7 Weird Cultures in Africa That Are Stubbornly Existent.

Weird cultures in Africa
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Written by See Africa Today

How much have you heard about weird cultures in Africa? Well, Africa has it all, some of which is unbelievable.

Some of these practices are bizarre in nature. They date to decades ago – some centuries – but certain communities are adamant about letting them go.

In case you have never heard of the other side of Africa’s history – the bizarre – on, read on and find out.

What is the Weirdest Culture?

There are seven weird cultures in Africa. They defied time and modernity to stick on for years even as the continent gets hold of civilization. Here they are.

Wife stealing in Niger

Wives are often stolen from each other by men of the Wodaabe tribe of Niger in West Africa. As children, the Wodaabe’s parents arrange their first marriage, which must be between first cousins from the same family.

Wodaabe men put on elaborate makeup and costumes in order to entice the ladies at the annual Gerewol Festival.

Women become socially accepted when a man successfully evades an existing husband who may not want to give up his wife. You would agree that this is among the weird cultures in Africa.

Malawi’s Festival of the dead

The Chewa people are incredibly among those with weird cultures in Africa. Usually, dead people are cleaned up as a typical burial process.

For the Chewa people – of Bantu origin – they slash the throat and water is poured into the deceased’s body to purify them.

The water is drained is later from the body until there is none left.  What makes the Chewa people book a slot in the weird cultures in Africa is this. The gathered water is then utilized to cook a dinner for the entire community!

Lip widening among Sudanese women

weird cultures in Africa

Lip widening. Photo/Guardian

This culture is popular among Southern Sudan and southwestern Ethiopia tribes. When a woman reaches adolescence, she has her lower teeth removed to make room for a lip plate.

The lip plate grows in size each year until it is big enough. Strange it is and this is why it definitely deserves a place in weird cultures in Africa.

For men, they use their ears to accomplish the same thing. A belief goes that scarring warriors, known as “stick fighters,” makes them more desirable to women. However, this practice indoctrinates them.

Bull Jumping in Ethiopia

weird cultures in Africa

Bull-jumping tradition in Ethiopia. [Photo Culture Trip]

What would weird cultures in Africa be without bull jumping in Ethiopia? Bull-jumping is a treasure for the Hamar tribe in the Omo River Valley.

This three-day event is the most important rite of passage for every male initiate. It remains in practice for the third century now. Bull-jumping is not a small thing though even for the bravest of Hamer boys.

An initiate jumps over the backs of 10 castrated bulls smeared with dung to make it even tougher.

Fattening Bodi men

weird cultures in Africa

Ethiopia Bodi man. [Photo by Eric Lafforgue]

Ethiopia takes lead on matters of weird cultures in Africa. It has intricate, unique bizarre traditions. There is a traditional ceremony known as Bodi year of Ka’el ceremony.

It is there to honour Bodi or Me’en tribe in Ethiopia’s Omo Valley. Here, the fatter a man is, the more the prestige! Six months to the ceremony usually held in June or July, families nominate their Bodi men.

The young men are isolated in huts and subjected to a mixture of milk and a cow’s blood daily to fatten them for six months. The fattest of them wins a beautiful woman at the pageant.

Giving wife to guest in Namibia

Weird cultures in Africa do not leave behind the Hima Tribe of Namibia.  The weirdest guest culture here is guests have free bedroom services – they sleep with your wife.

The Himba culture demands so and not even the 21st century took that away.

Whipping to earn a wife

weird cultures in Africa

Bull-jumping tradition in Ethiopia. [Photo Culture Trip]

Before tying the knot, members of the Fulani tribes practice Sharo. Grooms get some whipping in order to get a wife and respect from society. The wedding is called off if the groom isn’t strong enough to bear the grief.

The bride’s family has other options than flogging, such as the dowry payment option known as Koowgal. Or, the Islamic ritual known as Kabbal, which is similar to a wedding but takes place without the bride and groom.

Does Africa Have Different Cultures?

Culture in Africa is quite interesting because it varies depending on which country you visit, making it a unique experience. The continent is home to a broad range of people, many of whom practice different beliefs.

The tribes, dialects, and cultural peculiarities found in each country are unique and different from those in another country.

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About the author

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See Africa Today

Pharis Kinyua is the editor of See Africa Today. With over seven years of experience in digital media, he has a soft spot for African tours and travel. His drive is to tell the rest of the world what Africa offers, the best accommodation facilities, national parks, culture, shopping malls and best airline deals to travel to Africa

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