Category Archives: Religion

Sahelian City-States in the Western Sahel: Part 2

Recent and ongoing events in the Sahel by way of food crises, religiously based conflict, ethnically based conflict, and military coups are intertwined.  They are the most recent iterations of  interdependent political, economic, religious, social, and cultural changes that have … Continue reading

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Posted in Africa-North, Africa-West, Agriculture, Arab traders, Caravan routes, Colonialism, Ethnicity, History, Ivory, Niger River, Religion, Sahel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Amulets and Intermediaries in Egypt and Elsewhere, Pt.2: The Moulid of Deir al-Adra-1

One year (while living and studying in Upper (Southern) Egypt) I was invited by friends living in the small town of Samalut to attend the annual moulid (festival and feast) of the Assumption of the Holy Virgin, which took place … Continue reading

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Posted in Egypt-Recent, Magic, Religion | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Amulets and Intermediaries in Egypt and Elsewhere, Pt.1: Confronting the Afrit

A variety of amulets, charms, and other means of warding off pernicious spirits – as well as propituating the help of benevolent spirits and saints – have been common in Islam, Judaïsme, and Christianity throughout the Middle East, North Africa … Continue reading

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Posted in Egypt-Recent, Magic, Religion | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

“Efforts of Missionaries among Savages”

[First posted May 2010, Updated 30 October 2011] David Livingstone captured the imagination of Europeans and Americans in the 19th Century, many of whom saw missionizing as THE way to ‘civilize’ African populations. I shall content myself with showing to you that even … Continue reading

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Posted in Africa-General, Agriculture, Colonialism, Crop harvests, Dark Continent, European colonizers, European explorers, Explorers & exploration, Hotel Club du Lac Tanganyika2, Humanitarian Assistance, Living here, Race, Religion, Research & Development, Technology, Third World | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Ancient Egyptian Negative Confessions and Cuisine

In later periods of Egyptian history the Book of the Dead, which contained directions and spells for the newly deceased as he entered the netherworld, began to contain the so-called Negative Confessions. These were the actions not committed by the … Continue reading

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Posted in Egypt-Ancient, Nile Valley, Religion | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sheikhs and Sultans of the Swahili ‘City-states’ – Stanley’s Experience in Tabora, Tanzania

As a newspaper journalist of the late Nineteenth Century, Henry M. Stanley wrote about his East African adventures in highly romantic terms that were geared to charm his readers. His travels were over a decade after those of Burton and … Continue reading

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Posted in Africa-Central, Africa-East, Colonialism, Culture, Explorers & exploration, Henry Stanley, Religion, Richard Burton, Tanzania | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments