Culture is the sum of total of the learned behavior of a group of people that are generally considered to be the tradition of that people and are transmitted from generation to generation.
Culture encompasses religion, food, what we wear, how we wear it, our language, marriage, music, what we believe is right or wrong, how we sit at the table, how we greet visitors, how we behave with loved ones, and a million other things,” Cristina De Rossi, an anthropologist at Barnet and Southgate College in London, told Live Science.
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The word “culture” derives from a French term, which in turn derives from the Latin “colere,” which means to tend to the earth and grow, or cultivation and nurture. “It shares its etymology with a number of other words related to actively fostering growth,” De Rossi said.
Africa is the world’s second-largest continent and the only continent that spans both the north and the southern hemisphere. Colonized and pillaged for more than 300 years, Africa is a rich and diverse place. Africa has over 50 independent countries and accounts for about 16% of the world’s population. That translates to over 1.2 billion people.
Now, while it is easy to homogenize and talk about ‘African people’, the truth is that within these 54 separate and unique countries, there are in fact over 3000 diverse tribes! Perhaps South Africa best reflects this diversity through its constitution with all 11 official languages recognized by law. I’ve picked out 6 of my favorite African tribes to showcase Africa’s fascinating tribal traditions and the vibrant cultures of Africa. The continent of Africa is essential to all cultures. Human life originated on this continent and began to migrate to other areas of the world around 60,000 years ago, according to the Natural History Museum in London. Other researchers, like those from Estonian Bio Centre in Tartu, believe that the first migration may have been much earlier, as early as 120,000 years ago. Researchers come to these conclusions by studying human genomes from various cultures to trace their DNA to common ancestors. Fossil records also factor into some of these theories.
Africa is home to a number of tribes, ethnic and social groups. One of the key features of this culture is the large number of ethnic groups throughout the 54 countries on the continent. Nigeria alone has more than 300 tribes, for example.
Currently, Africa is divided into two cultural groups: North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa. This is because Northwest Africa has strong ties to Middle East, while Sub-Saharan Africa shares historical, physical and social characteristics that are very different from North Africa, according to the University of Colorado. The harsh environment has been a large factor in the development of Sub-Saharan Africa culture, as there are a number of languages, cuisines, art and musical styles that have sprung up among the far-flung populations.
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African culture, the “self” is not separate from the world, it is united and intermingled with the natural and social environment.
It is through relations with one’s community and surroundings that an individual becomes a person of volition, whose actions and decisions affect the entire group rather than just oneself.