Temporal consciousness in African belief and ideology.
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In delineating the temporal consciousness of the people belonging to a traditional African culture, perhaps, the most subtle difficulty is that of overcoming the assumption of a normative concept of time. Augustine's well-known quandary, of knowing what time is until asked to explain it, remains a most formidable experience. Only in struggling with the problem on this level are we able to perceive the symbolic nature of temporal consciousness serving to synthesize a peoples' ethos by providing a cosmological construct. But further, we can uncover the ideological function embedded in a peoples temporal consciousness. What becomes interesting then, is the manner in which this temporal consciousness is altered in a changing society, experiencing the breakdown and reconstruction of cultural superstructures, with varied efforts being made toward preserving a continuity with , traditional cosmologies while adapting in the wake of encroaching socio-economic changes.