Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964623 | Print ISBN: 9781412936361 | Online ISBN: 9781412964623| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Dreams are one of the many ways communication occurs between humans and spirits, so many Africans look to dreams for guidance in everyday affairs. Direct appearances of ancestors in dreams reflect their power and wisdom. Those with ancestors of less wisdom or spiritual power receive guidance in more general symbolic dreams. There are individuals who specialize in interpreting such dreams, although they may not hold formal titles or be a priest or priestess. Much information on dreams exists as part of the rich oral tradition of Africa, but in parts of Muslim Africa, there are written sources on dreams. Dreams are not just experienced by humans; deities dream as well. In the creation story of the San, the deity Kaggen dreams, and what is dreamt appears as creation. Among the Shona of Zimbabwe, the first human, Musikavanhu, dreams about birds and animals; when he awakens, they are reality. In ancient ...