An African’s “Search for Identity” 1. Nuclear Family 2. Extended Family 3. Clan 4. Lineage (ancestry) TRIBE
Traditional Family Structures Nuclear Family: C C One man with one, two or more wives and some children C H W W C C Extended Family: U Cs GP A nuclear family with other relatives, like grown children and their families all living together. Grandparents too! C C C H W W C C GP Cs A
lineage CLAN TRIBE DISTANT ANCESTOR ANCESTOR Clan Clan Clan Family Family Family Clan Clan Clan Clan Clan Fam. Fam. Fam. Fam. Fam. Fam. Tribe = Many clans connected by a distant common ancestor Clan = Many families with a common ancestor
Mask With Headcloth, Zaire (19c) Tribal Mark scarification
Scarification For many men in West Africa, scarring is a form of tribal initiation and a sign of bravery. Done with razor blades, the painful process starts at puberty and continues into adulthood. Each tribe has distinctive tattoo designs; this man’s markings indicate his village and his clan and include black magic symbols to keep away evil
Tribe ? Africa : :: America : Ethnic Group
Problems of Tribalism Today 1. The tribe is more important than the nation. 2. Inter-tribal warfare civil wars. 3. Tribal favorites for government jobs:
Traditional African Religion ANIMISM 1. Belief in one remote Supreme Being. 2. A world of spirits (good & bad) in all things. 3. Ancestor worship. 4. Belief in magic, charms, and fetishes. 5.Diviner mediator between people and the spirit world.
Ancestors have the power to cause good or evil
Fetishes Objects used to communicate with the spirit world
African slaves brought fetishes with them to the Caribbean, where they became voodoo dolls.
Other Religions in Africa ISLAM 25%* Nigeria largest sub-Saharan Muslim countries. CHRISTIANITY 20%
Common Traits or Characteristics of Traditional African Tribal Life • The good of the group comes ahead of the good of the individual. • All land is owned by the group. • Strong feeling of loyalty to the group. • Deep respect for ancestors. • Religion is an important part of everyday life. • Government is in the hands of the chiefs [kings].