Mangbetu tribe Women of Democratic Republic of Congo with their traditional awesome hairstyles.

Mangbetu tribe Women of Democratic Republic of Congo with their traditional awesome hairstyles.





Mangbetu tribe Women of Democratic Republic of Congo with their traditional awesome hairstyles.Some women of the Mangbetu tribe who have elongated heads; their skulls were lengthened by tight cord when they were infants.
MANGBETU PEOPLE: THE FAMOUS FASHIONABLE HAIR-STYLISH CONGOLESE (AFRICAN) TRIBE THAT PRACTICED LIPOMBO (HEAD ELONGATION) CUSTOMS.
The ‘Mangbetu’ are an amalgam of linguistically- and culturally-related peoples of northeastern Democratic Republic of CongoThe name Mangbetu refers to a large people group of the northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The major subgroups are the Mangbetu, Meegye, Makere, Malele, Popoi and Abelu. The Mangbetu area is one of both forest and savannah. The economy is a mixture of agriculture, small animal husbandry, hunting, fishing and gathering. Cash crops have included palm oil, coffee, peanuts, rice, bananas, and maize.

Until very recently, the Mangbetu were one of a small number of Congolese peoples who paid death compensations. A person who died was considered to have done so "in the hands of" his father's family group. This meant that the father's group had to compensate the mother's group, regardless of the circumstances of death. Their traditional belief system includes a complex of ideas about witchcraft and sorcery. One such idea is that the power of witchcraft resides in an appendage of the small intestine, which is inherited by girls from their mother and by boys from their father.
History

At the beginning of the nineteenth century, the Mangbetu were only one of many small groups of people that were settling on the northern edge of the Zaire rain forest. At that time, the Mangbetu leader, Nabiembali, gathered a following of warriors and moved north across the upper Bomokandi River to subdue groups of Mangbele and Mabisanga.
Not long afterward, he continued Mangbetu expansion by conquering other peoples in the area, among them groups of Madi, Bangba, Mayogo, Mayvu, Makango, and Barambo. The major significance of Nabiembali's conquests was that he incorporated non-Kere-speaking peoples into his kingdom. His conquests represented the first time that power had been wielded on a territorial basis.
The Mangbetu are basically patrilineal. At the same time, the maternal uncles of a man are very important. It was formerly a common practice for a strong nephew to be accepted as a ruler over his maternal kin. The nephew's son then became heir to his father's power. Tied in with these practices was the tradition of giving women to unrelated groups or exchanging women with them. This practice was accepted throughout the region as a form of peacemaking or alliance, but Nabiembali—and the Mangbetu who followed him—turned the custom into an institution of control over the many ethnic groups that were represented among their subjects. One of the primary advantages of this practice was that it could give a weak clan a strong leader, through the clan's maternal ties; however, Nabiembali used the practice in reverse. He developed a strategy of marrying many wives, not only to increase productivity, display his wealth, and have many sons, but also to legitimize his conquests and extend his control. His policy worked to the extent that some of his sons were accepted as rulers among their mothers' peoples. However, because his sons sought to extend their own power and the influence of their maternal clans (over which they ruled), and because they challenged the authority of their father, both centralized power and the extent of Mangbetu rule were eventually weakened.

BY: Kweku Darko Ankrah

Beautiful and smiling Afar girl from Ethiopia

Beautiful and smiling Afar girl from Ethiopia




Beautiful and smiling Afar girl from Ethiopia
The Afar people also known as Adal, Adali, Oda’ali, Teltal and Dankali are Cushitic-nomadic people located in the East African countries of Djibouti, Somalia, Ethiopia, and Eritrea. The Afar (Danakil) claim to be descendants of Ham (Noah's son). They prefer to be known as the Afar, since the Arabic word "danakil" is an offensive term to them. They are a proud people, emphasizing a man's strength and bravery. Prestige comes, as it always has, from killing one's enemies.
The Afar people are warrior tribe and are very good at using knives and daggers in a warfare. They love their culture and respects their laws. There is a proverb in Afar that says: (koo liih anii macinay kamol ayyo mogolla) which means "I accept you in my home as a brother but I do not accept that you put my authority questioned" and therefore the Afar have still not agreed to be humble, being crushed, therefore they are in conflict with the rest of ethnic groups.




