Afro-Christianity on the Waccamaw Neck
Europeans and Africans transported distinct religious faiths to the New World. While Englishmen brought the teachings of the Anglican Church, enslaved people from West and West Central Africa carried with them their own spiritual traditions.
Customs and beliefs from the Congo-Angolan region, the center of Bakongo influence, likely formed the foundation of African-American religion, along with some Native American influences.
From around 1670 to 1830, for almost a century and a half, enslaved people on the Waccamaw Neck, and all along the South Carolina coast, created their own form of religious expression.
The Old Plantation, attributed to John Rose, c. 1785 - 1795. Courtesy the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Museum
In the Bakongo worldview, birth, life, death and rebirth represent a continuous cycle.
Death was a journey into the spirit world, not a break with life or earthly beings. The idea of the perpetuity of life through time, space, and circumstance was common to African religious culture, and the complexity of this belief system is typified by Bakongo cosmology and concepts of the four moments of the sun.
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