Different ceremonies were held in Sierra Leone as part of the culture and religion of the people. One of the ceremonies that were more conspicuous was the movement in rings or circles during ceremonies to honor ancestors…
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In Africa, countries have experienced recurrent and various forms of armed conflicts and violence due to power struggles and control over natural resources. Sierra Leone and Democratic Republic of Congo have bore the brunt of violence and armed conflicts in past decades, a fact that has led to development mishaps and stagnation. This paper examines the role of ritual, culture and religion in the shaping up of the social, economic and political stability of Sierra Leone and Democratic Republic of Congo. It further explores the role of violence and conflicts in the development process. Sierra Leone is located on the west Coast of Africa on the Atlantic Ocean and it is bordered to the North with Guinea, Liberia on the Southeast and Atlantic Ocean on the Southwest (Harris, 1992). Different ceremonies were held in Sierra Leone as part of the culture and religion of the people. One of the ceremonies that were more conspicuous was the movement in rings or circles during ceremonies to honor ancestors (Harris, 1992). The movement of people in circles during ceremonies defined the art and religion of most communities in Sierra Leone. It is reported that the culture and tradition was seen as heathen by the missionaries and as such, they searched for strategies of eliminating and eradicating the practice. The missionaries did not succeed in eradicating the practice due to the strong influence that culture had among communities in Sierra Leone. ...
e purposes included story telling, singing of songs, drumming and dancing, pouring of libations, cleansing ceremonies, proper burials, respect for the dead and forgiveness (Kaarsholm, 2006). The traditional cultural practices and rituals have played significant roles in the development process of Sierra Leone. Modern development strategies have incorporated traditional cultural practices in various health and human welfare initiatives such as fight against HIV/AIDS, ending of harmful traditional practices such female genital mutilation, understanding of human rights and other initiatives that are associated with human welfare and development in Sierra Leone (Burnell, 2008). The uptake and use of various traditional cultural practices and rituals in modern human development initiatives in Sierra Leone has been premised on the notion that the use of culturally appropriate interventions that are drawn from the experience and knowledge of communities has the potential of increasing the long-term self-reliance of communities, families and children (Francis, 2006). In addition, the use of traditional practices and rituals encourages community members to take active roles in identification of development problems that affect them and formulation of strategies and solutions to mitigate such problems. The role of culture and traditions of Sierra Leone communities was relevant and instrumental in the truth and reconciliation process that paved way for political stability and tranquility. Most of the healing activities and initiatives were based on the culture and traditions of the people of Sierra Leone. The Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission of Sierra Leone relied on the assistance and help from traditional and religious leaders in resolving conflicts and promotion of
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