African Cultures and Traditions
Culture History Tradition

Africa traditions and culture: How to know the beautiful heart

Africa traditions and culture are interwoven into the customs and lifestyle of the African society. Its essence is most preserved through the distinctive heart of its foundation.

When we talk about Africa’s heart, we are referring to the beautiful elements that make up the foundation on which the Africa traditions and culture stand.

There is no society without traditions or culture, likewise, there is no history without a date.

Some of these Africa traditions and cultures might be old and ancient but they are a significant aspect of the society

Africa has a continent have diverse cultures and traditions. However, each Africa traditions and culture through distinct in their land, but are also interwoven.

We are like a knitted tribe. Far apart, but bonded and rooted in our traditions and believes.

We are joined together by these pillars…

Music Traditions

Dance Traditions

Chanting Traditions

Proverbs Traditions

Storytelling Traditions

Upon these trademarks stands the heart of Africa traditions and culture. It is who we are.

I welcome you ones again on this trip. Am pleased to meet you and to share with you my culture.

The journey might be faster when I walk alone, but it is sweeter and pleasant sharing it with you.

Welcome.

The beautiful heart of Africa traditions  and culture

Music Traditions in Africa

Africa music tradition
Music Culture

Africans have a way with songs. They live and breath with it. It’s an original fountain that springs from the soul. We can hardly go a day without singing.

Music to the African community is a bridge, a cord, a link to the terrestrial. It does not only appeals the humans but also the gods. It has a way of healing the lands.

Have you ever wondered why every African country or tribe has one form of music? Be it in the village or city?

Why songs play a significant role in our rituals, festivals and every day lives? The truth is, it is inbuilt.

Also, there are varieties of music traditions but there is a way a song sang in your local dialect makes you feel. It feels so special and warm.

It makes you believe in the existence of oneness. One with the spirit, soul and body.

A song sang in your dialect gives you the room to express your feelings wholeheartedly. You don’t care if the other person understands the meaning of the songs because you are engulfed in the music.

Another interesting aspect of the Africa music tradition is that once you hear a song for the first time, you can easily tell which African country it’s coming from. Each African country has their uniqueness and it is easily expressed in the music culture.

People who are not from that African country might not know the particular tribe the music is from but the love for it cuts all bonds.

Take the song Jerusalem, from South Africa. I don’t even know one meaning of that song but whenever I hear it, my spirit is lifted.

It changes the oral around me immediately. I  can’t pronounce the words well but still, I go crazy with excitement each time I hear it or watch people dancing to it.

The world has also embraced this song. If our foreign friends are moved by this tune, how much more us from Africa?

When we worship and praise the gods in our dialect. Our hearts are raised.

Individuals connect when they notice you can sing a song from their tribe. A special bond is formed and this can lead to future favours from them.

I am short of words in expressing how important music tradition is to the African land. It is like a herb that heals all ailments.

Dance Traditions

Africa dance tradition
Dance style

Music and dance traditions how like Siamese twins in Africa. They go hand in hand. You can not separate one from the other.

I wonder why it is like that anyway.

We dance to almost everything and anything. when I say dance, I don’t mean moping the floor. It is like your whole body moving and shaking his hands and feet none stop.

Playing with the earth vigorously.

I must confess African traditional dance, tasks the body. It gives no room for being sluggish. If you must dance in Africa, then be ready to bend your waist until it touches mother earth.

Dance in Africa, calls for a group. A committee of age-grades. Each council has a particular step or dance style attributed to them. In other words, they are the custodian of the movement.

Each step in African dance, tells a tale. A tale of the people, the land, it’s heritage and the belief. It can be fast or slow. It might not even have a pattern but it does carry some efficacy.

Because there are songs for everything we do, there is a dance step that accompanies them.

For each rite and passage, there is always a theme dance – that either usher in or exit the new members into the group.

The process differs from one Africa country to the other and from one tribe too but at the end of the day, the purpose is the same or slightly different.

Various dance styles are formed every day of our lives. The young generation learns dance styles from the old age and then adapted it to our modern times.

Sometimes, they do not touch the steps, but add a modern style or swag to it to fit the present age. This is what leads to a hybrid movement.

