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Adoption: Blood, Totem, Belonging

Adoption in African tradition is understood in terms of identity and belonging. Identity and belonging are determined by blood and culture. Blood determines kinship. Culture determines values. Kinship and values are represented by symbols of identity and belonging called totems. To adopt in African culture is to take children and people from different families or communities and look after them without changing their identities and cultures. The role of totems in African tradition is to help men, women, and children of African descent who were adopted, colonized, or enslaved by alien cultures in Africa, North America, and the African diaspora as a whole to reclaim, retain, and protect their African identities and cultures from destruction.

Adoption in African Tradition: Examples

A classical ...

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