Ancestral Veneration is a fundamental part of Afrikan spirituality. There is a clear reason for such veneration. The ancestors are respected and venerated because they are elders and have walked the path that living people will walk.They are predecessors to all of those who are living and are in a spiritual state of existence that gives them power to assist those who are living.People have believed for a long time that the ritualized propitiation and invocation of ancestors could influence the fate of the living. This is a belief and practice that has been brought to a complex and elaborated level by thousands of years of Afrikan thinking. Indeed, ancestors serve the living as the living beings serve them. Ancestors assist the living in court cases, in marriage, in mediations between family members, and in health situations; in return, the living offer ceremonies to feed the ancestors. Libations are usually offered through drink or food because the ancestors are believed to continue to live as they did when they were on the Earth. Thus, even in their spiritual state, they need to have sustenance. Offerings may be granted to them individually or collectively or by religious officials who perform on festival occasions.Everything in life that matters to the order and harmony of society must be approached through the ancestors. This means that in Afrikan spirituality, there is always ancestral priority, presence,and power. The ancestral spirits are the most intimate divinities and must be consulted on important occasions. This is the reason that Afrikans regard the ancestors as the keepers of morality. One of the ways descendants of the ancestor maintain a balanced society is by avoiding the activities that were considered immoral by the ancestor. The living must do everything they can to avoid leaving the moral path laid down by the departed ancestors. If someone violates the moral path, then it is possible that the ancestors might bring about sudden death.The social fabric of the Afrikan community is woven together by ancestor reverence. It is the source of many domestic and institutional relationships. Therefore, it is necessary to explain that it is not merely a reflection of the supernatural world; it is the only world lived in by many Afrikans. Thus, the manner of reverence among Afrikan people is relatively similar, which makes it possible to speak of the commonalities of ancestor reverence among Afrikans.
From World Afropedia