African culture is as old as the beginning of human evolution on earth. You will find Africa’s cultural history enriched with unique tribal life and customs, early Neolithic rock carvings, petroglyphs, group hunting, metal work and many great wonders of ancient Egypt.
The African tribal life has always attracted the world to discover the oldest form of culture since human evolution. There are many ethnic groups and tribes in Africa with their own distinct culture, norms and customs. Some of the major tribes in Africa would include Pygmies, Samburu, Senufo, Tuareg, Wolof, Yoruba, Zulu, Bemba, Afar, Anlo Ewe, Ashanti, Berber, Bambara, Amhara, Bemba, Bobo, Chewa, Dogon, Fang, Eulani, Ibos, Kikiyu, Maasai, Mandinka and Fon.
African Art <Music
Some of world’s finest art forms can be traced to Africa in the form of wooden sculptures < masks, metal work, leather, painting, pottery, jewellery and dresses. Jewellery has been an integral part of African tribal culture and you can find the most primitive jewellery made from cowry shells berries, feathers and cowry shells. African woodwork and sculptures is beautiful art work symbolizing African culture in its unique ways. Wooden masks are also a part of African culture, worn during important community and tribe ceremonies.
Music and dance is a part of African community life, with its primordial form of music being popular all over the world. North African music and dance has Arab influence, while the South African music has gained some interesting trends owing to influence of colonization. The musical instruments include the drums, lute, flute and trumpet. The slow rhythmic group dances are also very popular. Dancers are known to paint their bodies and also wear masks during a dance performance.
People in Africa speak hundreds of languages and dialects. Some of the most prominent African languages are Swahili, Hausa and Arabic. There are different official languages in the continent as there are very few countries where one single language is spoken. An ancient African literature school was known by the name of ‘African Ink Road’.
The spirit of festivity and celebration can be observed in all parts of Africa. The festivals evolve around different spiritual and important occasions like initiation, birth, death, marriage, harvest time, for ancestors and different beliefs and worships.
Cuisine < Major Religions
African food and beverage has acquired many flavours owing its length and breadth of variation in culture, invasion and influences. Traditional African cuisine consist of a variety of local fruits, milk, whey, curd, vegetables and meat products. Cassava and Yams are the popular root vegetables, while peas, beans, sweet potatoes and wild fruits are very popular in Africa. North African cuisine has Arabic influence, while coastal parts of Africa enjoy spicy food. One of the most popular alcoholic beverages is the Ethiopian honey wine called Tej. It is also said that Ethiopia cultivated coffee and from there it spread to Yemen, to Arab and rest of the globe.
The majority of African population is christian. Christianity reached the continent of Africa in the 1st century and slowly spread over to Sudan, Egypt, Ethiopia and Eritrea. Today, Africa has more than 350 million followers of Christianity.The second major religion is Islam. It crosed the Mediterarrean coast to reach Africa in the 7th century. The Afrian continent has around 285 million Islamic devotees.
There are many folds and faces to the vibrant culture of Africa. The more you learn about it, more fascinating the details become. With an mixture of cultures, influences and traditions over centuries, African culture has taken many shades from different parts of the globe, especially from Europe. There is something native about African culture that has remained untouched by the colonization and modern changes. The real culture of Africa can be closely associated with their every day customs and practices.
source: the history of africa