One of the Afar's claims to fame is due to an anthropological find in the Afar Depression. In 1974, anthropologists discovered a new species' of man at Hadar in the Awash Valley in Ethiopia. This new species was termed Australopithecus afarensis ("afar ape-man"), and is believed to have walked around Eastern Africa between 2.9 to 3.8 million years ago. The body was found to be female and named Lucy. Lucy was able to walk upright on a human-like body but still retained a small ape-like head and primitive teeth.
The Afar principally reside in the Danakil Desert in the Afar Region of Ethiopia, as well as in Eritrea and Djibouti. They number 1,276,867 people in Ethiopia (or 1.73% of the total population), of whom 105,551 are urban inhabitants, according to the most recent census (2007). The Afar make up over a third of the population of Djibouti, and are one of the nine recognized ethnic divisions (kililoch) of Ethiopia.
The Afar consist of two subgroups: the Asaemara ("red ones"), who are the more prestigious and powerful nobles living primarily in the area of Assayita; and the Adaemara ("white ones"), who are the commoners living in the desert areas. Those who live in the desert inhabit one of the most rugged regions in the world, known as the Afar Plain or the Danakil Desert.
One area, called the Danakil Depression, consists of a vast plain of salt pans and active volcanoes. Much of it lies 200 feet below sea level and has daily temperatures as high as 125 degrees F. The average yearly rainfall is less than seven inches.

Language
Afars speak the Afar language as a mother tongue. It is part of the Cushitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family, and is spoken by ethnic Afars in the Afar Region of Ethiopia, as well as in southern Eritrea and northern Djibouti. However, since the Afar are traditionally nomadic herders, Afar speakers may be found further

