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Ethnic Groups in Africa. Ethnic groups : group of people that share similar cultures, languages, and religions. Africa has thousands of different ethnic groups. Cultural diversity : differences among the groups; has caused many wars.

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Ethnic Groups in Africa

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ethnic groups in africa

Ethnic Groups in Africa

Ethnic groups: group of people that share similar cultures, languages, and religions.

Africa has thousands of different ethnic groups.

Cultural diversity: differences among the groups; has caused many wars.

Cultural exchange: the different cultures acquired each other’s traits and had caused a spread of ideas, beliefs, and customs.

northern africa

Northern Africa

The main language spoken in northern Africa is Arabic.

The early settlers were Berbers, but were then conquered by the Arabs in the seventh century.

The Arabs converted the religion to Islam, which is still the dominant religion today.

The Berber tribes remained free after the Arab’s attack and were scattered from Morocco to Egypt.

Berbers today are found mainly in Morocco, where they are for the most part farmers.

sub saharan africa

Sub- Saharan Africa

There are a variety of native languages spoken in the West, but the most common are French and English.

Large kingdoms are found here

Ex. Ibo in Nigeria and Ashanti in Ghana

The East is a mix of tribes and their languages.


Ethiopians speak Semitic

Rwanda and other areas speak Bantu

Somalia speaks Kush

Tanzania and the coastal areas speak Swahili

European languages have also been spread here


Originally came from Cameroon. They spread throughout

The southern half of Africa. Today, there are 200 varieties

Of Bantu languages.


More than 60 million people speak one of the Bantu languages.

As a result of the spread of Bantu languages, there are many

Ways of life among the Bantu speakers.


Bambuti (Pygmies)

  • Live in the Congo forest.
  • Nomadic hunter- gatherers
  • Grow to no more than 3 or 4 feet in height

Colonial Rule

Colonial powers from India and Europe settled in Africa.

Afrikaners are a blend of Dutch, German, and French.

Afrikaans is one of two official languages in South Africa.

The people of Madagascar are a mix of Indonesian and black




North Africa: Islam

Southern Africa: Christianity

Christian communities are also found in Egypt and Ethiopia. How

Do you think Christianity reached these largely Islamic areas?

Many Africans practice native religions. African religions include

Clan elders, rainmakers, prophets, and priests.



The belief that spiritual beings were capable of

Interacting with humans through animals and objects was widespread in Africa.

Animism is less strong in Africa today; however, it’s

Still Important in many rural societies.



You have about 3-4 mins. to answer the review questions

before we review them in class.