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
Zetla K. Ehi
Numbers can be symbols for something that has a much deeper meaning than simply their numerical value. Numbers can express ideas. Much of what passes for historical stories are really an inner understanding of deeper beliefs. Mythologies contain symbols that can be seen and sometimes handled and used to make visible an invisible truth or belief held important by the society. Quite often in Africa numbers are related to gender. However, the assigning of a specific number to either of the sexes is by no means universal. Some cultures denote masculinity by an odd number and femininity by an even number. Other cultures assign even numbers to males and odd numbers to females. In the culture of North Eritrea, the number 2 is assigned to woman. This number has an important meaning throughout Africa. In ancient African religions, the number 2 signified two planes. One was conceptual, and the other ...