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
The sky, as well as the Earth, plays a central role in African functional systems of beliefs. The sky, like any other place or natural entity in the world, possesses its own ancestral spirit who, like every creative spirit, watches over the daily needs of the African people to promote social harmony and a sense of accountability among them. Many creation narratives, beginning with the Kemetic civilization, conceive of the sky as the abiding place of the creative force of the universe that in Kernet was Ra, the sun. Because African ontological systems revolve around the core concept of spirits as the vital universal energy that embodies all living and nonliving things, humans and nature alike, their holistic concept of balance and harmony demands a sense of agency on the part of every human being as well as his or her own responsibility toward the community that gives a sacred ...