Source: Blacks Jews : The Religious Challenge or Politics Versus Religion (Cambridge University) – Page 233
“J. Leighton Wilson was a missionary for eighteen years in Africa. In his work Western Africa: its history, condition and prospects (London 1856), he states that in Senegambia, religion was a mixture of paganism, Judaism and Islam and that it is difficult to define the areas of influence of each of the three religions. In northern Guinea paganism and Judaism were closely intertwined and in the south there were more traces of Christianity. He based his conclusions on the existence of some customs which seemed to him to be remnants of Judaism: circumcision, the division of the tribes into twelve large families, the strict prohibition on marriage between families that were too closely linked, sacrifices which involved smearing blood on the altars and the lintels of the doorways, periods of mourning which involved shaving the head and wearing dirty clothes, possession by demons, and purifications. He was unable to get any references or precise explanations from the natives as to the origin of these traditional practices and it is thus possible to see here Jewish influences. It is also possible that in West Africa the Ashanti of the Gold Coast had also been influenced by Judaism and there are traces of this in some of their beliefs and customs.
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