chapter  3
22 Pages

Defining ‘Indigenous’ Scientifically

The arrangement of the topics by geography means that Ancient Egypt is considered under the same heading as African Traditional Religion and that sections on the Americas and Oceania/Pacific deal exclusively with indigenous peoples. Clarke's article considers Primal Religions under two categories' Australian Aboriginal Religions and African Religions. The localized nature of African Indigenous Religions means that adherents direct their attention towards community deities or spirits, which generally are kinship based. The connection between economies, politics and religion can be seen particularly clearly in the case of African Indigenous Religions, which have developed in societies that are small-scale with relatively low-level technologies. This theory can be tested against available evidence, both in contemporary ethnographic studies and in historical accounts. Other qualities often assigned to Indigenous Religions similarly fail to delineate them from other religions. As we have seen, in his outline of the historical development of religions, Platvoet insists on stressing the oral or non-literate nature of Indigenous Religions.