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
In Africa, infertility is most commonly thought of as a terrible curse, certainly one of the most tragic things that one might experience. Such a conception of infertility as a great misfortune is attested early on in Africa, even among the gods. As one might remember, Ra, the supreme god in Kemet (ancient Egypt), had cursed Nut, the goddess of mist, whom he considered his wife, with barrenness: Jealous of Nut's feelings for Geb, the god of the Earth, Ra placed a spell on Nut, condemning her to eternal infertility. She should never bear children. Fertility, the regeneration and continuation of life, is highly valued by African people in general. Great care is taken to ensure the continuous and harmonious reproduction of life, ...