Challenges and Prospects of Teaching African Religion in Tertiary Institutions in East Africa
Christianity has played a huge role in altering the perceptions of members of the Yakurr community towards the rituals. In contemporary Yakurr culture, the original purposes of the rituals have given way to mere performances and in some cases they have been totally eradicated. The Yakurr people of Nigeria were deeply rooted in their indigenous religious cultures prior to the encounter with Christianity. The systematic and symbolic way and pattern that these beliefs are ceremoniously expressed and repeated are called rituals. The Yakurr community in Nigeria is composed of five clansIdomi, Nko, Nkpani, Ekori, and Ugep. Generally, African cultures are tied very much to a religious dimension. The values and meanings of the systematic and symbolic activities that characterize these cultures are anchored on certain beliefs. The data, especially with regards to the festivals, on which this chapter is based, are drawn from oral histories through interviews conducted in Idomi, one of the Yakurr communities.