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The role of ancestors in African traditional societies is vital and valued. The ancestors are the models whose knowledge is recalled and studied when important decisions are to be made. The deeds of the ancestors are recorded by the keepers of wisdom so that the generations that follow will have guidance when needed. The veneration of ancestors is a time-honored tradition without which the people lose their way and find themselves without guidance in perilous times.

This entry discusses the role of ancestors, drawing on the experiences of several practices and traditions, particularly those of the Akan and Kôngo. The intent is to provide the reader with a general understanding of the concept and role of ancestors and what it means to become an ...

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