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
Tiffany D. Pogue
Food has historically served as an integral component of African spirituality. Whether associated with African Diasporic rituals, funerals, or traditional ancestor veneration, the spiritual use of food has been a uniting practice of Africans worldwide. This entry's examination of food and its use, therefore, provides an insight into the fundamental structure of African traditional spiritual beliefs, as well as evidence of the unity of Africans worldwide. As has been written, specific foods, such as okra, and food preparation practices provide evidence of African influence in virtually all world cuisines. Archaeologists have used food to document ancient African agricultural practices as well as the trade of these food stuffs among ethnic groups showing inter-African influence dating back thousands of years. Foods like akee, a pear-shaped fruit, may have originated in West Africa, but are now eaten not only throughout the African continent, but also in the Caribbean and other parts of ...