Gathering under the Mango Tree: Values in Traditional Culture in Africa

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Gathering under the Mango Tree discusses how values have shaped the character of society and influenced the lives of Africans. The study addresses the topics of family structure, medicine, religion, government, jurisprudence, art forms, and socio-economic systems. The book also raises the issue of how Africans are caught between past and present values and concludes that Africa is at a cultural crossroad.
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Overview

Gathering under the Mango Tree discusses how values have shaped the character of society and influenced the lives of Africans. The study addresses the topics of family structure, medicine, religion, government, jurisprudence, art forms, and socio-economic systems. The book also raises the issue of how Africans are caught between past and present values and concludes that Africa is at a cultural crossroad.
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Preface
Introduction
1 Africans' Perceptions of Themselves and Their Culture 1
The Purpose of the study 1
The Effect of Colonization on the African Culture 2
Rhodes and the African Culture Collide 3
The Quality of the African Culture: Some Philosophical Concepts 9
African Culture and the Structure of Society 12
African Culture, the Family, Its Functions, and the Role of Children 17
African Culture and the Meaning of Religious Practices 20
African Culture and the Educational System 21
2 The Influence of the Family on Society 27
The Nature of Cultural Conflict 27
Characteristics of the Family and its Importance to Society 28
The Role of Women in Society 31
The Character of Education for Women 32
Polygamy as a Form of the Family 36
3 The Role of Religious Practices 47
Western Religion and the African 47
The Value of Religions Practices in the African Cultural Context 49
Morality, Religion, and Society 59
Culture, Religion, God and Society 64
4 Traditional Medical Practices 71
Essentials of Medical Practices 71
Methods of Medical Treatment 74
Differences and Similarities 78
Implications of Medical Practices in African Traditional Culture 84
Western Reaction 87
Problems of Western Medical Practices and Implications for the Future 90
5 African Culture, Western Law, and Conflict 99
The Concept of Law and Society 99
Origins of Modern Law 101
Background of Law in Traditional African Culture 104
The Structure of Law in Traditional African Culture 106
Elements of Conflict Between Colonial Law and African Culture 112
Land, African Culture, Colonial Law and Conflict 114
Conflict Between Western Law and African Culture: Case Study in Kenya 117
Photo Section 127
6 Art Forms, Music, and Cultural Refinement 149
Humankind, Art and Culture 149
Art in Traditional African Culture 150
The Meaning of Art in Traditional African Culture 153
Beads as an Art Form 159
The Meaning of Music as an Art Form 166
7 Education, Ceremony, and Social Integrity Among the Masai and the Mbuti 177
Characteristics of Culture 177
Education, Ceremony, and Social Integrity Among the Masai 179
The Mbuti: Facing A Threat to Nomadic Lifestyle 189
Relations with Bantu Groups 193
The Lifestyle of the Mbuti in Contemporary Africa 194
8 The Influence of Western Culture in Weakening African Culture 201
The Influence of Education on Society 201
The Influence of Education on Traditional African Society 204
The Influence of Western Education in Weakening African Culture 211
The Effect of Colonial Culture on Africa: Some Observations 220
Summary and Conclusion: Effect of Cultural Contradiction 224
9 Africa at Cultural Crossroads: Conflict 227
Factors of Conflict of Culture in Africa 227
Africa at the Cultural Crossroads: The Case for the Swazi 230
Conflict Between Traditional and Emerging Values 234
The Effect of the Colonial Rule 243
Appendices 253
Appendix 1: Perceptions of Culture: The Basis of Human Understanding 254
Appendix 2: The Character of the Colonial Culture and Society 264
Appendix 3: Kwame Nkrumah: Towards African Unity 271
Appendix 4: The Freedom Charter of South Africa: Response to the Culture of Violence of Apartheid 277
Selected Bibliography 283
Index 303
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