Society & Culture

7 Ancient Cultural Practices That Are Still Prevalent in Some Parts of Africa

Africa is known to have a very rich culture, some of this cultural practices are not so bad, while there are some that are outrightly inhumane and need to be put to stop. Here is a list of 7 ancient cultural practices that are still prevalent in some parts of africa.

1. Wife Inheritance

The practice of wife inheritance is still prevalent In many rural African communities. When a man dies, his brother is allowed (sometimes forced) to inherit his late brothers wife. This is done so as to ensure that the late brother’s family is well taken care of.

2. Sooth Saying

In the Zulu community in South Africa, a traditional healer locally known as a “Sangoma” a highly respected healer among the Zulu people of South Africa who diagnoses, prescribes, and often performs the rituals to heal a person physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually.
This sangoma relies on his trusty puff-adder to make predictions as well as heal. He may at some point place it in his mouth or near the person seeking healing. In case his faithful serpent has a change of heart, no one would wish to imagine what would happen.

3. Fresh Blood Meal

The Maasai and Samburu communities in Kenya and Tanzania are amongst the most hospitable communities in Africa. To a foreigner, traditional eating in the Maasai tribe of kenya may seem barbaric. That’s because a traditional Maasai diet not only includes, but primarily relies upon, both cow’s milk and cow’s blood. Sometimes its mixed with some milk, other times it is served just like that.

4. Ritual Killing

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Ritual killings have always been performed in African cultures. Sometimes under the direction of a king, soothsayer or a native doctor, a human being is brought to be used as a ritual. This is done especially when a traditional ruler becomess gravely ill or dies. When either of this happens, A specific tribe, total stranger or a unique person is usually targetted for the deed. For instance, in east africa, especially Tanzania, Albinos are usually captured, killed and their body parts used for rituals.
To date some communities still follow this practice.

See Also: 14 creepy beliefs & facts about the ritualistic killing of albinos in tanzania

5. Traditional Healing

Traditional healers and medicine men hold a special place in many African cultures. It is estimated that there are as many as 200,000 indigenous traditional healers in South Africa alone compared to the 25,000 Western-trained doctors. Traditional healers are consulted by approximately 60% of the South African population, usually in conjunction with modern biomedical services.
In most African states, people prefer to seek medicinal and divine intervention from traditional healers rather than from a western trained doctor.

6. Circumcision

Like many regions in the world, many Africans countries still practice both male and female circumcision. This ceremony is normally done to signify a boy becoming a mature adult and for the girls it is done to prevent them from being promiscuos when they grow up.
Unlike the male procedure where it is the foreskin that is chopped off, female circumcision is a bit brutal. It entails the clipping of the clitoris and sometimes much more. The practice has been banned in most parts of Africa.

7. Sacred Pythons

In some parts of eastern Nigeria, the specie of snake called python is treated with utmost respect and dignity. pythons in this parts of Nigeria roam free and despite the monstrous sizes of these pythons, there have being no recorded case of a python killing humans.
Legend have it that they are sacred creatures that must not be killed but In a situation where the snake is killed by someone either by mistake or ignorantly, he or she is compelled to accord the snake a befitting burial like that of a human being.

Uzonna Anele

Anele is a web developer and a Pan-Africanist who believes bad leadership is the only thing keeping Africa from taking its rightful place in the modern world.

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Uzonna Anele