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
Kwabena Fabeem Asbanti
Blood is viewed in African cultures as the source of life. In fact, almost every African culture has rituals associated with blood. For example, among the practitioners of some forms of Vodou in Benin, the priests gather their spiritual powers in a practice called lighting the fires, in which they pay homage to Ogun, the god of fire, iron, and war. During the ceremony, a cow is usually sacrificed, and the blood is spilled on the ground. Indeed, the blood of animals has been used to call forth the spirits for thousands of years in African history. When the participants of the ceremony have danced the sacred dances and the energy of the spirits has filled the people, the blood results have been achieved. The fertilizing of the ground with the blood of special animals (cows, goats, and fowl) is a vital part of many ...