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Monday, June 11, 2012

The 2012 GAA Heritage Arts Award 
Originally from Benin, West Africa, Charles Ahovissi is a professional artist, dancer, drummer, choreographer, educator, costume designer and tailor. Charles began his dancing career in 1984 when he joined the National Ballet Company of Benin. He left the National Ballet in 1987 and joined the Super Anges Dance Troop that toured extensively throughout the world performing and teaching traditional African Dance and music. In 2000, he relocated to the United States.

Since moving to Omaha, Charles has taught and performed at many schools and organizations as a Nebraska Arts Council and Iowa Arts Council teaching and performing artist. He has also conducted on-going public classes in dance and drumming in connection with The Moving Company at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

In 2006, he co-founded the non-profit African Culture Connection to be able to reach more schools and organizations in and around Nebraska. Charles teaches in order to share his knowledge and love of Africa. He uses his art form to foster understanding of Africa’s diverse and beautiful cultures. Through dancing and drumming during public performances, school assemblies, residencies, and workshops, Charles promotes unity and multiculturalism while offering students a fun, social and physical activity. He provides multicultural lessons by giving students authentic, hands-on experiences with African culture. He creates an authentic African village ambiance and uses ceremonial African clothes as well as traditional instruments to teach about African culture.

Charles continually seeks knowledge and experience to enhance his residency and performance programs. He has participated in three John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Seminars at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls: 1) Planning Effective Arts-Integrated Residencies for Students; 2) Laying a Foundation: Defining Arts Integration; and 3) Anatomy of a Lesson: Designing Instruction.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

5. Conclusion: Prospects for World Peace from the Perspective of African Traditional Religion and Culture

In a world so full of injustice, so short of harmony among humans as well as between humans and God, the divinities, the ancestors and other beings in the universe; in a world where billions profess faith in God but few have any regard for the divinely established moral order; in a world where human blood flows constantly like steams and so many innocent lives are taken in many ways, some violently and some subtly; in such a world as ours today, what possibilities does African

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

4. Peace: A Religious and Moral Value

In traditional African societies, peace is not an abstract poetic concept, but rather a down-to-earth and practical concept. In ATR peace is conceived not in relation to conflict and war, but in relation to order, harmony and equilibrium. It is a religious value in that the order, harmony and equilibrium in the universe and society is believed to be divinely established and the obligation to maintain them is religious. It is also a moral value since good conduct is required of human beings if

Monday, April 18, 2011


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3. The World-View Implicit in African Traditional Religion

While examining the objects of belief in ATR, we have already seen that traditional Africans believe in the existence of God, the divinities, other lesser spirits and the ancestors. Below these beings are humans, animals, plants and other inanimate objects. All these realities are believed to exist in a hierarchical order established by God who is the Source of all. In this

2. The Essential Features of African Traditional Religion

 I would like to group the essential features of ATR under three headings, which may be regarded as the three principal dimensions of religion: belief, worship and morality.[2]

a) Belief
Considering Africa as a whole, the main objects of traditional religious belief are: God, the divinities, spirits and the ancestors. Belief in God, conceived as one Supreme Personal Being seems to be shared by the


1. Introduction
It seems quite safe to assume that all human beings desire peace. What is not always very clear is what each person means by peace and how it can be attained and maintained. Religion and peace have been almost natural companions in the minds of humans in different periods of history and in different cultures of the world. This is because, although far too many adherents and leaders of the different religions in the world have