Historical background
Adal, Adali, Oda’ali, Teltal and Dankali are names traditionally given to the Afar by neighbouring people. The Amhara, Oromo and Somali respectively borrowed the names Adal, Adali and Oda’ali, which sounds the same as the ancestor of the dynasty and the son of Hadal Mahis, Ado’ali (Afar: white Ali).
Afar society has traditionally been organized into independent kingdoms, each ruled by its own Sultan.The earliest surviving written mention of the Afar is from the 13th century Arab writer Ibn Sa'id, who reported that they lived in the area around the port of Suakin, as far south as Mandeb, near Zeila. Similarly, due to historic commercial contacts between Arabian sailors and the Dankali clan located around Baylul, who ruled the Kingdom of Dankali (15th–17th century), Arabs gave the name Danakil to all the Afar across the Red Sea Coast. Teltal however is a derogatory name used by Tigrigna highlanders that derived from the Tigrigna word ‘Menteltal’, meaning hanging-down (of breast) in order to describe women of the lowland Afar as uncivilized because they did not cover their bodies from the waist up.
Despite all the names, the Afar invariably call themselves ‘Afar’, which has no meaning in the Afar language. Rainmondo Franchetti relates the word ‘Afar’ to the mythical Ophir the 11th, in the order of son of Joktan, son of Shem, son of Noah. Whereas the Afar rather believe themselves to be in the line of the generation of Kush, son of Ham, son of Noah, who were among ‘the first Kushites to move from their original home and settle in the Danakil Depression’ (Murdock 1959: 319).
Moreover many argued that the biblical land of Ophir, the land rich in Gold is located in India or South Arabia rather than being that of the Afarland in the African Horn. Didier Morin designates the name Afar as having a possible but forgotten link with the Omani group called Afar or lfar. AL-Shami argued that the name Afar might be drawn from the South Yemenis Ma’fara sub-clan of the Hameda tribe who were the traditional rulers of Ardel Huria territory in the east of Bab-el-Mandeb across the Afar coasts on the Red Sea.
Despite having different meanings for their name, the Afar people have a distinct cultural and linguistic identity of their own and inhabit a welldefined territory in the African Horn; an area commonly referred to as the Afar Triangle which is divided between Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti.
The land inhabited by the Afar in the Horn region is well known as the cradle for early human origin and for its abundance of natural resources as well.
Geo-political features of the Afarland further magnify its strategic importance. For instance, about 75% of all vital roads that link Addis Ababa to the harbours of Assab and Djibouti run via the Afarland. Likewise the most utilised river in Ethiopia, Awash (Afar: We’ayot) that regularly floods over 1200 km runs through the Afar region of Ethiopia. The Afar coastline in Eritrea and Djibouti, which is a bridge between Africa and the Middle East as well as a gateway to the oil fields of the Persian Gulf further magnifies the global importance of the Afarland. The Arabs desire to exert a dominant influence in the area. Westerners have a fundamental interest in the security of the petroleum tanker routes that pass via Bab-el-Mandeb. The Israelis have a monitorial centre and for accumulating nuclear wastes especially on Dahlak and Fatma islands. There is also the recent US interest in the Horn due to the global campaign against terrorism attracting global attention to the Afarlands in the Horn of Africa.
It is in these general situations that, at different points in time, the Afarland in the African Horn has been severely affected by the geopolitical perceptions of both regional and international powers. The ancient Axumite kingdom and the South Arabian adventurers and sailors influenced coastal areas and islands in the Red Sea repeatedly. In the medieval period, Ottoman Turkish power extended its loose influence on the Afar coasts from Massawa to Zeila. Thereafter, at the end of the 19th century, the French and Italians occupied strategic territories along the Red Sea coast in accordance with treaties signed with local African chieftains.
The colonial geo-political architecture that partitioned homogenous people elsewhere in Africa, divided the Afar people among the Abyssinian empire, as well as the French colony of Djibouti and even (consigned some) to another part of the Italian Colonia Eritrea, in which Afar have remained as marginalized but strategic minorities in the Horn Region. Indeed, the Afar have been resisting any kind of invasion of their land for a long time. Their anti-colonial resistance can be traced back to the era of the Ottoman Turks’ feeble influence over the islands in the Red Sea. The narrative of a scenario in the mid 19th century by one of prominent Dahimela tribe chiefs, Sheikh Gumhed Deneba markedly demonstrates the strong anticolonial resistance at the time:
About 200-300 Turkish garrisons set out from Mi’ider and reached to ’Aläti.
They looted livestock from Ali’adawka sub-clan and we were waiting them
(to join battle) in Ak’ali but we were later informed that they returned in a
different direction … we tried to follow them but to no avail. This was their
typical character. They never dared to meet us [locals] let alone having any
influence over us (cited in al-Shami/al-Shami 1997: 259)
Egyptians, who assumed power over the Red Sea islands after the Turkish withdrawal, had also faced resistance from the Afar. The 1875 ’Odumi war between a Swiss adventurer, Governor of Massawa and the Awsa Sultan Mohammed Hanfare (’Illelta), was fought out in a place called ’Odumi or Lake Gemeri where there was armed resistance from several Afar against abortive ambitions of Egyptian khedive to control the Afarland, the gateway to highland Ethiopia.

