Little Known African Cultures

Africa is full of life and its unique and Practices

Little Known African Cultures


Africans have different styles for showing respect especially to the elderly. From the Southwest of Nigeria, the Yoruba people are known for how their men must prostrate when greeting his elder. In Kenya, especially among the Maasai, one must bow to greet their elder, and the elder will pat their back in return.Respecting elders is a virtue passed down through generations and going against it is taboo


In any occassion, whether burial or weddings, African will find a reason to dance. In burials, Africans believe that death is not a sad occassion but a celebration of life, hence a reason to dance. Nigerian women dances are beleived to be for healing and spirit possession. 

The strangest dance is practiced by the Wodaabe, a tribe from Fulani in Niger. The wodaabe dance is commonly known as 'wife stealing dance' whereby men groom themselves to appear 'more handsome' and dance in a group of women. After the dance, a lady, whether married or not gets to chose the man who has impressed her the most.


A lot of Africanware is hand made. Each tribe has its own pattern with which lies a meaning to it. Most outstanding handwork is usually beadwork. Beads are a symbol of royalty and marital status. Among the Igbo, beaded necklaces are worn by chiefs. Among the Maasai and the Zulu, the waist beads symbolizes marital status,

Africans are also known for their love for craft. Sculptures are normally made from stones, metal and wood. Each curving has a meaning, whether symbolizing the dead or the living. In Nairobi Kenya, there are sculptures of freedom fighters on streets named after after them.


Absurd as it may sound, the Maasai are well known for drinking raw blood from animals during special occassions. Maasai elders drink cow blood severally as it is their norm. In most instances, the cow blood is served to boys after initiation and to women after giving birth. The tribe believes that cow blood has the ability to cure.


From lip to ear piercing, Africans have a unique style of beauty which stands out among different communities. Septum piercings are a symbol of strength. In some communities, lip piercing and stretching is considered as a rite of passage; it is also considered 'holy' as it commemmorates the god who gave them speech.

Best still, lip piercing, cartilage stretching varies from different stages in life.