Cultural Smell From Deep Africa

Africa is the second largest continent in the world. This place possesses a very rich and diverse culture and history. Over 1.2 billion people live there comprising 3000 diverse tribes. We will explore some tribes to more vividly show the fascinating tribal traditions and culture of Africa.

1.The red-clad Maasai tribe is a tribe of old warriors and pastoralists, who are inhabited in the East Africa. The population is about 840 thousand people.

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Among famous Maasai traditions are the jumping dance, the wearing of colorful shuka, spitting and blood-drinking.

Adamu is the dancing of men under special music when the latters become adults. They take turns to see who can jump the highest. The one who jumps the highest attracts the best bride.

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Red is their sacred color as it’s associated with blood, besides it protects them from wild animals. Their special clothing-shuka is certainly red. Maybe it’s overwhelmingly strange, but it’s a sign of respect to spit on one’s palm when shaking hands. This is a ritual that works for avoiding evil spirits, and it’s obligatory to spit on a newly-born’s head to provide him/her with a fertile life.

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It’s unbelievable that these people drink blood right? Yeah, that’s true, they do it for nourishment. They drink blood mixing with cow milk.

2.Zulu tribe is the largest one in South Africa with the population of about 13 million people. With the time this tribe developed a fearsome reputation that is still evident. These people are considered hospitable and warm, they are progressive and unlike other tribes they leave their special clothing for occasions. All births and marriages are marked with sacrifices to old spirits.

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The symbolism among Zulu is very curious. One and the same color may represent both positive and negative sides: red is for love and passion, but at the same time also for anger, blue is for faithfulness and also for hostility.

Zulu are a very proud tribe, they created cultural villages such as Shakaland, where you can experience their culture at first hand, starting from their traditional clothes for dancing to brewing beer.

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3.Samburu tribe is from central Kenya with the population of about 160.000 people. These are pastoralists, who primarily raise cattle. They also drink blood with milk like the Maasai, while eating is reserved for special occasions.

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Samburu people are really unique for their colorful clothing and social structure. Men wear pink or black Scottish-like kilts and lots of bracelets, necklaces. And they wear their hair long, unlike women, who shave their heads. They wear two pieces of cloth: one around waist, the other around the chest. The colors for women are purple or blue.

As for the tribe’s social structure, it’s governed totally by elders. This structure is known as gerontocracy. The leaders of the tribe are the oldest members and they possess the final word in all matters.

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