Similar Afar resistances were carried out against the expansion of colonial power beyond those areas granted to them by the local chieftains. Colonial rulers’ interference with the internal Afar affairs further aggravated their restlessness and led to frequent confrontations. In 1859, Henri Lambert, the French consul at Aden, who was sent to Tadjoura to assess the condition for the establishment of colonial territory, was assassinated at the Gulf of Tadjoura (Adou 1993:45-46). Furthermore, French colonialists faced strong resistance from the Sultanate of Awsa under Sultan Yayyo Mohammed and that of Goba’ad under Sultan
Hummad Lo‘o’ita who was later forced into exile and fled to Madagascar in 1931.
The peak of anti-colonial resistance culminated in the death of Sultan Yasin Haysema, the Sultan of Bidu in the war with Italy that lasted for six years (1925-1931) and the death of Hasenayti bera of the Gali’a tribe in the furious battles of Morhito with the French (Redo 1998: 36). The Afar carried on their struggles with the regional powers as well in order to restore their unity.
The Amhara’s assumption that the Afar quest of regional autonomy was a claim for independence on one hand, and the separatist fronts’ interpretation of the Afar pro-unity sentiment as a threat for their struggle on the other, together with the national identity struggle against the Issa-Somali, left the Afar subject to domination and marginalization in all the three Horn states they resided in.

Afar v Ethiopia
Afar–Abyssinian relations can be traced back to the era of ancient Aksumite dominance over the port of Adulis, a home for the ’Adolla tribe of coastal Afar, and a sea outlet for trade contacts with South Arabia, India, as well as the Byzantine and Roman empires.

BY: Kweku Darko Ankrah

A Dogon tribe old man in traditional dress and hat.

A Dogon tribe old man in traditional dress and hat.




DOGON PEOPLE: AFRICA`S ANCIENT GIFTED ASTROLOGY TRIBE
The Dogon people are an indigenous tribe who occupy a region in Mali, south of the Sahara Desert in Africa. There are about 100,000 members in the tribe.

They are a reclusive tribe of cave and hillside-dwelling farming people inhabiting a sparse, rocky plateau in southeastern Mali, West Africa. They live in the Homburi Mountains near Timbuktu.

Isolated topographically and culturally from the outside world for countless centuries, they may well appear on first sight to be exceedingly unlikely receptacles of highly advanced astronomical knowledge ­ which only goes to show just how easily we can be deceived by outward appearances.



They are believed to be of Egyptian descent. After living in Libya for a time, they settled in Mali, West Africa, bringing with them astronomy legends dating from before 3200 BC. The first Western scientists to visit and study the Dogon people were French anthropologists Drs Marcel Griaule and Germaine Dieterlen, who initially made contact with them in 1931, and continued to research them for the next three decades, culminating in a detailed study conducted between 1946-1950. During their work, these anthropologists documented the traditional mythology and sacred beliefs of the Dogon, which included an extraordinary body of ancient lore regarding Sirius ­ the brilliant, far-distant Dog Star.

Their priests told them of a secret Dogon myth about the star Sirius (8.6 light years from the Earth. The priests said that Sirius had a companion star that was invisible to the human eye. They also stated that the star moved in a 50-year elliptical orbit around Sirius, that it was small and incredibly heavy, and that it rotated on its axis.
Sirius - which we now call Sirius A - was not seen through a telescope until 1862 and was not photographed until 1970.

The Dogon name for Sirius B (Po Tolo) consists of the word for star (tolo) and "po," the name of the smallest seed known to them. By this name they describe the star's smallness -- it is, they say, "the smallest thing there is." They also claim that it is "the heaviest star," and white.

The tribe claims that Po is composed of a mysterious, super-dense metal called sagala ­ which, they declare, is heavier than all the iron on Earth. Not until 1926 did Western science discover that this tiny star is a white dwarf ­ a category of star characterized by very great density. In the case of Sirius B, astronomers have estimated that a single cubic metre of its matter weighs about 20,000 tons.

Many artifacts were found describing the star system, including a statue examined by Dieterlen that is at least 400 years old.

They go on to say that it has an is elliptical orbit, with Sirius A at one foci of the ellipse (as it is), that the orbital period is 50 years (the actual figure is 50.04 +/- 0.09 years), and that the star rotates on its own axis (it does).

The Dogon also describe a third star in the Sirius system, called "Emme Ya" ("Sorghum Female"). In orbit around this star, they say, is a single satellite. To date, Emme Ya has not been identified by astronomers.

