Age of Reason
Ancient Near East
Book of Shadows
Piri Re'is Map
Sacred Books of the East
OCRT: Santeria OCRT: Vodun Australian Native American
Buy CD-ROM Buy Books on African Spirituality
African-American Caribbean Rastafarianism Vodun
Ultimately, we are all Africans. Studies of mitochondrial DNA have proven that all human beings are descended from a small population (less than a hundred individuals) that emerged from Africa about 60,000 years ago. The earliest written religious texts as well as the first documented monotheistic religion also developed in Africa. During the European dark ages, many ancient manuscripts were preserved in African libraries in places such as Ethiopia and Timbuctoo.
This section has texts on the traditional spirituality of Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as their descendants in the New World.
Finding books about African religion and spiritual beliefs in the public domain was not difficult. These books have a great amount of useful information on this topic, some of it written before colonialism destroyed or greatly modified aspects of traditional culture. The problem with these works is that they were for the large part written by Europeans with their particular biases and agendas. For this reason, we encourage you to 'read between the lines'.
The texts here are provided for scholarly purposes. They may contain racist characterizations, errors of interpretation, or misrepresentations of traditional culture. For instance, the term 'Kaffir', which is used in many of these texts to refer to the Xhosa (Nelson Mandela's tribe), is now considered derogatory.
This page also has texts and books with alternate views, primarily written by African-Americans, which, in our opinion, also deserve consideration.
Specimens of Bushman Folklore by W.H.I. Bleek and L.C. Lloyd 
South African Folk-Tales by James A. Honey 
Kaffir (Xhosa) Folk Tales by Georg McCall Theal 
This book covers the Bantu as a whole. Most of the books below also have material on the Bantu of West Africa.
The West African area is important because this is where the majority of slaves departed for the New World. Hence large elements of West African, particularly Yoruba, religion (blended with Catholicism) can be found in religions such as Vodun (also known as Voodoo) (Haiti), Candomblè (Brazil) and Santeria (Carribean). For more information on New World African-derived religions, refer to the The Santeria page at Ontario Consultants for Religious Tolerance.Myths of Ífè by John Wyndham 
Notes on the Folklore of the Fjort, by R. E. Dennett. 
At the Back of the Black Man's Mind by R. E. Dennett. 
Folk Stories from Southern Nigeria By Elphinstone Dayrell, Introduction by Andrew Lang. 
Fetichism in West Africa by Rev. Robert Hamill Nassau. 
Hausa Folklore by Maalam Shaihu, translated by R. Sutherland Rattray. 
This book stands out here because it was actually written by a Hausa, not a European.
Woman's Mysteries of a Primitive People by D. Amaury Talbot. 
The Yoruba Speaking Peoples by A.B. Ellis 
Yoruba Legends by M. I. Ogumefu 
Drums and Shadows
Georgia Writer's Project; Work Projects Administration, Mary Granger supervisor [1940, copyright not renewed]
Jamaica Anansi Stories by Martha Warren Beckwith .
Jamaican folklore, music and riddles, featuring an indominable trickster hero.
The Kebra Nagast
E.A. Wallis Budge, translator .
The Holy Piby
by Robert Athlyi Rogers [1924-8]
The Royal Parchment Scroll of Black Supremacy
By Fitz Balintine Pettersburg [1926?]
The Promised Key
By G.G. Maragh (Leonard Percival Howell) [1935?]
The Wisdom of Rastafari
Two short articles by Lafcadio Hearn about New Orleans Voodoo.
Hearn, a New Orleans native, also wrote extensive works about Japan,
available in the Shinto section.
Here are two books relating to Haitian Voodoo (Vodun).
They were written by an outsider to the religion who was
ultimately unable to penetrate its inner mysteries; however
both of these books has strengths as historical and
ethnographic background on the topic:
Here are two books relating to Haitian Voodoo (Vodun). They were written by an outsider to the religion who was ultimately unable to penetrate its inner mysteries; however both of these books has strengths as historical and ethnographic background on the topic:Voodoo and Obeahs By Joseph J. Williams. New York, .
To gain a better understanding of the Voodoo religion and its context, I would recommend the following books [links are to Amazon.com]:
by W.E.B. Du Bois 
Wonderful Ethiopians of the Ancient Cushite Empire
by Drusilla Dunjee Houston [1927, copyright not renewed]