Fetichism and Fetich Worshipers

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Benziger brothers, 1885 - Africa, West - 127 pages
 

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Page 10 - He then proceeds to go into details: "The idea of God — Although deeply imbued with polytheism, the blacks have not lost the idea of the true God ; yet their idea of Him is very confused and obscure. . . . They represent that God, after having commenced the organization of the world, charged Obatala with the completion and government of it, retired and entered into an eter69 P.
Page 10 - God; yet their idea of Him is very confused and obscure. . . . They represent that God, after having commenced the organization of the world, charged Obatala with the completion and government of it, retired and entered into an eternal rest, occupying Himself only with His own happiness; too great to interest Himself in the affairs of this world. He remains like a Negro king, in a sleep of idleness. "Thus the black renders no worship whatever to God, completely neglecting Him, to occupy themselves...
Page 39 - Concerning the lesser spirits, Pere Baudin writes: "After the gods and the demi-gods come the spirits or genii. The genii are 71 Ditto, p. 6 f. 72 Ditto, p. 37. very numerous; some are good and some bad spirits. A certain number serve as messengers to the gods and demi-gods, some are considered nearly as powerful as the gods themselves and have authority over lesser spirits who are their messengers, and these in turn command others, forming a hierarchy which is not very defined. The more ordinary...
Page 44 - One of these lesser spirits has its own interest for us. We are told : "Audowido, the rainbow, is a genius, held in great veneration at Porto-Novo. In Yoruba he is called Ochumare. The temples dedicated to this genius are painted in all the colors of the rainbow, and in the middle of the prism a serpent is drawn. This genius is a large serpent ; he only appears when he wants to drink, and then he rests his tail on the ground and thrusts his mouth into the water. He who finds the excrement of this...
Page 9 - In a word, their religion is similar in all things to the old polytheism of the ancients; and notwithstanding the abundant testimony of the existence of God, it is practically only a vast pantheism, a participation of all the elements of the divine nature, which is as it were diffused throughout them...
Page 101 - ... the earth. These ideas render necessary brigandage and continual wars in order to procure a supply of victims. Dahomey has acquired a sad notoriety from the small value there attached to human life. One day the King of Dahomey thus despatched several courriers to his predecessors, when he remembered some insignificant detail of his commissions that had escaped his mind. A poor old woman was passing, carrying on her head a pitcher of water. The King called her and gave her his message. The poor...
Page 10 - ... Himself only with His own happiness; too great to interest Himself in the affairs of this world. He remains like a Negro king, in a sleep of idleness. "Thus the black renders no worship whatever to God, completely neglecting Him, to occupy themselves with the gods and goddesses and the spirits to which they believe themselves indebted for their birth, and their fate in this life and the next. However, although they seem to expect nothing from God, the Negroes by instinct naturally address themselves...
Page 10 - ... God, it is practically only a vast pantheism - a participation of all elements of the divine nature which is as it were diffused throughout them all ... Although deeply imbued with polytheism, the blacks have not lost the idea of the true God: yet their idea of him is very confused and obscure . . . God alone escapes both androgynism and conjugal association; nor have the blacks any statue or symbol to represent Him. He is considered the supreme primordial being, the author and the father of...
Page 9 - ... existence of a Supreme Primordial Being, the Lord of the Universe, which is His work. Monotheism recognizes at the same time numbers of inferior gods and subordinate goddesses. Each element has its divinity who is as it were incorporated in it, who animates and governs it, and is the object of adoration. After the gods and goddesses there are infinite numbers of good and evil genii; then comes the worship of heroes and great men who were distinguished during their lives. The blacks also worship...
Page 98 - Hence it is considered a duty to offer them libations and sacrifices ; the kings, chiefs, and persons of wealth must be furnished with a retinue of women and slaves to keep up the dignity of their position and secure to them the comforts suitable to their rank, and they become enraged with the living if they do not liberally supply their wants and desires. Victims are...

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