Six Weird African Practices That Are Still Very Much Alive

Our continent Africa is home to over 1000 different tribes and rich cultures with practices that are both amazing as well as scary, while others are just plain bizarre .
Luckily, the advent of formal education has helped in no small way to curb the increase of these dangerous but very interesting practices. Below is a list of Africa’s most bizarre cultural practices.

1. The Wodaabe’s wife stealing night dance
The Wodaabe ethnic group can be found in the northern parts of Nigeria, northeastern Cameroon, the western region of Central Africa Republic and southwestern Chad. It’s a subgroup of the Fulani ethnic group.

2. Wife swapping
This practice of wife swapping although rare is still being actively practiced among the nomads of Namibia especially the Ovahimba and Ovazemba tribes.In 2014, a bill was proposed to legalize wife swapping in Namibia.


3. Lip stretching.
The mursi , tirma and Chai tribes of Ethiopia are perhaps the last of the African tribes to adorned their lower lips with large lips plate. This they do gradually but first they knock out their front teeth and increasingly increase the size of the lip plate.

4. Chewa’s festival of the dead
The Chewa community is a Bantu tribe mostly found in Malawi. This group is known for its secretive society known as Nyau, and for covering their faces in masks. During the burial ceremony of a tribe member, it is customary for the body of the deceased to be washed. This is done by slitting the throat and pouring water through the insides of the dead. The water is squeezed out of the body until it comes out clean. Then comes the bizarre part of the practice. The water is collected and used to prepare a meal for the whole community.

5. Bull jumping in Ethiopia
A young boy has to strip naked, run, jump and land on the back of a bull. This is then followed by running across the backs of several bulls arranged in a straight and closely-knit herd of animals pulled by the tail and horns by older men. The practice is known as Hamar. To proves a boy’s manhood.

6. Beating the suitor
Talk about pains of love, the Fulani tribe of Nigeria holds a caning contest when two suitors who wants to marry a bride are made to flog each other and the one who shows the least amount of pain or discomfort gets to marry the bride.


Written by PH

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