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The Indigenous Social Systems

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the social structure and organization of African societies. It first presents a comparative overview of the peasants' social structure and organization. In Africa, many studies have shown that kinship is the articulating principle of social organization as a whole, and the basis of social integration. Consequently, indigenous African social and political cultures are characterized by remarkable entrepreneurship in acquiring followers and making alliances to achieve independence or favorable terms of dependence. The chapter then talks about the African beliefs, religion, and customs. Many traditional African societies believed the universe, composed of the three elements (the sky, the earth, and the world) was ordered like one giant equation. Each human being had a specific place in this universe or a specific function in the giant equation. African art, dance, music, and other human activities were a reflection of the rhythms of the universe.

Keywords: African art; African beliefs; African societies; kinship; social organization; social structure



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