Africa is inhabited by various ethnic nationalities with their different languages, modes of dressing, eating, dancing and even greeting habits. Akwa Ibom Cultural Heritage: Its Incursion by Western Culture and its Renaissance. Idang African culture and values. N^|k Above all, it holds a moral sense of justice and truth and the knowledge of the existence of good and evil (Umoh 2005: 68). The value of a thing, be it an object or a belief, is normally defined as its worth. Having looked at some of the values that characterise the African culture, it is important to state here that these values are inextricably bound together and are to be comprehended in their totality as African cultural values, CULTURAL CHANGE IN AFRICA AND THE PROBLEMS OF ADJUSTMENT. Each person, as we could see, has some sense of values and there is no society without some value system (Idang 2007: 4). This is why philosophical appraisal of African culture and values is not only apt and timely, but also appropriate. It can also be said that culture is uniquely human and shared with other people in a society. 1974. Religion in African societies seems to be the fulcrum around which every activity revolves. The likelihood of reducing the period of culture lag is very much dependent on the desirability of yielding to change in the non-marital culture, the compatibility of the anticipated change with the existing culture or its flexibility, and the nature and magnitude of force available to exact or induce compliance. Let us have an example: the sense of beauty of the Ibibio people is epitomised in their fattened maidens whom they call mbopo. African traditional religion, wherever it is practised, has some defining characteristics. Such misconceptions can and often lead some persons to have a negative perception of 'culture' and all that it stands for. E-mail: ohisuccess@yahoo.com. The most significant thing about the traditional society is that the political hierarchy begins with the family. This is actually where the problem of adjustment to externally induced change has arisen. different languages, modes of dressing, eating, dancing and even greeting habits. This simply means that there is a peculiar way of life, approach to issues, values and world views that are typically African. It was against the custom to cultivate on certain areas of the community or even fish on certain streams for some time. Now art is usually seen as human enterprise concerned with the production of aesthetic objects. [ Links ], Ogbum, W.F. Sophia: An African Journal of Philosophy Vol.7(2). Talbot (1969: 136) has observed that polygamy was considered right because of the civil conditions concerning child bearing in the traditional society. The worship of different deities on different days goes on to show that the African people hold their religious values in high esteem. Rather, there are underlying similarities shared by many African societies which, when contrasted with other cultures, reveal a wide gap of difference. In this way, African culture and values can be revaluated, their relevance established and sustained in order to give credence to authentic African identity. New York: B.W. A culture is an embodiment of different values with all of them closely related to each other. Invention, discovery and diffusion are some of the ways by which a culture can change or grow. In the African American community, family value means giving a lot of respect to elders, and therefore addressing even strangers with terms that other communities would keep just for close family members. The cultures of traditional African societies, together with their value systems and beliefs are close, even though they vary slightly from one another. Just as an object is seen to be of a high value that is treasured, our beliefs about what is right or wrong that are worth being held are equally treasured. This shows that values occupy a central place in a people's culture. It is always changed and modified by man through contacts with and absorption of other peoples' cultures, a process known as assimilation". In the United States, there are also important American values. Culture, in traditional society, is not taught; it is caught. Doing so would expose a man as being too lazy. The birth of twins was seen as a very bad omen. YCC’s Director, John, has given me some serious homework. Faith and religion Faith, church and strong religious affiliations are often central to family and community life in the Black and African American culture4. This was based on the true belief that the churning out of a well-behaved child would be to the benefit of not only the immediate parents, but also the society. Africans captured and brought to America were able to hold on to some of the religious practices common to their native land. That is why a man took pride in having many of them, especially males. He witnesses the coronation of a king or chief, the annual yam festival, the annual dance and acrobatic displays of guilds and age groups or his relations in the activities. A value can be seen as some point of view or conviction which we can live with, live by and can even die for. It does appear that cultures always try to maintain those values that are necessary for the survival of their people. Culture serves to distinguish a people from others, and Aziza (2001: 31) asserts that: Culture...refers to the totality