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
Katherine Olukemi Bankole
African people have highly constructed myths and legends that explain how the universe or cosmos was created. Found in ancient texts, and more often in the formal oral traditions, these stories are referred to as creation narratives , and they clarify that which is considered mysterious or unknown to man. Although ancient African creation stories vary among the continent's people, they are as old as the continent of Africa. African creation narratives reinforce the people's cultural and spiritual histories. This entry looks at some commonalities among African creation narratives, examines some regional expressions, and briefly discusses what these myths have to say about people. For hundreds of thousands of years, Africans have transferred knowledge about creation (the origins of the sky, man, plants, animals, and the Earth). Creation has two main components within the African context. The first has to do with the spiritual/religious and mythological aspects of how Africans ...