I came across a post on a social media site which featured a video of what appeared to be an African American woman thanking God for slavery, which supposedly saved her from being somewhere in Africa worshiping a tree. A commentator who re-shared this post indicated that he would rather worship a tree since trees are, after all, real.
His was a good commentary on the logic of African spirituality, that is that it eschews abstraction and elevates that which gives life to the status of the divine. After all, why shouldn’t humans worship the trees, the sun, the earth, and those other things upon which life depends?
Below I list a few examples of how Africans recognized nature as divine from the Akan, Igbo, and Yorùbá traditions.
|Divinity||Aspect of nature||Culture/tradition|
|Ṣàngó (Changó, Shango, Xangô)||Lightening||Yorùbá|
|Amadioha||Lightening and thunder||Igbo|
|Nana Adade Kofi||Lightening and iron||Akan|
|Ògún (Ogun, Ogum)||Iron||Yorùbá|
|Ọ̀ṣun (Oshun, Ochún, Oxúm)||River, fertility||Yorùbá|