In addition to their knowledge of Sirius B, the Dogon mythology includes Saturn's rings, and Jupiter's four major moons. They have four calendars, for the Sun, Moon, Sirius, and Venus, and have long known that planets orbit the sun.

The Dogon say their astronomical knowledge was given to them by the Nommos, amphibious beings sent to Earth from Sirius for the benefit of mankind. The name comes from a Dogon word meaning 'to make one drink', and the Nommos are also called 'Masters of the Water', the 'Monitors', and the 'Teachers'.
Nommos
The Dogon tells the legend of the Nommos, awful-looking beings who arrived in a vessel along with fire and thunder. After they arrived here - they put out a reservoir of water onto the Earth then dove into the water.

There are references in the oral traditions, drawings and cuneiform tablets of the Dogons, to human looking beings who have feet but who are portrayed as having a large fish skin running down their bodies.

The Nommos were more fishlike than human, and had to live in water. They were saviors and spiritual guardians: "The Nommo divided his body among men to feed them; that is why it is also said that as the universe "had drunk of his body," the Nommo also made men drink. He gave all his life principles to human beings."

Watching the Nommo arrive
The Nommo was crucified and resurrected and in the future will again visit the Earth, this time in human form. Later he will assume his amphibious form and will rule the world from the waters.

Dogon mythology is known only by a number of their priests, and is a complex system of knowledge. Such carefully guarded secrets would not be divulged to friendly strangers very easily. If the star Emme Ya is eventually discovered in the Sirius system, this would give considerably weight to the Dogon's story.

The Nommos, who could live on land but dwelled mostly in the sea, were part fish, like merfolk (mermaids and mermen). Similar creatures have been noted in other ancient civilizations - Sumer, Babylonia's Oannes, Acadia's Ea, Sumer's Enki, and Egypt's goddess Isis. It was from the Nommos that the Dogon claimed their knowledge of the heavens. The Dogon also claimed that a third star (Emme Ya) existed in the Sirius system. Larger and lighter than Sirius B, this star revolved around Sirius as well. And around it orbited a planet from which the Nommos came. (Sirius A).

BY: Kweku Darko Ankrah

Afro-Bolivian saya Dancer in traditional attire and hat.

Afro-Bolivian saya Dancer in traditional attire and hat.





AFRICAN DESCENDANTS IN BOLIVIA (AFRO-BOLIVIANS)
Afro Bolivians are Bolivians of African ancestry.Afro-Bolivians. Most, if not all, were brought as slaves to work for European colonizers. African slaves may even have been a part of Francisco Pizzaro’s expeditions in Upper and Lower Peru. They originated in different areas of Africa, including Congo, Angola, Senegal, Mozambique, Ivory Coast, and Ghana, and in most cases were brought to Upper Peru from Lima or Buenos Aires, cities that did a lively trade with slave merchants. Afro-Bolivians have always had a strong sense of being negros (their preferred term), and of possessing cultural and linguistic values that set them apart from the remainder of their compatriots, indigenous and mestizo.



The history of Blacks in Bolivia dates from colonial-era Peru, when Africans were imported as slaves to labor in the silver mines of the Peruvian viceroyalty. By the turn of the seventeenth century hundreds of thousands of Africans had been imported into Spanish America (Bowser 1974, 37), and by 1611 some 6,000 Black and Mulato slaves worked the upper Peruvian mines of Potosí (Klein 1986, 32). Africans were also imported as slave labor to work coca-leaf plantations in the semitropical provinces of Nor Yungas and Sud Yungas (M. Léons 1978). Emancipation was legislated in Bolivia's constitution of 19 December 1827; political debates delayed its enforcement until 1851.
Afro-Bolivians typically refer to themselves as "Negros" (Blacks). Black intellectuals introduced the term "Afro-Boliviano" in the last quarter of the twentieth century, and by the early 1990s the term has found its way into usage among Black urban migrants living in La Paz and more generally among Bolivia's intelligentsia. "Negrito" (Little Black) and "Moreno" (Brown) are the terms most commonly used by Bolivians when referring to Blacks; however, Blacks find the diminutive offensive. Afro-Bolivians use the term "Mulato" to refer to a Black of a lighter skin color. "Mulato" in its more common usage in Bolivia refers to the the offspring of Whites or Hispanics and Black people. "Zambo" refers to someone of mixed Indian and Black parentage; it is mainly used derogatorily.
Location. There are Afro-Bolivian communities throughout Bolivia, especially in the semitropical climates of the departments of La Paz, Santa Cruz, Beni, and Cochabamba. The largest concentrations of Blacks are found in the lowland provinces of Nor Yungas and Sud Yungas in the department of La Paz. Several communities of Black agriculturists are located in each of these provinces, such as Chicaloma and Chulumani in Sud Yungas and Mururata and Tocaña in Nor Yungas. The Bolivian Yungas are characterized by heavy rainfall and a mean temperature of 23°C.

