HomeRecoletos Multidisciplinary Research Journalvol. 1 no. 2 (2013)

Symbolism at the Heart of Bantu Traditional Religion

Ryan Contamina

Discipline: Social Science



This paper looks at the core of traditional Bantu religion and taking some particular practices and phenomena as examples to explore how the symbol plays an irreplaceable role in traditional religious circles in Chiwa tribe in Republic of Malawi and with the Bemba1 tribe of Republic of Zambia. At the heart of many traditional religions especially in Africa the supreme figure called God (Lesa for the Bemba and Chauta for the Chewa) express a common essence about cultures and religious beliefs, rites and rituals through symbolic manifestation within the culture. This kind of thought gives preference to emotion over reason, myth over practical investigation and rhythm over melody that transport their senses and belief from symbolic manifestation to spiritual realm of belief. African traditional religions, man finds no other possibility of existing without a religion as it is part of his nature.