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Cultural Geography of Africa

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  1. Cultural Geography of Africa SSWG2 Evaluate how the physical and human characteristics of places and regions are connected to human identities and cultures a. Examine how ethnic compositions of various groups has led to diversified cultural landscapes, including, but not limited to, architecture, traditions, food, art, and music. b. Examine how language can be central to identity and a unifying or a divisive force (e.g., Bantu, French-Canadians (Quebecois), and Basques. d. Examine the impact of cultural beliefs on gender roles and perceptions of race and ethnicity as they vary from one region to another (e.g., the caste system, apartheid, and legal rights for women).

  2. EAST aFRICA

  3. Aksum • Aksum – important trading center (1000 AD) • Geographic features removed trading partners – deforestation, overuse of soil = population decline = less power • 7th century – trading center again along African coast • Transfer of goods, ideas, people

  4. Berlin Conference • 19th century – industrialized Europe needs raw materials = colonize and control the resources • Berlin Conference (1884-1885) = 14 nations meet up to divide Africa • Only Liberia & Ethiopia not under European Control • Divided Africa with no concern for ethnic or language borders • Reason for conflict in Africa

  5. Rwandan genocide • Conflict between Hutu & Tutsi • Hutu majority government • Mass killing of Tutsi during Rwandan Civil War • Between 500,000 & 1,000,000 killed • Belgian colonial gov’t put Tutsi in charge & then Hutu took over • Hutu looked at as less than the Tutsi

  6. Cultures of east africa • Diverse culture because of its position as major trading region • More than 160 different ethnic groups • 2 major ethnic groups – Masai & Kikuyu

  7. Masai Kikuyu Largest ethnic group in Kenya (20%) Herders traditionally Today work in variety of jobs MauMau – Kikuyu fighters during British colonialism Speak Bantu Kikuyu Christianity & traditional religions • Lives on grasslands of rift valleys in Kenya & Tanzania • Herd livestock & farm land • Women = jobs at home • Men = herd livestock, protect • Clothes from calfskin or buffalo hide • Intricate bead work & jewelry

  8. NORTH aFRICA

  9. Nile River Valley Civilization • Egypt & Nile River Valley = cultural hearth spread through cultural diffusion • People lived along Nile because of predictable flooding = “gift of the Nile” • Spread ideas through Nile, Mediterranean & Red Seas

  10. Islam in north africa • History of invasion & occupation • Islam remains main cultural & religious influence • Invaders from SW Asia brought language, culture & religion • Spread via conquest & trade

  11. Culture of northern africa • Combination of Arabic & traditional African ethnic influences • Open air markets where goods are sold • Rai – form of music; symbol of rebellion

  12. Women’s Rights • Women’s roles are changing, although still male-dominated • Spousal abuse, underage marriage & polygamy outlawed • Equal pay, hold professional jobs, members of Parliament

  13. WEST AFRICA

  14. History of trade • GoreeIsland - busiest point for exporting slaves during slave trade • Cultural hearth – ideas spread to North America & Europe

  15. MIDDLEPASSAGE

  16. 3 trading empires • Empire of Ghana, Mali & Songhai – thrived because of location on trade routes in Sahara • Promoted trade & agriculture • Many different cultures & peoples • Lived in stateless societies before colonialism • Family lineage to govern themselves

  17. Culture of West Africa • Ashanti & Benin cultures known for elaborate craftwork & colorful textiles • Art resembles unity of ancestral spirits & living members of family • Benin Bronzes = statues, masks & jewelry • Music – blend of jazz, blues, reggae & traditional African music • Due to American influences from history of slave trade & contact between 2 regions

  18. CENTRAL AFRICA

  19. Bantu migrations • Bantu – group of peoples & cultures who speak one of the Bantu languages • 2000 BC – Bantu people moved southward throughout Africa spreading languages & cultures • KEY EVENT IN AFRICA‘S HISTORY • Produce variety of cultures • Link areas of continent • 150 million Africans speak one of the hundreds of Bantu languages

  20. Slave trade • Slave trade active here as well • Hundreds of different ethnic groups with different religions, languages • Large empires & small villages • King Leopold II of Belgium – wanted control of Central Africa to exploit resources • Belgians & French colonized • Switch to centralized gov’t from traditional forms

  21. Religion & colonialism • Christianity Spread through continent through Christian missionaries • Largest religion of Africa

  22. Central African art • Elements of traditional culture mixed with struggle against colonialism • 1960s - western influences in art banned • Art focuses on political instability, urban life, social justice & crime • Pablo Picasso (1907) – African Fang sculpture = inspired African elements in his art

  23. SOUTHERN AFRICA

  24. Ethnic clashes • European migrations in 1700s & 1800s led to conflict • Many different ethnic groups already in this area – competition between groups & Europeans for land • British defeated Dutch farmers (Boers) and gained control of land – formed South Africa

  25. Apartheid in south africa • 1948 – white minority government instituted policy of apartheid • Complete separation of races • Segregated schools, hospitals, neighborhoods, no social contact • 75% population was black, but got smallest percentage of land • Best land saved for white minority

  26. Nelson Mandela • 1949 – Nelson Mandela leader of African National Congress • Went to prison in fight to end apartheid • 1989 – new president elected = peaceful revolution = end of apartheid • 1944 – Mandela elected president • 1996 – passed democratic constitution guaranteeing rights of all citizens

  27. Celebrations of south africa • Blend of cultures & traditions – African & European • Celebrations & festivals – reflect religions beliefs, cure sickness, tell stories, honesty & respect for elders • Johannesburg – modern influences • Apartheid caused wealthy north & poor south to develop • Tradition still remains • Ex. Zulu people