Though this method attracts the younger production, sometimes it also leads to the death of the older style.

What do we do then to preserve this movement?

We must strive as an individual or a community to educate the young ones and also search for ways in promoting the old traditions.

Like I said earlier, this movement is knowledge themselves. They have importance and meaning. But some of the youthful generations do not understand it.

So they see it as old and boring. A low quality. They don’t care to know if it’s spiritual or not. In as much as it does not fit, it should be outcast.

This breaks my heart because something beautiful and glamorous as this is been washed away with the tides of time. Don’t forget about the story also.

African dance is distinguished in all sphere. Its energetic way of performance has also given it more awe and accolades in the world.

Do you want to lose weight? Then try the Yoruba bata dance, the Ibo’s atiloguo dance or an Urhobo dance.
You will give testimony after one week.

Chanting Tradition

This is a traditional way of performing a poem. Sometimes it is sung and at other times, it is recited in a fast way.

Chanting are praises to gods and kings. It is usually employed by the high and nobles. Not everyone is a good chant artist, but when you meet one, you will be amazed by their eloquence.

This set of people might not learn how to speak the English language or even write it but they sure do know how to make one feel good.

My father once told me about a man that was so good at chatting that anytime anyone requires a favour from the king or a chief, he is employed and that was his only source of living.

This culture is mostly required to praise. To make one feel on top of the world. Like a new bride coming to meet her suitor.

Are you getting the gist? I wish I could give you an example 🤭🤭🤭okay, let me try. Please don’t laugh at me.

Okay, let’s do this 🧘‍♀️🧘‍♀️🧘‍♀️🧘‍♀️

Oh, am sorry I can’t do it. Maybe someday I will but I did one for my baby a while ago. Click here to read through.

This Africa tradition and culture chant is usually recited in one’s tribe. If you must seek the service of a chant man, he must have a good knowledge of the person and also a better command of the language.

Storytelling Tradition
Storytelling Tradition
Storytelling tradition

If you’ve been following me and reading my post, you will notice I always tell a story.

It’s not because I just want to, but It’s an inbuilt passion in all Africans. We always have a story to tell. Our existence is passed down to us through stories. Little wonder we all know one or two to tell.

Stories have been ways through which our ancestors have educated us about our tribes and clans. About where we are coming from, where we are now and what we hoped to achieve in the future.

It is through storytelling that I was told about the slave trade era before I ever read it in books or watch it on screen.

This practice has been our major way of transferring knowledge before the existence of written tradition.

Sometimes, it is called oral tradition. A process where standards or guidelines are been passed from one person to another through the words of mouth.

African storytelling traditions and culture is a fun way of passing information. Cause at every given moment when you are told a tale is like you are involved in the whole process. It comes alive.

It is an interesting Africa tradition and culture but painfully it is decaying. The written tradition is vastly taking over because of more information and technology.

An awesome era I must confess because now we have more avenues of documenting our ways and we don’t have to rely on one living encyclopedia anymore. who will eventually die someday?

With this newfound direction, the world also gets to take a peek about Africa traditions and cultures through the various medium available like this blog post.

I will always love and cherish our storytelling traditions and I will also not fail to tell you some of our children stories. Do well to read some as we jolly together.

Proverbs Tradition

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Proverbs are also called wise sayings, and adage in Africa. They are words with underline meanings. Usually used by the wise and old. It is one of the most employed Africa traditions.

It is not uncommon when you visit an elderly man or woman in Africa and they chip in one or two adages in the conversation. It is the way in Africa tradition and cultures.

Proverbs can come in different forms. For example, we have proverbs about life, death, mother, unity, children, you name it. Anything you can think of. There is a proverb for it.

The users of adage intend to make you think beyond the surface level. Although sometimes it is difficult to comprehend and so frustrating after trying several times to make sense out of it.

Proverbs are also used to teach the young and also to hide information from an outsider. If you are in a gathering, and you don’t want others to understand what you are saying, you can just use proverbs. In as much the other person can comprehend.

There you have it guys. Five beautiful heart of  Africa traditions and culture.

Do let me know how you feel about each one in the comment section.

Thanks for being here, until we meet again. Bye.

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