Relative Isolation on Sub-Saharan Africa
Relative isolation affected the development of sub-Saharan African cultures. The lack of contact with other African societies and non-African societies helped shape many distinct groups with individualistic forms of religion, language, and customs.
Religion can only spread by contact with other people. There are two main religions in the Middle East and in Europe that have gained dominance and fight to maintain power. Religions such as Greek mythology were quickly pushed aside when a dominant power came in with a different religion. There are physical obstacles that kept people out of sub-Saharan Africa until the sixteenth century. This means that no major powers/religions were able to spread across the continent and unify the culture. This type of relative isolation is also true amongst African societies. Environmental factors have rendered it nearly impossible for an African society to put itself in a position of dominance over other societies. Because the individual societies were focused on self-preservation instead of trading and conquering they each created their own unique religion. Africans did not have a large society/kingdom to fall back on for protection and survival. They also live in one of the harshest environments in the world; this forced them to live “as one with nature”, causing semi nature based religious systems which can also been seen in Native American culture pre-colonization. Even though the groups developed unique religions they still parallel other groups that lived under the same ecological conditions in Africa and in the Americas.
Language is a defining piece of a societies identity; it creates a sense of unity amongst people, it shows a group’s means of food production, and it individualizes bands of people. African societies historically have not been in conflict with each other. This means that each group developed it’s own language and the langue has advanced along with the society....
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