Polygyny in Africa Essay

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Polygyny in Africa

Whereas numerous African creation myths are supportive of cultural practices such as circumcision, there are very few, if any, creation myths that justify polygyny. There are many proverbs about polygamy. However, proverbs do not have the same weight as myths in explaining why certain things should be the way they are. African creation myths suggest that monogyny was the original practice not only among creator-gods, but also among the original humans. The pursuit of immortality through procreation is noble. Nevertheless, its achievement through polygyny discriminate against women. So, polygyny is a sexist cultural practice that has no genuine religious basis. It is a "post-original" sin as well as a culturally and
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Of course, there are many proverbs about polygamy and co-wives. But proverbs do not have the same weight as myths. Indeed, the former are humans’ sayings, whereas the latter are sacred literatures, so to speak. Numerous African creation myths develop the idea that monogyny was the original practice among creator-gods and among the first human couples. After reading numerous creation myths, I have identified five of them which substantiate this claim. These myths are representative of five geographic areas of sub-Saharan Africa, that is, the northern, southern, eastern, western, and central Africa.

With the exception for The Plant of life, a Nyamwezi story, Tanzania, in which Shida Matunda created all things as well as two women whom he took as wives, virtually all married divinities were monogamists. Furthermore, in my research I came across only one instance in which a God gave the original man, Moon, more than a wife, Morningstar and Eveningstar; but Moon was given the second wife only after God had called the first one to go and live in the sky. Consequently, I contend that African religions are not the authentic foundation of polygyny, or the practice of having more than one wife or female mate at one time. What is more, the pursuit of personal immortality through procreation could possibly be a
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