of the pattern of behaviour of a particular group of people. Culture has been classified into its material and non-material aspects. We do not need to have all the definitions of culture and its defining characteristics for us to understand the concept and meaning of culture. It is only love that would make a community, for instance, to tax themselves through the sale of the products of cash crops like oil palm and use the proceeds to educationally support a child who is brilliant. The African society definitely has political institutions with heads of such institutions as respected individuals. They also incredibly culturally diverse, consisting of populations from multiple tribal groups (for example, the Zulu, Xhosa, Sotho, Tswana, Tsonga, Swazi and Venda tribes). African American culture is rich in tradition and American history. While some Africans migrated to America willingly, others came as a result of forced migration from the slave trade. As a man gets wealthier in farmland and herds of cattle, his children would provide the workforce. Even today we as African-Americans value spirituality as it gives us hope to believe things will be …show more content… However, in other to correct these problems, misconceptions, the African Traditional Medical Health practices should be studied as it is an important religious liturgical act, and also of great value and significant to every individual and the society as a whole in almost all sphere of life. The acquisition of culture is a result of the socialisation process. But when we are dealing with an appraisal of beauty in the arts and crafts of a people, we are dealing with the aspect of value theory called aesthetics. Since values are an integral part of culture and culture is what defines a people's identity, then the values that a people hold are what differentiate them from other people. In the same vein, it was believed that if the child turned out to be a failure, it is not only the immediate family that would bear the brunt: neighbours, friends and acquaintances could also fall victim of his nuisance. Culture and Decision Making in Nigeria. It can be safely stated that there can be no culture without a society. It is a polite and pleasant expression towards others. Americans of African descent represent many different nationalities, religions, and cultural backgrounds. No.4. Aesthetic value is what informs a people's arts and crafts as it affects their sense of what is beautiful as opposed to that which is ugly. Having seen the centrality of values to African culture and any culture for that matter, it can be stated that the values of culture are what give it uniqueness and identity. A friend or neighbour who tries to correct an erring child will in no time, to his embarrassment, be confronted with the question: "What is your business?" The value of a thing, be it an object or a belief, is normally defined as its worth. If we see art as being concerned with the production of aesthetic objects, then we can truly say of African aesthetic value that it is immensely rich. THE PLACE OF VALUES IN AFRICAN CULTURE. During the period of slavery, African Americans found strength and unity through communal worship. There were taboos against farming on certain days as a way of checking the activities of thieves who may want to reap where they never sowed. This will help us grapple with the issues we will be dealing with in this paper. Slaves would often sing old gospel hymns to keep them encourage and believing that life would be better one day. In an attempt to capture the exhaustive nature of culture, Bello (1991: 189) sees it as "the totality of the way of life evolved by a people in their attempts to meet the challenge of living in their environment, which gives order and meaning to their social, political, economic, aesthetic and religious norms thus distinguishing a people from their neighbours". It does appear that while African culture and values have positive, soul-lifting and humanistic-dimensions, it also has some negative and dehumanising aspects. A man who marries a woman, expects her to give him many children and if the woman could not deliver on this duty, it was sufficient reason, not to divorce, but to take a second or perhaps a third wife. It is true that based on the consideration of culture as that which marks a people out from others, groups one can rightly say that there are many cultures in Africa. The Mind-Body problem in African Culture. London: George Allen and Unwin. The musical rhythms, drumming, dancing and call-and-response method of preaching come from Africa, as do the beliefs in spirit possession, healing and magic rituals, which are still practiced in some African-American churches. A fuller study of values rightly belongs to the discipline of philosophy. Even though there are as many definitions of culture as there are writers, there is an element of similarity that runs through them all. Culture in Education. "Cultural Relativism and the Language of Morals" International Journal of African Culture and Development Vol.2 (1). Etuk (2002: 25) has also observed that "cultures are not static, they change. Apart from invention, culture can change and grow through discovery and diffusion. The idea behind it is to prepare the maiden and make her look as good, healthy and beautiful as possible for her husband. By sharing the same cradle bed