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 this bizarre and dangerous practicees.
Below is a list of african.s most bizarre cultural practices. CAUTION: some of the pictures are gory in nature. viewers discretion is adviced.
1. Female genital mutilation/female circumcision:
this is the practice of cutting all or part of the external Instruments of a female. This practice occurs at various age in different cultures with some occurring during early childhood while others occurring during puberty or after the female starts having her menses while other cultures practice in during delivery of the first child of the victim. Notable countries that still practice female circumcision include Somalia (98%) Guinea (97%)
Egypt (91%) Sierra Leone (90%) Mali (89%) Sudan (88%) Eritrea (83%) Gambia (76%) Burkina Faso (76%) Ethiopia (74%) Mauritania (69%) Liberia (66%) Guinea-Bissau (50%) etc.
2. Puberty rites:
Puberty rites otherwise called the rite of passage of a boy into manhood, or a girl into womanhood is an integral part of some African cultures and often a period of terror and suffering for the youth. Among the Kuria tribe of Kenya and the Dipo tribe of Ghana,this involves female circumcision while the boys are sometimes circumcised and put through a host of events including starvation and whipping in admission to adulthood.
3. Killing of deformed children:
In some parts of Benin and Ghana deformed children are seen as ‘evil spirits’ and so the community only deems it fit to kill the evil child and purify the mother with the blood of the infant. This practice has been fought hard by the Ghanian government and has reduced significantly in recent years.
4. Human sacrifices:
This should top the list as the most bizarre of cultural practices still in occurrence in the African continent.although drastically reduced now, this practice occurs especially after the death of a traditional rulers and involves the use of human sacrifices to appease the deities of the land. This practice has been reported in Tanzania, Uganda,Ghana and Nigeria although in varying intensity.
5. Tribal marks and scarification:
Worthy of mention in this ancient art of tribal scarification are the Yoruba tribe of Nigeria,the Neur tribe of south Sudan and the karrayyu people of Ethiopia.
6. 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.
7. Kidnapping the bride:
To this women, love isn’t an option. Rwanda, Somalia ,Ethiopia and Kenya are countries with tribes who practice this bizarre custom. In the sudaneses tribe of Latuka, when a man wants to marry a lady , he kidnaps her and later informs the parents. If they agree, the kidnaper groom is flogged before he’s allowed to marry her but if they refuse he may forcefully marry her anyway.
8. 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.
9. Blessing by spitting:
The bemba tribe of Zambia, neur tribe of sudan and the wolof tribe of Gambia are three tribes of note that greets and bless their people by spitting . the bemba tribe of Zambia are particularly noted for their elders spitting into the ears of new born babies to wish them luck.
10. 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.