10 Strange Traditions In Africa That Are Still Practiced

You will be in awe of several African rituals. They are absurd, odd, and frequently unfair.

strange traditions in Africa
Strange traditions in Africa [Ibiene Magazine]

There are many unusual customs practiced throughout Africa, many of which are unknown to the rest of the world.

Some of these odd traditions have persisted for a very long time after civilization. You will be amazed by the traditions of these ethnic groups.

First things first: Africa is not a country. The second-largest continent in the planet is this one. Her customs have a significant impact on African culture as a whole. They express themselves through a variety of artistic mediums, such as dance, music, sculpting, art, and beadwork.

Below are some strange traditions in Africa.

1. The Maasai’s Spitting

The Maasai's Spitting
The Maasai’s Spitting [BIDHAAR]

The Maasai live in northern Tanzania and Kenya. They are a people that have faithfully upheld the principles of their culture and nature. It is innate rather than a copy of some other perfection.

Ever picture being met by someone who spits on you? Considering how easy you can become ill from simple saliva sprays during the past Coronavirus pandemic, you really don’t want to think about it. The Maasai however maintain their cool in this manner. The act of blessing and showing respect by spitting is considered. Tribal members exchange greetings by spitting on one another. Maasai warriors (young males) spit in the hand of an elder before offering his hand for a handshake. That is respect.

2. Mursi Girls’ Lip Plates In Ethiopia

Mursi girls' lip plates in Ethiopia
Mursi girls’ lip plates in Ethiopia [Reddit]

Women in the majority of African tribes wore lip plates. With the exception of the Mursi tribe in Ethiopia, it seems to have disappeared over time. A Mursi girl’s bottom lip is chopped when she turns 15 by her mother or an elderly woman. The injury is then supported for three months as it heals using large earthenware or wooden plates. What do you think about that? It’s a matter of personal preference if one gets their lips pierced, although many young women favor lip plates.

3. The bull jumping of the Hamar

The bull jumping of the Hamar
Jumping of the Bulls Ceremony, Hamar Tribe, Turmi, Omo Valley, Ethiopia [Lugha Yangu]

Hamar is a pastoralist community in Ethiopia. This tribe is well-known for its livestock wealth as well as its physically demanding initiation ceremony. A boy must go through this rite of passage before marrying for the sake of his personal dignity and the dignity of his family. Boys must go through a three-day initiation process that includes bull jumping. Do you truly believe you are mature enough to begin seeing her? How does jumping some of these bulls while naked make money?

15 castrated bulls are covered in manure to make the exercise more difficult. The initiate is then forced to run and jump over the bulls naked, and they must not fail. If he slips, he must correct himself.

4. Stealing of wives

Stealing of wives
Stealing of wives [Ghana Web]

The Woodaabe tribe of Niger practices unsettling wife exchanging, which most people consider to be wife snatching. This is a true story, not a made-up story or a gamefication. How do they manage it? Their parents arrange their first marriage when they are very young. These unions typically involve cousins from the same family. Then there are the annual celebrations, when the Wodaabe males dress to impress (as seen in the image above), dance, and try to find a new wife. If a man can take a wife without being discovered, he gains social standing. If you ask me, there should be a decent code in place to prevent shenanigans.

5. Widowhood of the Igbos

Widowhood of the Igbos
Widowhood of the Igbos [Pulse Nigeria]

In Igboland, the widow’s mourning for her murdered husband is regarded as a highly significant practice that the surviving spouse must uphold in honor of the deceased.

In Igboland, it is widely held that a woman’s beauty is reserved solely for her spouse. As a result, she has her hair cut short to represent that she no longer needs to be beautiful, at least not while the grief is still present. The majority of widows do it freely because they see it as an outward expression of their grief.

Because black is frequently associated with evil, the widow is expected to dress in black in order to be recognized as a widow and as someone with an evil omen.

6. Chewa’s festival of the dead

Chewa’s festival of the dead
Chewa’s festival of the dead [Hadithi Africa]

The Chew are a Bantu tribe from Malawi. When a tribal member dies, the members wash the body according to tradition. The body is then taken to a holy place for a purification ceremony. To clean, the throat must be cut and water must be poured through the corpse. The water is passed through until it is clean. It is then collected and used to prepare a feast for the entire neighborhood.

7. Get a beating in order to earn a wife

Get a beating in order to earn a wife
Get a beating in order to earn a wife [Radio Nigerian Ibadan]

This traditional practice is well known among the Fulani tribe of Nigeria. The Fulani are a semi-nomadic pastoralist ethnic group. It is known as Sharo and is performed prior to marriage. It entails older members of the community severely beating the groom. As a result, he gains esteem and approval and is able to obtain the woman. If the groom is unable to bear the pain of the flogging, the wedding is called off. Worse, the dowry payment is reversible. Would you put up with abuse to get a wife? Is this a system designed to properly treat a wife?

8. Potency test among the Banyankole tribe in Uganda

Potency test among the Banyankole tribe in Uganda
Potency test among the Banyankole tribe in Uganda [The Maravi Post]

Marriages are seen as an unimaginable burden for the bride’s aunt by this small tribe in Uganda. As a result, the groom is required to sample the bride’s aunt’s cookie before the pair gets married as a “potency test.” The aunt is also required to check the bride’s virginity.

Without the capacity to time travel, good luck trying to understand all these tribal customs!

9. The healing dance of the San

The healing dance of the San
The healing dance of the San [MOMO AFRICA]

This is without a doubt the most magical of Africa’s tribal traditional activities. The San are an ethnic group found in Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, and Angola. They believe that dance has a holy power. The healing dance is performed by the community to cast out physical ailments as well as negative energies such as hatred and jealousy. Village elders lead the dancing around the fire, where everyone congregates for the duration of the night. During the dance, they chant to summon “superpowers.” They can then “cross the fire” and enter the spirit realms. According to recent Kenyan ceremonies, the San community is not the only one who performs such rites.

10. Inheritance Practices in Nigeria

Inheritance Practices in Nigeria
Inheritance Practices in Nigeria [LEADWAY CAPITAL]

Many people believe that the woman herself is property that can be passed down through generations, which is the basis for inheritance customs. A man’s wife may pass to one of his brothers upon his death in some Nigerian traditions. However, ungrateful family members are now using it to gain access to the deceased man’s money. This tradition is fading into history as more women become aware of it and reject it.

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