Bantu Essay

Bantu ontology

When hearing the term “Bantu people,” it should understand that it refers to a huge group of Africans with very different cultural and religious beliefs. Among the Bantu people, societies and governments can be radically different. The term refers to the African people of shared ethnicity who descended from the Bantu migrants who rapidly spread across South Africa around 5,000 years ago, and to those Africans who speak languages in the Bantu family.
The Bautu culture is a culture that is made up of proto-Bantu. Their homeland is near the southwestern modern boundary of Nigeria and Cameroon ca. 4,000 years ago (2000 BC). Bantu-speaking peoples brought an array of new religious practices and beliefs when they arrived in the first millennium A.D. Most believed in a Supreme Being, or high god, who could bestow blessings or bring misfortune to humans. More influential in their spiritual life, however, was a group of ancestral spirits--a different pantheon of spiritual beings in each community. These spirits could communicate with and influence the lives of the living, and they could sometimes be influenced by human entreaties. The male head of a homestead was usually the ritual leader, responsible for performing rituals, giving thanks, seeking a blessing, or healing the sick on behalf of his homestead. Rites of passage, or rituals marking major life-cycle changes such as birth, initiation, marriage, and death, were also important religious observances, and rituals were used for rainmaking, strengthening fertility, and enhancing military might.
Bantu religions usually avoided any claim that rituals performed by human beings could influence the actions of the supreme deity, or high god; rituals were normally intended to honor or lesser spiritual beings, and sometimes to ask for their intervention. The high god was a remote, possessing the power to create the Earth, but beyond human comprehension or manipulation. Ancestors, in contrast, were once human...