Causes And Effects Of Change On Indigenous African Family Practices

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Causes and Effects of Change on Indigenous African Family Practices

Causes and Effects of Change on Indigenous African Family Practices


Interestingly, most of the more ancient African tribes practice pastoralism and live in the more arid or desert lands. The explanation of why African natives inhabiting desert lands have been able to remain traditional is because their territory is not that valuable and consequently, less likely to be desired and confiscated by outsiders and agriculturalists who seek more productive soils. The lower value of desert lands has resulted in a lesser amount of cultural loss brought about by non-natives of these ancient African tribe people inhabiting arid lands.

Causes and Effects of Change on Indigenous African Family Practices

One of the most ancient African tribes is the Afar or Danakil tribe. This native African tribe is located in three countries - Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti. Similar to many of the more traditional African tribe culture, the Afar are nomadic pastoral people who raise sheep, goats, and cattle in arid lands. The Afar people change their home according to the season, (WGIP, 2001) living near permanent water sources during the dry season and living in other areas with intermittent water sources during the rainier season. Similar to many African tribes women, the Afar women often are topless, wearing only a cloth around their waist. In addition, married Afar women wear a traditional headdress called the “shash” in their native African language. Similar to the Himba women, Afar women sometimes use a red ochre dye to enhance their appearance, but do not apply it to their entire bodies as do the Himba, but rather only to their faces. (WGIP, 2001)

The native tribes of African speak a great diversity of languages dispersed among four language families, including Afro-Asiatic, Khoisan, Nilo-Saharan, and Niger-Congo. The largest number of African tribes speaks languages in the Niger-Congo language family with over 400 million speakers. Niger-Congo is also the largest family in terms of geographic area covered. Perhaps the most important language in the Niger-Congo family is Swahili, the language of the Waswahili native African people. Even though there are only about 10 million native speakers of Swahili, it has become the primary language of most of East Africa and the Congo, being the official language of four countries and the African Union. Zulu is also an important language in the Bantu group of the Niger-Congo family. Perhaps the most interesting and unique of the African language families is Khoisan which is distinguished by its click consonants. Examples include Khoi and Bushman and this language family is restricted to African tribes living in the Kalahari Desert and the Rift Valley. At one time Khoisan languages are thought to cover most of African Continent and only relatively recently being reduced in geographic area by the expansion of African tribes speaking Bantu languages. (Acharya, 2008) In fact, most Khoisan languages are presently endangered with only Nama of Namibia being relative widespread with 250,000 ...