Africa is a beautiful continent filled with thousands of traditional practices, some known, and others unknown.Some of these customs are still being practiced in the remote parts of the continent, many years after civilization.In this article I want us to read through different African tribes and their unusual cultural practices.
Chewa’s festival of the dead:
The ‘Chewa’ community is a Bantu tribe found in Malawi. During the burial ceremony of a tribe member, it is customary for the body of the deceased to be washed. To wash the corpse, the body is taken to a sacred place where the cleansing 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.
The water is then collected and used to prepare a meal for the whole community as they believe that the dead has been cleaned up of his or her iniquities.
What is beauty? Have you ever thought about how extremely specific beauty perceptions are to cultures?Mursi women are famous for their wooden lip plates – a symbol of beauty and identity.Wearing of lip plates was a norm for women in most tribes in Africa. However, it seems to have disappeared with time, save for the Mursi tribe in Ethiopia. When a Mursi girl attains the age of 15 years, her mother or an elderly woman cuts her lower lip. The cut is then held by large pottery or wooden plates for about three months as it heals.Despite the lip piercing being a personal choice, many girls still opt for the lip plates.
The bull jumping of the Hamar
Hamar is a pastoralist community in Ethiopia. This tribe is renowned for its treasure for cattle and also for its athletic initiation ritual. For a boy to be allowed to marry, he has to undergo this rite of passage for his own dignity and that of his family. Bull jumping is normally a three day initiation ceremony that boys ought to partake.This is insane right?Haha!You want a wife,go for it.Mind you they perform this ritual when they are completely naked no clothes whatsoever.
The ceremony puts the young boys’ bravery and courage to the test. Being able to conquer fear and complete the task ahead is a lesson they have to learn to become a man .The ceremony, which usually takes place in October or November, involves running on the back of seven or 10 bulls four times without falling.
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