Epistermological basis of the Abanyala peoples' ontology and cosmology in the light of Sumba occult.
Namwamba, Thomas Nanyingi
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This study examines Abanyala ontology and cosmology in the light of Sumba occult. Abanyala are Bantu-speaking people found in Busia district of the Western province of Kenya. The aim of the study is to establish the basis and the grounds justifiable of the belief that these peoples' ontology and cosmology are divinely derived and that Sumba occult is the dispenser of the good and the prime cause of existence. The investigation is conducted from the conceptual framework of Marsilio Ficino's Platonism with an epistemological approach. We have tried as much as possible to apply the philosophical tools of criticism, analysis, justification and reconstruction in this study. Basically, it is our attempt to argue that Abanyala cosmology and ontology are divine in nature and main concern of life here on earth is the attainment of perfection for a better life in the divine world. Consequently, the fountain of knowledge that directs human action is Sumba occult who is also believed to be the custodian and source of divine creative power. Throughout the thesis, effort has been made to correlate the issues pertaining to ontological and cosmological beliefs among the Abanyala with both aspects of their physical existence on the world of the earth and the nature of being and existence in the divine world herein referred to as Magombe. Social and political aspects of Abanyala institutions have also been discussed and their relationship to these peoples' ontology and cosmology closely examined. We have also examined and re-evaluated some elements which have necessitated both practical change and change in attitude towards the place of Sumba occult in the Abanyala belief systems and their effects. Various observations have been made and discussed in the summary section at the end of this thesis.