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Posted by on Nov 8, 2011 in African | 0 comments

African tribes – Colourful Tribal Cultures

Africa has often been known as the cradle of civilization.The very first known societies are viewed to have been from Africa. As a result religions and cultures are inherently full of Africa At the time I had been assigned the subject ‘African Tribes and Witch Doctors’, I felt a flash of inexplicable and uncontrollable joy. I stared inside my colleagues, oblivious for their obvious annoyance, and grinned such as the Cheshire cat who had slurped in the cream after which promptly gone back for seconds.
Unfortunately however, my premature revelry was short-lived. I gradually noticed as you by one my co-workers’ faces transformed from glum grimaces into pearly-white grins. Cottoning onto something that would struck me a split-second (or two) later, the realisation dawned on me that where African tribes were concerned, knowledge well and truly eluded me. Staring inside my computer screen in the other side from the world, tribal lifestyles seemed greater than a million miles away.

The Maasai Mara: Fearsome Warriors to Friendly Herders

Based in the heart of Kenya and northern Tanzania, these semi-nomadic individuals are probably the most renowned of all of the African tribes. Thought to possess originally migrated from Sudan to exist in the Great Rift Valley, this ethnic tribe has retained its distinct culture and traditional customs. Though once fearsome warriors, the core beliefs of the colourful cohort now centres on the cattle. Accustomed to settle monetary matters, a stride of a man’s wealth and bridal payment, cattle are essential for keeping law and order within this patriarchal society. And, forming an important part of their daily diet- the Maasai survive the meat, milk and blood (yes, blood) of the cattle – it’s unsurprising to find out that their herd are invaluable for them.
Social roles are another contributing step to the smooth running of the tribe. Clearly defined based on age and sex, elder males are put in control of group decisions, young children learn to often the herd and some women collect firewood, fetch water and cook for that Maasai family. Traditionally accountable for building the Manyatta – a homestead as high as 20 family huts constructed from tree branches, mud, grass and cow dung -the strong Maasai women also form an indispensible role in community life. However, undoubtedly the most crucial duty of protecting the herd from cattle raiding remains to the most reputable of warriors. Slightly ironic because the biggest culprit of cattle raiding is proven to be the Maasai Mara however, before your vision slink into a slant of disapproval; this derives in the belief their god blessed the Maasai Mara individuals with all the cattle. Well, you can’t argue with this.
Renowned for his or her bold and delightful African clothing, both Maasai men and women celebrate colour in the richest form. Draped kaleidoscopic cloths, often a mix of red and yellow, the Maasai take great pride within their tribal dress. Women wear colourful beaded ornamentations including necklaces and bangles and also the Maasai men paint themselves with ochre body-paint.
Singing, dancing and celebrations are another big a part of Maasai tribal life. Rites of passage like a boy’s coming of age to become rightful warrior, referred to as Eunoto, are collectively celebrated and may last as long as Ten days. During these ceremonies the Maasai ‘jumping dance’ will occur, a kind of competitive jumping where Maasai warriors will stand it a circle and jump up to they can within an upright position.

Where you can Track down this Tribe:

While several Maasai communities do invite westerners for weekly stays within their community, we realise that residing in mud huts and drinking blood doesn’t suit everyone. If this sounds like the case, then go to the Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi. Set up through the government to talk about the rich and diverse tribal good reputation for Kenya, the Bomas showcases daily displays of traditional tribal dancing, singing, games, poetry and theatre including those of the Maasai tribe.

The Xhosa Tribe: Hunters to Heroes

Playing a significant part in the apartheid, the Xhosa tribe is the central development of South Africa history. Traditionally hunters and warriors, descended in the ancient Nguni people, the Xhosa tribe has evolved to create some of the most noteworthy and heroic men from pm Nelson Mandela to political activist Desmond Tutu.
However while modernity has hit this tribe, with not many living the standard lifestyle, in remote areas certain tribes have were able to keep in touch with the rituals of the ancestral forefathers.

Where you can Track down this Tribe:

A warm and welcoming tribe, you are able to mix using this community in remote areas like the Mgwali village within the Transkei Wild Coast. Within the Eastern Cape you are able to witness the actual tribal life-style, meet Xhosa members and participate in with ceremonial celebrations. While you are able to communicate with the English speaking staff from the community, we recommend hearing the interesting local language. Formed of clicking sounds around the consonants and an official South African language, the Xhosa dialect is really a fascinating discovery.

The San People: Soulful Scavengers from the Bush

Though they’re going by different names for example San People or Bushmen, the core cultural principles of the nomadic tribe stay the same. A traditional tribe in each and every sense of the term, these indigenous people originally resided in remote regions of the African bush wearing animal hides and living a hunter-gatherer lifestyle. Spread across Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Angola and Namibia, this tribe has been known as the ‘first people’ of Africa because of their in-depth knowledge of the bush and African history.

Where you can Track down this Tribe:

Unfortunately, unlike other tribes the Bushmen have discovered it tough to maintain their traditional hunter-gatherer lifestyle. Unwillingly pushed through the government, many tribes have experienced to conform to westernised farming standards and relocate to townships. You will however, catch glimpses from the Bushmen on the outskirts from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve in Botswana, as well as in Bushmanland in Namibia, each of which have become the place to find these historic people.

Wondrous Witch Doctoring: Protectors of the People

Whether or not they go by the name sharman, muti, medicine man or sangoma, witch doctoring continues to be very much alive in Africa. Having a long tradition of counseling, healing and aiding, these medicinal mediators play an important part in protecting the neighborhood tribal community.
While it’s true that where witch doctors are worried there are many sinister stories of vicious voodoo, from hideous predictions to shocking practices, (you simply have to Google Tanzania, witch doctors and albinos to get the repulsed reaction); typically however, witch doctors are thought wondrous healers.

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