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Ethnic Groups of Africa


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Title: Ethnic Groups of Africa

Ethnic Groups of Africa
Religions, Customs, and Traditions
  • Africa is made up of 54 different countries and
    many ethnic groups.
  • A groups customs and traditions often come from
    religion, from where the group lives, or from the
    demands of daily life.
  • Most Africans today are either Muslim or
    Christian, but traditional religions and customs
    still play a role in African culture.

  • The term Arab refers to a mixed ethnic group made
    up of people who speak the Arabic language.
  • Arabs mostly live in North Africa and the Middle
  • Some Jews, Kurds, Berbers, Copts, and Druze speak
    Arabic, but are not usually considered Arab.
  • The term Arab includes Arabic-speaking
    Christians in Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan.
    Overall, Arabs are divided into two
    groupsnomadic Bedouins and settled Arabs.

  • The Ashanti people live in central Ghana.
  • The family, especially the mothers family, is
    most important to the Ashanti.
  • They believe that children inherit their spirits
    from their father and their flesh and blood from
    their mother.
  • The mystical Golden Stool has been the center of
    Ashanti spiritual practice since the late 17th

  • It is said to have arrived on Earth by floating
    down from the heavens.
  • The Ashanti people believe the strength of their
    nation depends on the safety of this stool.
  • It represents the unity of the Ashanti and the
    power of their chiefs.
  • The Ashanti honor kings after death, in a
    ceremony in which a stool is blackened.

The Swahili People
  • The Swahili people live on the East African coast
    from southern Somalia to northern Mozambique.
  • The Swahili people practice a strict form of
    Islam. In addition to Islamic beliefs, the
    Swahili believe in spirits, or djinns.
  • Swahili Muslims use trances to speak to djinns.
  • Men wear amulets around their necks that contain
    verses from the Koran, which they believe will
    protect them.
  • Only teachers of Islam and prophets are permitted
    to become spiritual healers.

  • The Bantu originally came from southeastern
    Nigeria, near the Benue-Cross Rivers that spread
    east and south near Zambia, in Central Africa.
  • Around 1000 CE, the Bantu reached present-day
    Zimbabwe and South Africa.
  • Here, the Bantu established the Munhumutapa
  • This new empire controlled trading routes from
    South Africa to the area north of the Zambezi

  • The Bantu traded many natural resources gold,
    copper, precious stones, animal hides, ivory, and
    metal goods.
  • They traded with Arab traders from the Swahili
    coast, as well as others.
  • The empire collapsed in the early 16th century,
    after it used up all its resources.

African Literacy
  • The literacy rate in Africa is 50.
  • This means that half the population of Africa
    cannot read or write.
  • Literacy is good for individuals as well as their
  • More developed countries tend to have a higher
    literacy rate.
  • Sudan and Egypt both have a literacy rate of only
    51 .
  • South Africa, the most developed country in
    Africa, has a literacy rate of 83.

Art and Music from Africa
  • The dance and music of Africa has many distinct
    styles and uses unique instruments.
  • Sub-Saharan African music and dance is different
    from the music and dance of the Arab cultures of
    North Africa, or the Western settler populations
    of southern Africa.
  • Many of the Sub-Saharan traditions are maintained
    by oral tradition.

  • Describe the diverse cultures of the people of
    Africa and how literacy rate affects standard of