BY: Kweku Darko Ankrah

Beautiful Hausa woman dancer at an Islamic festival,Kano,Nigeria.

Beautiful Hausa woman dancer at an Islamic festival,Kano,Nigeria.




Beautiful Hausa woman dancer at an Islamic festival,Kano,Nigeria. Many other Hausas subscribe to the view that they had a common Arab ancestor whose descendants founded the Hausa city-states. According to this, the King of Baghdad's son, Bayajidda or Abuyazidu, quarrelled with his father, left Baghdad and ended up in the state of Daura (directly north of Kano in present day northern Nigeria).
HAUSA PEOPLE: AFRICA`S LARGEST SCATTERED WARRIOR TRIBE AND TRADERS WHO RESPECT THEIR CULTURE
Origin myths among the Hausa claim that their founder, the exiled prince Bayajidda, came from the east in an effort to escape his father. He eventually came to Gaya, where he employed some blacksmiths to fashion a knife for him. With his knife he proceeded to Daura where he freed the people from the oppressive nature of a sacred snake who guarded their well and prevented them from getting water six days out of the week. The queen of Daura gave herself in marriage to Bayajidda to show her appreciation. Bayajidda and his wife had a son, Bawo, who married and in turn had six sons who then became rulers of Kano, Zazzau (Zaria), Gobir, Katsina, Rano and Daura; a seventh state Biram is added to the list. These are the Hausa Bakwai, the seven Hausa states.
There is also an extension to this story, which can be seen as a way of explaining a number of other states, which fell under Hausa influence, while retaining some of their own customs. This story tells of Bawo having a further seven sons by his concubine. These became rulers of the Banza Bakwai, or seven 'illegitimate' Hausa states: Zamfara, Kebbik, Nupe, Gwari, Yauri, Yoruba and Kororofa.




However, there is a general consensus that Hausa city-states were founded some time between the end of the 900 BC and the beginning of the 13th century. It is thought they emerged out of a number of small communities, typically surrounded by stockades, enclosing not only houses but also agricultural lands.
Eventually these various communities grouped together to form larger groups, which in turn acquired the size and status of city-states. The custom of creating a fortified surrounding wall was maintained. These city walls can still be seen today.
From the different available texts of the legend the Daura palace version is the most reliable, though certain other accounts offer important complements. Two episodes have to be distinguished: a great migration from Mesopotamia and Philistine having only nominal leaders and a movement of fleeing troops led by a scion of the royal house of Bagdad. It is suggested that historically the first corresponds to the flight of members of various communities of deportees established in the western provinces of the Assyrian empire and more particularly in settlements close the Egyptian border to sub-Saharan Africa. The second, by contrast, is supposed to reflect the movement of retreat of the remaining Assyrian army from the devastated capital of Niniveh to Harran. Apparently Bayajidda himself represents the last king of Assyria who was crowned in Harran in 612 and disappeared from history in 609 BCA.
Furthermore, the legend corresponds to a foundation charter of Hausa society insofar as it suggests a distinction between two categories of states, the seven Hausa and the seven Banza states. From the Daura palace version of the legend and from its cult-dramatic re-enactment during the yearly state festivals it appears that this differentiation also applies to the internal dualism between a Hausa and a Maguzawa or Azna section of society. In all likelihood these two sections of the Hausa-speaking world are the result of an overlapping of the African rural culture by the ancient Near Eastern immigrants. While the immigrants constituted the Hausa or urban and dynastic section of the social order, the indigenous peasants were associated on the basis of their clan organisation as Azna into the new dualistic society.

