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
Adisa A. Alkebulan
In much of Africa, words do far more than carry a message or meaning. Words are believed to have power when spoken. For example, the Dogon people of Mali believe the African concept of Nommo, which states that the power of the spoken word carries a life force that produces all life and influences everything. By human utterance or through the spoken word, human beings can invoke a kind of spiritual power. Even the ancient Egyptians believed that power emanated from words. This belief is linked to their ethical principle, Maat (meaning truth, harmony, balance, and ...