Africa is a multi-cultural community, with hundreds of cultures and tribes interacting together in unique and fascinating ways. Africa is the place in which cultures are still placed in very high regard and esteem. There is a lot of respect for traditions and cultures in Africa. This is in part due to the underdevelopment and high level of illiteracy. But, this is actually an advantage, not a disadvantage. Preserving cultures in Africa helps to ensure continuity and longevity of cultures. In this article, you’d learn just how fascinating some of these cultures are, the African country of origin where the particular culture is practiced, and other African countries’ fascinating cultural history.
Africa and Culture
The Africa continent is the second-largest and second-most-populous continent on earth. And, Africa is dominated by cultures. Africans hold the keys to this kingdom. The different norms and values––among others–– of each culture makes Africa all the more a; diversified society.
Different cultures in Africa come with mind-blowing packages of surprises and fascination. Some of the places with the most fascinating cultures in Africa include:
1. The bride-price culture of the Yoruba and Igbo tribes of Nigeria; Western Africa.
You might be shocked to know that, in the Yoruba and Igbo tribes of Nigeria, a country in western Africa, the Yoruba and Igbo cultures involve something known as ‘Bride-price.’ The meaning is literal. When you declare your interest to marry a woman of either the Yoruba or the Igbo tribes, her family members bills you with a certain payment known as the bride-price, it literally means you are buying the bride from her family. The bride-price’s exorbitancy is usually dependent on the family members’ greed and the amount of money spent on the bride by her family; in sponsoring her through school and/or her chosen field of career. Refusing to pay the bride-price of your fiancée automatically means you are not interested in getting married. Or. This makes you a thief who wants to steal their daughter without properly ‘buying’ her from her parents.
2. The Sharo Festival Culture by the Fulani tribe of Nigeria; Western Africa.
The Fulani tribe are primarily based in the Northern region of Nigeria. The Sharo Festival is a cultural festival of the Fulani tribe that usually takes place in a very public place. Most often than not, a marketplace. A young Fulani male––who had come of age to take a wife for himself–– declares his interest to take a wife. He is then put through a test of endurance. A strong-armed Fulani man batters the youth with a thick stick. The flogging could be as much as 40- 50 strokes of the cane. The youth must not show any physical sign of pain. He must bear the beating ‘like a man.’ Only then is he considered matured enough to take a wife for himself? This is not seen as a meaningless corporal punishment by the Fulani people. It is an important aspect of their culture, and it proves a strong-mind. And also, an ability to endure anything. The Fulani people are generally considered tough and are usually aggressive and sometimes unforgiving to trespassers.
3. The wife-beating culture of the Kikuyu ethnic group of Kenya; Eastern Africa.
Among the cultures in Africa, this is fascinating in a negative and sort of sadistic way but, that doesn’t make it any less true. The Kikuyu ethnic group believes that a man is a ‘complete’ and respectable husband. He has to beat his wife. It is a sign of love on his part. The Kikuyu people also believe that you only discipline someone you love. Therefore, if a man truly loves his wife. He has to beat her from time to time in a demonstration of love to her. Of course, you might hate on them and curse them for this massive abuse on females. Or not? It is believed (I’m sure by the wife-beaters) that the women/wives actually do not consider this as abuse in anyway. They actually get worried when their husbands do not beat them as they see this as a sign of him losing interest in them, falling out of love with them, or having an extramarital affair. Beating is not fun for anyone, no matter how you see it. Therefore, some of the women had developed personalized methods of punishment for their husbands to use on them. Some of which––I must admit–– are kind of kinky. Examples include:
Spanking and some other contents that wouldn’t be appropriate for inclusion in this article.
4. The burial ceremony culture of the Luhya tribe of Kenya; Eastern Africa
The Luhyatribe of Kenya are widely known throughout Kenya for their wild and extremely lavish burial ceremonies. It’s not a strange practice for one to include in his/her will; the plan for his/her burial ceremony. The plan can be so detailed that it is expected to contain the type of animal to be slain and eaten during the burial ceremony. How crazy is that!
The Luhya tribe burial ceremony has been known to extend for well over a month. There are even rumors––though still not confirmed––that the death of the Luhya tribe can only be buried by an old lady who is ‘pure’ and who is a Virgin.
The Luhya tribe believes that the dead spirit needs to be properly seen off to the spirit world with the extra-lavish burial ceremony.
This fascinating African burial ceremony culture is not limited to only the Luhya tribe of Kenya. Many tribes in Kenya are involved in this practice and, even outside Kenya. The Yoruba and Igbo tribes of Nigeria are also known to throw lavish burial ceremonies.
5. Zimbabwean Cultural belief and attitude towards childbearing
Zimbabweans, both educated and uneducated ones alike. Have a fascinating and I’d say ––not so right–– attitude and beliefs about childbirth. Zimbabweans believe in having many children. In the Zimbabwean culture, the more children you have, the more good fortune would befall you. Also, having lots of children would make you spend less money on domestic staff because they would help you around the house. Zimbabwean women who chose not to have babies are usually considered outcasts by the majority. While barren women are considered worse than an outcast. Like a person with three heads.
Perhaps, this is one reason why they are almost always near the top of the list of the world’s poorest nations.
6. Egyptian cultural beliefs about good and bad fortunes
Egypt is a country in North-Eastern Africa. Just like other African countries, Egyptians have their share of fascinating cultures. Some fascinating Egyptian cultural beliefs about things you should do to bring upon good or bad fortune down on yourself include:
- Burying a weasel at your doorstep to ensure good fortune and prosperity for your household
- You should step into your house with your right foot in order to avoid bad fortunes.
- Always throw a rock at or find a way of chasing a black crow. When you see it anywhere around your surroundings because their presence brings about bad fortunes.
- A bad misfortune is about to come upon you if your left eye twitches uncontrollably for few seconds.
- Giving birth to female babies is a sure sign of good fortune in your household.
- Spilling coffee accidentally means good news is right at your doorstep.
- A slipper that is turned over is a sign of very bad fortune. It is believed it serves as a beacon to draw shaitan (satan) into your house.
In conclusion, though some of these cultural beliefs and acts sound and seem ridiculous, annoying, or downright criminal. But, they are the way of living of these people. The historical background of some of these fascinating Africa cultures going back as far as hundreds of years. You might not agree with it but, you should respect it. At least the ones which do not cause any physical or mental abuse or harm. For the ones which cause harm. The people or person in which the so-called harm is directed doesn’t consider it as any form of abuse. Therefore, can we really say it’s abuse? You might argue that they have been brainwashed with the wrong norms and belief system. But, if you had been born in that society. Would you see anything wrong with it?