BY: Kweku Darko Ankrah

Beautiful Afro-Spanish jazz singer Concha Buika aka “The Queen of Flamenco” is of Bubi descent.

Beautiful Afro-Spanish jazz singer Concha Buika aka “The Queen of Flamenco” is of Bubi descent.




BUBI PEOPLE: EQUATORIAL GUINEA`S ANCIENT WARRIOR AND STEVEDORING PEOPLE THAT ABHORS SLAVERY AND RESISTED ITS IMPOSITION ON THEM
Linguistic studies suggest the Bubi were among the first Bantu tribes to leave their Nigerian/Cameroon-area homeland, maybe 5,000 years ago, and migrate southeast, settling on the coast of what is now southern Cameroon or northern Gabon. They finally arrived on the Atlantic beaches between the Batanga and the Ntem, or campo, rivers. They lived in this area for a lengthy amount of time and during this time they formed sub tribes.



According to legend when another tribe, more warring and more numerous, invaded the Bubi's beach homeland, forcing them into hard labor and slavery. They must have stared with longing across the water at those peaceful, mysterious peaks nearly 100 miles away that began to hold the promise of peace and freedom. The chiefs of the sub tribes decided that they needed to flee the country and cross the seas to a new land named Fernando Po, which is now Bioko Island.
The Bubi, as shore-dwelling, fishing people, probably had a canoe-engineering knowledge than most African people. But when a plan for escape began to develop, they knew it would take the largest trees of the mainland forest to make the strongest canoes for their bold, desperate plan -- which was to leave, not all at once, but by sub-tribes, under cover of darkness over a period of several months, and flee to that distant land.
The work on the canoes was done in secret. Supplies were gathered and loaded under the very noses of their captors. And the plan worked. The first tribe launched its boat after midnight, without discovery, and they rowed with palm leaf oars, in complete happiness and security, the story goes.
According to Antonio Anmeyei, the bubis had migrated here about 3,000 to 5,000 years before Portuguese explorer Fernando Po landed there in 1471. According to legend, all the migration was done within one year, primarily between mid-November and mid-March.
The sub-tribes settled in a rings of territoriality around the island, where they landed depending on wind, current, luck and when they arrived -- the last tribes getting some of the more steep, inhospitable inland terrain. (Which would provoke constant intra-tribal warfare as they sought to better their situation).

Those who ended up on the northeast side of the island, where the capital city of Malabo is now, had the easiest landing, thanks to the natural harbor. Others fought giant, craggy boulders and pounding surf to make their landings on the southern end, in the vicinity of Punta Santiago.
The names of small villages that today circle the island still preserve the memory of some of those tribes of origin -- the Baney, Batate, Baho, Bakake. The Biabba tribe, later the city was named Riabba, is considered the first to arrive. The last, and the most beleagured as they looked for room to settle, were the Batetes and Bokokos.
BY: Kweku Darko Ankrah

Hardcore Kru people of Liberia,circa 1910.

Hardcore Kru people of Liberia,circa 1910.




hardcore-kru-people-of-liberiacirca-1910-2

The Kru people inhabit a homeland in coastal southeastern Liberia and neighboring Cote d`Ivoire (Ivory Coast). Some Kru have also migrated to the neighboring Sierra Leone to work as fishermen and dockworkers. The Kru along with the Grebo resisted Maryland settlers' efforts to control their trade. They were also infamous amongst early European slave raiders as being especially averse to capture. Their reputation was such that their value as slaves was less than that of other African peoples, because they would so frequently attempt to escape or to take their own lives upon being captured.



