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
Molefi Kete Asante
Among many African peoples, members of the society are grouped according to age. Although the practice is not universal, it is widespread throughout the continent and impacts the social and religious attitudes of the people. In fact, the age group organization is woven into the fabric of the sacred lineage of some East African communities. Age group sets are the keys to establishing solid foundations for respect for elders. Such a system is normally cyclical. Names are given to the age sets and may reappear in cycles of 100 or so years when the last person of that group is deceased. The initiation into an age set usually happens every 5 years and is ...