Afro-Asian Religion, Marriage & Customs

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Afro-Asian Studies vocabulary list regarding religion, marriage & customs.

ethnology

a science that deals with the division of human beings into races and their origin, distribution, relations, and characteristics

monotheism

belief that there is but one God

polytheism

belief in or worship of more than one god

Islam

the religious faith of Muslims including belief in Allah as the sole deity and in Muhammad as his prophet

Muslim

Arabic muslim, literally, one who submits (to God), an adherent of Islam

monogamy

the state or custom of being married to one person

polygamy

refers to multiple marriages (more than one wife or husband at a time)

polygyny

a form of polygamy which allows a husband to have more than one wife at a time. eg. Ganda (of Uganda)

exogamy

marriage outisde one's social group according to custom.

endogamy

marriage within one's social group according to custom.

polyandry

a form of polygamy which allows a wife to have more than one husband at a time, eg. Ndebele (of South Africa)

lobola

or "bride price" (cattle, food, money, agricultural tools) is given to the bride's family to guarantee that the bride will be treated properly. It also helps compensate the bride's family for the loss of a worker.

anthropology

the study of man

homo habilis

"skilled man", the term refers to the fossils discovered by Dr. Leakey in Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania

race

a human population whose members breed among themselves and have become distinct from other populations by sharing a number of inherited physical traits.

Nilotic

people found in he middle eastern part of Africa and along the Nile River who are the result of Negro-Hamitic intermarriage, eg. Watusi, Masai

nuclear family

consists of father, mother and children

extended family

consists of the nucler group as well as near relatives or even another nuclear family

patriarchal society

is dominated by a male figure

matriarchal society

is dominated by a female figure

environment

surroundings

subsistence

means of keeping alive; livelihood

Dogon

cliff dwellers who live in Mali

sedentary

moving little and rarely

steppe

semi-arid area bordering a desert

acacia

thorny tree of the grasslands

baobab

large, ungainly-looking tree of the savanna; the "upside-down" tree

millet

a very small grain used for food in Africa and Asia

sorghum

a tall cereal plant resembling corn. One variety has a sweet juice used for making molasses or syrup, others provide food for livestock either by their grain or as hay, and still others provide material for brushes or brooms.

Mbuti

refers to the Pygamies of the Central Ituri Forest in the Congo Basin

nomad

a person who moves from place to place in search of pasture for cattle or areas for hunting and gathering

tropical rainforest

jungle

molimo

a long trumpet, usually of wood, used in ritual songs sung by the Mbuti at night. Only males participate during a crisis.

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