and all their forms, in every part of Africa,..." Libraries pay $172 a year. Published by Brill Academic Publishers, Leiden, Netherlands.

Journal of Religious History
Table of contents only. Volume 23, Number 1, February 1999 was a Special Issue: Africans Meeting Missionaries, edited by Jean Landau and Derek Peterson, with papers presented at a conference at the University of Minnesota in 1997. Pub. by Blackwell Publishers, Oxford, U.K.

Metropolitan Museum of Art - Art and Oracle
Exhibition of "African artifacts created to communicate with ancestors, spirits, and gods in order to obtain insight into human quandaries. "Essay by Professor John Pemberton III, scholar of African religions, explores five regional traditions and their divination practices. He has selected the Azande, Luba and Songye, Yaka, Yoruba, and Malagasy models of divination. Extensive commentary on figures illustrated. Detailed maps showing locations of the cultures. Bibliography. [KF]
Essays: Divination in Sub-Saharan Africa, by John Pemberton III; Cultural Artifacts and the Oracular Trance States of the Sangoma in South Africa by Ingo Lambrecht; Depicting the Servants of the Spirits, by Yvonne Winters; Initiation of a Pondo Diviner (Igqira), by Anitra Nettleton.

Metropolitan Museum of Art - Master Hand: Individuality and Creativity Among Yoruba Sculptors
"The Yoruba live in Nigeria and the Republic of Benin and are responsible for one of Africa's oldest and most dynamic artistic traditions. Its origins are traced to the ancient city-state of Ile-Ife, famous for exquisitely refined and naturalistic sculptural forms in terracotta and stone created before A.D. 1100." Articles on oriki (praise poetry), a Yoruba creation story; excerpts from the film Efe/Gelede Ceremonies among the Western Yoruba, by Henry John Drewal; Map. [KF]

Mountain Voices
A rich resource. "interviews with over 300 people who live in mountain and highland regions round the world. Their testimonies offer a personal perspective on change and development." To access the interviews, one needs to register and fill out a questionnaire. Interviews from Lesotho, Kenya, Ethiopia, gathered by the Oral Testimony Programme of the Panos Institute. Topics discussed include agriculture, community, conflict, culture, development, economics, education, employment, environment, family life, festivals, food security, forestry, gender, health, history, identity, industry, crime, land, migration, politics, spiritual beliefs, tourism, etc. [KF]

Muyebe, Stanlaus - The Religious Factor within the Body of Political Symbolism in Malawi, 1964-1994: A Bibliographical Essay
"To what extent do the politicians in Africa use the cultural symbols as a tool for construction of political realities in African countries?" "Malawi is identified as a case study. Interconnections between the cultural traditions in Malawi and the politics in Malawi are identified and analyzed." The first 25 pages are free online in .pdf format. Or pay $6 thru credit card to access the entire book online. The book is also in print form from

Organization of African Traditional Healers, OATH
"A Non-Profit Religious Organization for the promotion of African Traditional Religions." "Those Traditional Religions of (largely) West Africa and the diaspora, include (but are not limited to) Yeveh Vodoun, Mami Wata, Ifa'Orisha, Palo Mayombe, Asante, Akan, Candomble, Lucumi, Haitian Vodou, New America Vodou and Afro-Santeria." The Founder & President is Mamaissii Vivian Dansi Hounon, M.Ed. Based in Martinez, Georgia, US.

Includes a comparison of Orisha in Africa and Cuba.

Sharp, Lesley A. - The Possessed and the Dispossessed: Spirits, Identity, and Power in a Madagascar Migrant Town 1993
Full text of the book published by the University of California Press (Berkeley). "...portrait of a complex, polycultural urban community in Madagascar emphasizes the role of spirit medium healers,...These women... are far from powerless among the peasants and migrant laborers who work the land in this plantation economy."

Some, Malidoma Patrice
Biographical information about Dr. Some and his book, "Of Water and the Spirit" on the site of "Religious Traditions of the African Diaspora" a course by Dr. Gloria H. Dickinson at the College of New Jersey, Ewing, N.J.

Systèmes de pensée en Afrique noire (Ivry-sur-Seine, France)
In French. Published by EPHE (Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes). "La revue Systèmes de pensée en Afrique noire a pour objectif de faire connaître le résultat des recherches collectives menées par le CEMAf-Ivry sur des thèmes majeurs de l’anthropologie religieuse." Article abstracts in French and English. [KF]

This Far by Faith: African-American Spiritual Journeys
Site for the TV program. Site does not work in some older browsers. Includes a profile of Olaudah Equiano, an essay on Religion in Africa, and a timeline beginning with 1526: the first North American slave revolt. Estimated Number of Africans Exported By Region, Estimated Number of Africans, Imported to the Americas,1451-1870. "a co-production of Blackside Inc. and The Faith Project, Inc. in association with the Independent Television Service. [KF]

West African Dahomean Vodoun
"West African Dahomean Vodoun, is the Mother from which all the syncretic forms of Vodoun/Voodoo practiced in the New World, brought over during slavery is derived." Has audio files, information on Mami Wata in West and Central Africa, the visit of Togolese Mami Wata Priest (Mamaisii) to U.S., a bibliography, etc.. Maintained by Mamaissii Vivian Dansi Hounon.