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AFRICAN VALUES TRADITIONAL AND MODERN IN AMA ATA AIDOO’S Changes AND ASARE KONADU’S A WOMAN IN HER PRIME.

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CHAPTER ONE
1.1 INTRODUCTION
Values
In ethics, value denotes something degree of importance, with the aim of determining what
action or life is best to do or live, or at least attempt to describe the value of different actions. It
may be described as treating actions themselves as abstract objects, putting value to them. It
deals with right conduct and good life, in the sense that a highly, or at least relatively highly,
valuable action may be regarded as ethically ―good‖ (Adjective sense), and an action of low,
or at least relatively low, value may be regarded as ―bad‖. (Wikipedia)
Values are important and lasting beliefs or ideals shared by the members of a culture about what
are good and desirable. Values have major influences on people‘s behaviours and attitudes and
serve as broad guidelines in all situations. (BusinessDictionary.com)
Tradition
Tradition can be defined as pertinent, lasting beliefs, culture and rituals among a society, passed
down from one generation to another imbued with the concrete or abstract qualities or
injunctions that are regarded as supernatural from God, gods, goddesses, heroes, legends,
humans, animals and plants. They include symbolic representations and activities in events,
festivals and rituals comparable with the sacred activities of the – Asaa Traditional Festival of
Nkpologue (Ezugu 6).
Traditional Values:
Traditional Values are those physical or abstract qualities possessed by particular elements,
events, rituals or phenomena held in high-esteem, respect and obedience by individuals. Such
values govern and regulate the physical and psychological behavior of individuals living in a
particular culture or a geographical area.
Africans as we know are a resilient people, and over time they have developed value systems
and ways of coping with life and maintain their communities and to survive great hardships
either in the African continent or in the Diaspora. The traditional life of the clan in most tribes of
Africa has, as its core value, protection of the family and perpetuation of the tribe. In his
traditional life the African holds certain things to be of great value. It is these values which give
him a distinct cultural personality and enable him to make some contributions to world
knowledge, history, philosophy and civilization. It is not my task in this study to articulate all the
cultural values of the African, but only the dominant ones.
Large Family:
One of the foremost traditional values of the African is having a large family. Children are of
supreme value to the African. His primary purpose for marriage is children and to have as many
of them as possible. This is the reason why polygamy or the union of one man with several
women still holds great attraction for him, and also why the birth rate in Africa is among the
highest in the world. The fact is that the African still counts his blessings by the number of
children he has, whether they are educated or not, rich or poor, healthy or sick, well-fed or
hungry. The African smiles at the sight of his numerous children and is unmoved at the turmoil
at his gate as he has a lot of arrows in his quivers.(Seo Ogbonmwan, 2008)

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