together they were both infected and cursed; their parents were equally guilty of defilement, particularly, the mother". African Values Greeting Greet people whenever you see them; even strangers. We go on in our daily lives trying to conform to acceptable ways of behaviour and conduct. From Footmarks to Landmarks on African Philosophy. [ Links ], Idang, G.E. African Cultural Values – Democratic Republic of Congo. These two concepts, humanity and brotherhood, feature prominently inAfrican social and moral thought and practice. This reinforces the conviction that religious values in Africa are not to be toyed with. Edward B. Taylor is reputed as the scholar who first coined and defined culture in his work Primitive Culture (1871) and reprinted in 1958. Ogbum (1922: 200), on this view, maintains that "the rate of invention within a society is a function of the size of the existing culture base". [ Links ], Idang, G.E. It is in this respect that we can see that even a people's technology is part of their culture. Let us now look at these values piece-meal, as this would give us an understanding how they manifest in an African culture and the importance being attached to them. Antia, O.R.U. The values and morals are abstract and invisible (non-material) such as respect, love, marriage, taboos, laws, hard work, kindness and worship. African American families had to struggle a lot in get united … For instance, how does the African explain disasters, deaths, accidents and other misfortunes in the family? "The Relationship between Language use and Survival of Culture: the case of Umobo youth". These peculiar traits go on to include the people's language, dressing, music, work, arts, religion, dancing and so on. In Africa, actions speak louder than words, especially if there is a barrier between languages. He imbibes it. It can be conceived as a continuous, cumulative reservoir containing both material and non-material elements that are socially transmitted from one generation to another. [ Links ], Fafunwa, A.B. Culture, as it is usually understood, entails a totality of traits and characters that are peculiar to a people to the extent that it marks them out from other peoples or societies. The proverbs warn the African against evil conduct and, according to Mbiti (1977: 8), are "therefore a major source of African wisdom and a valuable part of African heritage". Each family has a family head; each village has a village head. Certainly African cultures differ vastly from the cultures of other regions or continents. But in spite of their various cultures, Africans do share some dominant traits in their belief systems and have similar values that mark them out from other peoples of the world. Influences of Christian Religion on African Traditional Religion And Value System Ibenwa, Christopher Ndubuisi Social Sciences Unit, School of General Studies. These festivals really discipline the society because nobody is to do anything when it is not time. In this paper, we try to show the relevance of African culture and values to the contemporary society but maintain that these values be critically assessed, and those found to be inimical to the well-being and holistic development of the society, be discarded. [ Links ], South African Society for Greek Philosophy and the Humanities (SASGPH). Today, with the violation of those customs and myths, we suffer low agricultural productivity and denuded farmlands because the traditional values that safe-guarded the land, have been watered-down and we do not have the technological know-how to replace these beliefs that have been abandoned. Hence religious values are not toyed with. It includes everything that makes them distinct from any other group of people for instance, their greeting habits, dressing, social norms and taboos, food, songs and dance patterns, rites of passages from birth, through marriage to death, traditional occupations, religious as well as philosophical beliefs. We could see that African culture embraces the totality of the African way of life in all its forms and ramifications. History of Education in Nigeria. Rather, there are underlying similarities shared by many African societies which, when contrasted with other cultures, reveal a wide gap of difference. For the Africans, for instance, we see that close kinship relations are held at a high premium. The need for currency did not arise and so none was invented. This is why we can see that in a traditional African society like in Ibibio land (Nigeria), festivals which were celebrated often had religious undertones - they ended with sacrifices that were offered to certain deities on special days in order to attract their goodwill on the members of the society. Å 2õ˜ý3¡J? The soothsayer who specialises in it sets a pot of boiling oil, drops a stone into it and asks the suspects to attempt to retrieve the stone. [ Links ], Bello, S. 1991. Department of Philosophy, University of Uyo, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria gabrielidang@yahoo.com. In African terms, humanity isnot just an anthropological term; it is also a moral term when it comesto considering the relations between members of the human species. This kind of political arrangement is observable in the Southern part of Nigeria. Members of the public freely make donations to aid their upkeep. 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