The Birth Of The Divinities Analysis

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THE BIRTH OF THE DIVINITIES
The Africans believe that the spiritual world is the place of many spiritual beings who were created by God to perform specific functions. The African believes that these spirit did not come into existence on their own accord (Opoku, 1978; Mbiti, 1969; Ekeke and Ekeopara, 2010). According to Mbiti (1969), the spiritual world is a unit of the physical and they are interwoven into each other to the extent that it is difficult to draw clear distinction between the two. He highlighted that “the spirits in general belong to the ontological mode of existence between God and man.” (Mbiti, 1969: 74). The divinities are in various categories that include those that were created by God and those humans who are dead and had
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This relationship is made known through the names that man ascribe to the divinities. The names symbolizes the roles that these divinities play in the life of man and these different deities or divinities perform their function according to their nature. According to Mbiti (1969), the Ashantis have a pantheon of divinities who God manifest Himself in. the Ashantis refer to them as abosom (gods) and the singular is Ͻbosom (god). The Yoruba also call the divinity, Orisha and Mbiti reiterate that the Yoruba have about one thousand and seven hundred divinities but Orisa is the most dominant and largest among the stock of divinities owned by a people. The divinities are related to human activities and experiences. Mbiti (1969: 75) says: “they render to God, annual tributes of their substance in acknowledgement of His Lordship which are parallel to the Yoruba social and political structure, and these divinities form a hierarchy.” In addition, each of these divinities are put into various categories and they have roles they play, for instance, there are divinities that give fertility in family and those that are for harvest, smallpox, health, war, wrath, nation building and so on. Most of these spirits have been given areas of specialization to function but sometimes it is not always smooth, because in the performance of their duties, they fail sometimes and this brings confusion or disrespect from the humans towards them. This disrupts the relationship between them and the humans. On the contrary, in a period of great performance and success, the humans treat them with great respect and reverence is accorded them. Most of these divinities have priests and priestesses who are assigned to them to help in ritual and sacrificial purposes as well as to communicate with the divinities for the community. In addition to the duties, they are also assigned to shrines purposely created for the various divinities.

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