African Mythology (Myths and Legends of the World)
A vast and geographically varied continent, Africa is home to a great many cultures and to a thousand or more languages. Although no single set of myths and legends unites this diverse population, different culture groups and regions share some common elements.
Like myths from other parts of the world, those of the African peoples reflect beliefs and values. But while the mythologies of many cultures are carefully preserved relics of ancient times, African myths and legends are still a meaningful part of everyday life. Some African myths deal with universal themes, such as the origin of the world and the fate of the individual after death. Yet many spring from the continent's own settings, conditions, and history.
Roots of African Myths and Legends
The Sahara runs from east to west across the widest part of Africa, a vast desert dividing the continent into two main regions. North Africa consists of the Mediterranean coast from Morocco to Egypt and includes the valley of the Nile River as far south as Ethiopia. With strong ties to the Mediterranean and Arab worlds, North Africans felt the influence of Christianity by the A.D. 300S, and in the 700s, much of the area came under the influence of
South of the Sahara is the region inhabited by black Africans. Before the modern era, they...
(The entire section is 2485 words.)
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