AFRICAN VALUES TRADITIONAL AND MODERN IN AMA ATA AIDOO’S CHANGES AND ASARE KONADU’S A WOMAN IN HER PRIME
In ethics, value denotes something degree of importance, with the aim of determining what action or life is best to do or live, or at least attempt to describe the value of different actions. It may be described as treating actions themselves as abstract objects, putting value to them. It deals with right conduct and good life, in the sense that a highly, or at least relatively highly, valuable action may be(Adjectivregardedsense),and anasactionethicallyoflow, or at least relatively low,(Wikipedia)value may be rega Values are important and lasting beliefs or ideals shared by the members of a culture about what are good and desirable. Values have major influences on people‘s behaviours a serve as broad guidelines in all situations. (BusinessDictionary.com)
Tradition can be defined as pertinent, lasting beliefs, culture and rituals among a society, passed down from one generation to another imbued with the concrete or abstract qualities or injunctions that are regarded as supernatural from God, gods, goddesses, heroes, legends, humans, animals and plants. They include symbolic representations and activities in events, festivals and rituals comparable with the sacred activities of the –Asaa Traditional Festival of Nkpologue (Ezugu 6).
Traditional Values are those physical or abstract qualities possessed by particular elements, events, rituals or phenomena held in high-esteem, respect and obedience by individuals. Such values govern and regulate the physical and psychological behavior of individuals living in a particular culture or a geographical area.
Africans as we know are a resilient people, and over time they have developed value systems and ways of coping with life and maintain their communities and to survive great hardships either in the African continent or in the Diaspora. The traditional life of the clan in most tribes of Africa has, as its core value, protection of the family and perpetuation of the tribe. In his traditional life the African holds certain things to be of great value. It is these values which give him a distinct cultural personality and enable him to make some contributions to world knowledge, history, philosophy and civilization. It is not my task in this study to articulate all the cultural values of the African, but only the dominant ones.
One of the foremost traditional values of the African is having a large family. Children are of supreme value to the African. His primary purpose for marriage is children and to have as many of them as possible. This is the reason why polygamy or the union of one man with several women still holds great attraction for him, and also why the birth rate in Africa is among the highest in the world. The fact is that the African still counts his blessings by the number of children he has, whether they are educated or not, rich or poor, healthy or sick, well-fed or hungry. The African smiles at the sight of his numerous children and is unmoved at the turmoil at his gate as he has a lot of arrows in his quivers.(Seo Ogbonmwan, 2008).
Respect for elders:
Another great value in traditional Africa is one‘s parents, grandparents and relatives. Th associated with wisdom and honor God‘s bestowed on blessings the ancestors. T percolate through the old people—one‘s parents, grandparents—as living an embodiments of wisdom and of the good moral life who are expected sooner or later to join other good ancestors in the land of the ―living dead‖. Old age therefore Africans Even the children look forward to old age unlike now when hormones are being taken to remain forever young. (Seo Ogbonmwan, 2008)
As part of the respect for elders, the Benin people of southern Nigeria have a unique way of respecting their elders and identifying their family of origin people say La tose (Edohen of Benin), La emore (Eni of Uzae(Ijare) , La Umogun (Royal blood from Eweka 1) La Ogiesan (Ezomo of Benin) of which there are 56 of them in total. These salutations are in electronic from at ( www.edoglobalorganization.org).
Worship of Ancestor:
―Igba- A Evo‖day when special homage is paid to all sacrificing to the dead priests and elders of the clan in commemoration of their past roles as keepers of the conscience of the isclanday,Ahor, when t everyone whose father (Nna) is dead, sacrifices to him to enlist his help and protection. (Ezugu 12-13).
The worship of our ancestors is the basis for the honour and respect accorded to old people in the traditional Africa culture is their closeness to the ancestors, for in his, ontological conceptual scheme the African places his old relatives on his great hierarchy of beings.
It must be noted that in the African universe the living and the dead interact with one another. Life goes on beyond the grave for the African and is a continuous action and interaction with dead relatives.
These unseen ancestors called ―the living dead invited to partake though spiritually in the family meals. The ancestors are not just ghosts, nor are they simply dead heroes, but are felt to be still present watching over the household, directly concerned in all the affairs of the family and property, giving abundant harvests and fertility and warding off enemies at the village gate.
Extended Family Unit:
Another important traditional value of the modern African is love for, and practice of, the extended family system.This extended family system is widely odypractic is linked with all the other members, living or dead, through a complex network of spiritual relationship into a kind of mystical body‖ c values,-with-―being others‖ or ―being equally rooted important in-existential kinship characteristic of the African. He is never isolated since several persons are assimilated into one parental role: his father‘s brother are assimilated b sisters into the role of mother, his Patric-lateral uncle‘s daughters int is an individual to the extent that he is a member of a family, a clan or community. (Seo Ogbonmwan, 2008).
Sacredness of Life:
The African does not like or nurture violence per se. this is because shedding of blood is sacrilegious. In Achebe‘s Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo goes into exile with his family, for seven years to atone, for inadvertently killing a clansman- a crime against the earth goddess. In Africa, people are never killed unless it is an act of war. In the past were those whose continued existence as a threat to the life of others and to the peace of the community were usually sold into slavery.
Traditional African Religion
To the African, religion is of indispensable truly permeates his total life, there is for world order. In this important way also, the African exhibits a cultural personality distinct from that of western man, for instance, who easily makes a radical distinction between the secular and the religious, natural and the supernatural, this world and the next. Apart from ancestral things that are awesome or humans that have been inspiring or transcendental like the sun, the moon, the river, the earth, etc.
Preparation for Onwa-Asaa festival (Ezugu 5). The African values communal work as an opportunity to share his skills and give his best to his age group and the community. In the preparation of the bush for farming, the age group members arrange a date to assist Mr. A and the following day assist Mr. B in bush clearing, bush burning, bush gathering, planting, pruning and harvesting without money changing hands. This practice will hardly disappear in tradition African communities.
This refers to past-traditional, past-medieval historical period, one marked by the move from Feudalism (Or Agrarianism) toward Capitalism, Industrialization, Secularization.