The African Female Principle: The Origins of Religious Deification: Auset and the Black Madonna
Thesis DT 3.5 1992 J92
xii, 162 leaves; 29 cm.
This paper addresses the African Female Principle, a primordial socio-philosophical concept of transformation, and the role it plays in concretizing the origins of religious deification. The African Female Principle is rooted in the value placed on the female ability to embody creation within herself and to produce life sustaining elements (food, maternal care, medicine) on earth. The production based life affirming earth/female association led to matrifocal societies of which women were revered and deified as instrumental components of the community. Therefore, the characteristics of the African female represented the original model for deification.
In addition, research reveals that the Black Madonnas of Europe (as well as the white Madonnas), based on African deification conceptions, are a product of cultural transference from Africa to Europe by way of Greece and Rome. Consequently, I will attempt to show that the Black Madonnas are articulations of the African cosmological paradigm of which the female principle is central.
Due to the nature and breathe of this study several tools of analysis were required. The historical and cultural continuity of Africa as defined by Cheikh Anta Diop, Janheinz Jahns and Molefi Asante served as a theoretical model. These texts, and others were useful in establishing interethnic cultural trends in Africa through the use of social organization, folklore and religion. In addition, African ontological, cosmological and aesthetic issues, rooted in gender orientated oral and visual expression were explored. In order to demonstrate the borrowing of African philosophic principles by Europeans historical analysis such as that found in the texts of Yosef Ben Jochannan, Ivan Van Sertima, George James and Cheikh Ante Diop were utilized. Lastly, traditional archeological anthropological data were used to support analysis of the origins of the African Female Principle.