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FIVE STRANGE ETHNIC TRADITIONS ACROSS AFRICA



These ethnic communities practice certain traditions that may sound surprising and shocking but has significant values attached to them.


1. The Massai tribe- Kenya and Tanzania

The Massai tribe, found in Kenya and Tanzania, spit as a way of saying hello. While the English man would say hello, spitting is a way of greeting. Asides that, when a baby is born, it is the custom of the men to spit on the newborn and refer to him as bad. They believe this would protect the baby from evil spirits. Maasai warriors also spit in their hands before shaking the hand of an elder. They are also famous for its drinking of fresh animal blood.


2. Festival of the dead - Malawi

The Chewa community is a Bantu tribe mostly found in Malawi. During the burial ceremony of a tribe member, it is customary for the body of the deceased to be washed. The corpse 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.


3. Stealing each other's wives - Niger

The Wodaabe tribe steal each other's wives in relation to customary laws. In the Wodaabe tribe of Niger, a country in West Africa, men are known to steal each other's wives. The Wodaabe's first marriage is arranged by their parents in infancy and must be between cousins of the same lineage. However, at the yearly Gerewol Festival, Wodaabe men wear elaborate makeup and costumes and dance to impress the women – and hopefully steal a new wife. If a man is able to steal away undetected (especially from a current husband who may not want to part with his wife), then they become socially recognized.


4 Potency test in Uganda

In the Banyankole tribe, a minority tribe living in Uganda, marriage means quite a burden to the bride’s aunty. When a couple wants to get married, the aunty has to have sex with the groom as a “potency test” and furthermore, she has to test the bride’s virginity.



5.0 Lip stretching - Ethiopia and Sudan

The people of Surma tribe are found in southern Sudan as well as southwestern Ethiopia. They are noted for lip stretching. During teenage years, females undergo the lip stretching procedure which involves removing their lower teeth to accommodate a lip plate; the lip plate is increased in size yearly until it is an astounding size. Some of the men do this similar exercise with their ears. They also indoctrinate their warriors known as ‘stick fighters’ by inflicting scars on them, the belief is that the more scars they have, the more attractive they are to female members of the tribe.



NOTE: This is culture and irrespective of how educated or otherwise you are, you can't easily condemn any of these practices. They have significant values attached them. Any attempt to scrub such practices may often lead to massive resistant. It may take continuous community based education to awaken the consciousness of the people to any identified negative implications of their fundamental cultural beliefs, values, attitude and customs.
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FIVE STRANGE ETHNIC TRADITIONS ACROSS AFRICA FIVE STRANGE  ETHNIC TRADITIONS ACROSS AFRICA Reviewed by commentsafrica on October 19, 2017 Rating: 5

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