The people in the
villages in the ancient African kingdoms believed that one god
ruled, because obviously, no one god could do everything by himself.
They believed his assistants, the lesser gods, might drop by at any
time and check on them. To catch the eye of a passing god, so that
he would stop in and make sure they had what they needed, they
danced and sang and shook rattle and beat drums and carved masks.
The people believed their method of talking to the gods worked
because they were mostly very happy in ancient times.
They also believed
their ancestors could talk to the gods on their behalf.
They believed in
magic. They believed the local witchdoctor could perform feats of
magic. People would visit the witchdoctor to find help for their
problems. The witchdoctor might give them something magical to wear,
or bury, or give away. Witchdoctors knew a great deal about herbs
and home made medicines. Their magic spells sometimes worked. The
witchdoctors also knew a great deal about the power of suggestion,
and that helped as well.
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