Hardcore Kru people of Liberia,circa 1910. They were infamous amongst early European slave raiders as being especially averse to capture. Their reputation was such that their value as slaves was less than that of other African peoples, because they would so frequently attempt to escape or to take their own lives upon being captured.

Linguists use the name Kru to refer to a linguistic group within the larger larger Niger-Congo language family. Peoples speaking language in this Kru group include Bete, Dida, Grebo, Wobe and the Kru people themselves.
BY: Kweku Darko Ankrah

Portrait of Beautiful Zulu virgin girl at Umlanga (Reed Dance) at Enyokeni,South Africa.

Portrait of Beautiful Zulu virgin girl at Umlanga (Reed Dance) at Enyokeni,South Africa.





Portrait of Beautiful Zulu virgin girl at Umlanga (Reed Dance) at Enyokeni,South Africa.
The Zulu Kings Reed Dance (uMkhosi woMhlanga) at eNyokeni Palace.



Every year in September over 25 thousand Zulu Maidens gather at King Goodwill Zwelithini’s royal palace for the Zulu Reed Dance (uMkhosi woMhlanga). The Reed dance is a colourful and cultural celebration that promotes respect for young women, and preserves the custom of keeping girls as virgins until marriage.

The 2012 Zulu Reed Dance is on the 1st of September.
BY: Kweku Darko Ankrah

Xhosa mother (left) and her daughter/bride from south Africa

Xhosa mother (left) and her daughter/bride from south Africa




Xhosa mother (left) and her daughter/bride from south Africa on their way to the umzi (hut) of her husband`s people.

Johannesburg, Xhosa Bride
Johannesburg, Xhosa Bride

Umakoti (Daughter in-law/wife)
A bride has to show respect towards her husband's family. The first virtue demanded of a bride is that she should be hardworking, respectful and eager. She must care for her husband's comfort and that of his family particularly the parents in law. Part of her responsibilities include fetching the wood, water and wild spinach from distant places. She also takes care of the home garden and of course the cooking.




Customary law requires that a bride must show respect towards all senior relatives of her husband, particularly his male relatives.
The bride must never go near the cattle kraal in which her husbands father or grandfather are buried or where the ancestors of the family are believed to reign. However, if she opens her own homestead with her husband, she may go near the kraal of that homestead; she is only forbidden to go to that of the senior homestead. She must avoid the inkundla (courtyard between huts and kraal) in which men sit. When entering a hut of a senior relative of her husband, male and female, she must turn sharply to left ad circle around the back so as to avoid the men's side (Ukuceza). A daughter-in-law disdains her husband's umzi if she does not avoid every place bout where her fathers sit.

The avoidance of the right of huts, the inkundla, and the cattle kraal is extended to those imizi (homesteads) of her husband's seniors into which a woman might have married. In her husband's mother's hut a bride is expected to take a retired position. She may approach the hearth to mend the fire or see to the pots, but cannot sit up to the fire. A bride avoids the name, and words, of which a principal syllable is similar to the principle syllable of the name of her husband's father, his brothers, her husband's elder brothers, and his father's father, whether they are living or dead. She also avoids personal names of her husband's mother, paternal aunts, and elder sisters, but does not avoid words similar to them. When she arrives, she is told (by her husband's sister, or an elder co-wifey) what words are avoided in the homestead. So long as she lives in her mother-in-law's homestead, a wife, no matter how long she has been married, is responsible to her other-in-law, even more than her husband. If she want to visit her homestead, the wife must get permission from her mother in law and then she can tell her husband that his mother has given her permission to go visit with her people. Impoliteness to her mother-in-law may result in a bride being sent back to her people. Nevertheless, a mother-in-law is expected to be "Bush shelter" to her daughter-in-law against her husband. If a husband beats up his wife, she run to her mother-in-law to seek refuge there, and the son, because he respects his mother, will not pursue her there.

BY: Kweku Darko Ankrah