A. Hierarchy of beings
The Africans understand the universe to consist of two parts.
(i) The visible/ earth.
(ii) The invisible/ sky which is regarded as the home of God.
The universe has a specific order of created beings, with God the creator occupying the highest rank.
This ordering is what is referred to as the hierarchy of beings.
It can be divided into seven categories as follows;
Inter-relationship of all things, living and non-living
(i) Human Beings and God
Many African myths of creation point to the fact that human beings are dependent on God e.g.
(ii) Human Beings and animals
Africans believe God gave human beings animals for their use and should handle them responsibly.
The following are the uses of animals to human beings;
Hare - Used to discourage trickery.
Tortoise - Illustrates the importance of being slow but wise.
Snake - Not killed by some communities, it is believed to be immortal and that the ancestors may visit the living from it.
(iii) Human beings and plants
Human beings depend on plants in various ways e.g.
(iv) Human beings and non-living things
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