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
Sacrifice is a universal phenomenon. In a general and secular sense, sacrifice may be defined as the “giving up” of a thing for the sake of another that is higher or more urgent. It may also refer to that which is given up for a cause or for something else. Sacrifice plays an important part in the religious ceremonies of Africans. Most of the time, sacrifice is for the purpose of maintaining or restoring a right relationship of human beings to the sacred order. Generally, the purpose of a particular type of sacrifice in Africa is revealed by its name, as will be seen next. In several African societies, sacrifice constitutes one of the commonest acts of worship. In fact, virtually all traditional worship and divination involve one form of sacrifice or another. This sacrifice is often prescribed by a diviner. The Yoruba call it Ebö ètùtù . In this ...