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
Vimbai Gukwe Chivaura
Groves are sacred in African religion. They contain the spirits of the ancestors. The ancestors do not die, according to African worldview. They join the environment and live as one with nature. Founders of nations and heads of families and dynasties identify with hills and mountains as symbols of their deep roots, solid high moral standards, and principles. Some identify with trees such as the baobab and iroko as symbols of royalty and status. Some identify with rivers, lakes, springs, pools, and waterfalls as ideal resorts for their spirits. Warrior spirits identify with animals such as the rhino, elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo, or hippo as symbols of power, strength, and aggression. The spirits of elders and wise men find kinship with birds such as the hawk, falcon, and eagle as symbols of sagacity, far-reaching wisdom, and vision. Healing spirits associate with bushes, plants, and shrubberies as their resorts. Spirits of ...