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Drawing on extensive research and his own wide travels in Africa, Clyde Ford vividly retells ancient African myths and brings to light their universal meanings. From great creation myths to tales revealing the intimacy of humans and animal spirits, Ford shows numerous parallels between African spiritual symbols and those of other cultures. From the Ashanti comes the moving account of Kwasi Benefo's journey to the underworld; from Uganda the legendary culture-hero Kintu; from the Congo the epic of Mwindo, the sacred warrior. The author also shows numerous parallels between African spiritual symbols and those of other cultures, including how the orishas—West African deities—were carried to the Americas.
"This fascinating exploration of African stories and myths informs and inspires us. And most importantly, it tells us who we are as human beings—all of us."—Cornel West, director of Princeton's Afro-American Studies program and professor of religion and author of Race Matters
"A breakthrough book. Clyde Ford picks up where Joseph Campbell left off."--Jonathan Young, Ph.D., Founding Curator, Joseph Campbell Archives and Library
"An excellent resource for students of comparative mythologies, especially since African myths have often been overlooked by scholars."--The Bloomsbury Review
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Preface; Acknowledgments; A Map of the People and Myths of Africa; Guidelines for the Pronunciation of African Words; List of Watermarks; List of Illustrations and Tables; 1. Voices of the Ancestors; 2. The Hero with an African Face; 3. Myths of Death and Resurrection; 4. The Soul's High Adventure; 5. The Heart of the Sacred Warrior; 6. The Way of the Master Animals; 7. The Goddess in Africa; 8. Orishas: Mysteries of a Divine Self; 9. Myths at the Beginning and End of Creation; 10. Closing the Sacred Circle; Endnotes and Permissions; Bibliography; Photo Credits; About the Author; Index