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    Kasim Bilkisu

      Culture, traditions, and related practices have always been symbols of African communities. Although the spread of Western civilization and culture seems to have obscured some African cultural practices, in some African cities some deep-rooted cultures and traditions are still practiced alongside accepted Western culture, but some cultural practices have outgrown their acceptability and usefulness.
      Africa is full of strange experiences, some of which are known and others unknown to the world. Some of these strange customs still exist even after years of civilization. These ethnic communities practice certain traditions that may surprise you. Here are some of these jaw-dropping practices;

      ● Stealing each other’s wives-Niger
      Among the Wodaabe tribe of Niger, West Africa, men are known to steal each other’s wives. Wodaabe’s first marriage was arranged by his parents when he was young and must be a first cousin. However, during the annual Gerewol festival, Wodaabe men dance in extravagant makeup and costumes to impress women, hoping to steal a new wife. If a man can steal without being noticed (especially in the case of the current husband who does not want to separate from his wife), he will be recognized in society.

      I know you think this is very harsh and in some cases dangerous activity. But for these men and women, it’s a way of life, and that’s why they celebrate it.

      ● Spitting as a form of greeting – Maasai tribe
      The Maasai, found in Kenya and Tanzania, spit as a way of greeting. When a child is born, it is customary for men to spit on the newborn, They believe it protects babies from evil spirits. Maasai warriors spit on the hand of an old man before shaking his hand. The Maasai are also known to drink fresh blood from animals.

      ● Festival of the Dead- Malawi
      The Chewa community is a Bantu ethnic group found mainly in Malawi. One tribe has a tradition of washing the body of the deceased during a funeral. The body is taken to the sanctuary, its throat is cut and water is poured into its intestines.

      ● Bull jumping in Ethiopia
      In Ethiopia, boys have to go through a ritual to prove their masculinity. It involves a series of events. The little boy has to take off his clothes, run, jump, and land on the bull’s back. They then run on the backs of several bulls standing in a tight group, with the larger males pulling on the bulls’ tails and horns. This practice is called Hamar.

      ● Ritual finger amputation
      The death of a loved one can be a painful experience and can cause pain and emotional distress. However, in some cultures, loss can cause physical pain. Some cultures believe that the physical expression of emotional pain is important in the grieving process. This can be seen among the Dani tribe of Papua New Guinea. Some tribesmen cut off their fingertips while attending funerals. This ritual is characteristic of the female population of the Dani tribe. When a woman loses a family member or a child, she cuts off her fingertips. This practice was created to provide a way to appease and exorcise spirits while also using physical pain as an expression of grief and pain. Representatives of the Dani tribe have religious beliefs that if the deceased had been a strong person during his life, their presence would have remained in a state of constant spiritual stress in the village.

      ● Potency test in Uganda
      Among the Banyankole ethnic group living in Uganda, marriage places a significant burden on the bride’s aunt. If the couple wants to marry, the aunt must have sex with the groom as a “test of strength” and in addition, she must also have sex with the groom. Testing the chastity of the bride.

      ● Beating to earn a wife in Fulani

      The Fulani practice Sharo before marriage. Here the groom is beaten by the elders of the community to win a wife and gain respect. If the man does not have the strength to bear the pain, the wedding is stopped. In addition to flogging, the bride’s family can choose koowgal, an option to pay the wedding tax, or Kabbal, an Islamic ceremony similar to marriage but in the absence of the bride and groom.

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