Saturday, 29 September 2018

Gabon - Ethnic Groups

There are at least 40 distinct tribal groups in Gabon. The Pygmies are said to be the original inhabitants. Only about 3,000 of them remain, scattered in small groups in the heart of the forest. The largest tribal group, the Fang (about 30% of the population), came from the north in the 18th century and settled in northern Gabon. In the Woleu-Ntem part of Gabon, their direct descendants may be found almost unmixed with other Bantu ethnic strains. The Nzebi, Obamba, Eshira, Bapounou, and Batéké are other major groups. Smaller groups include the Omyènè, a linguistic group that includes the Mpongwe, Galoa, Nkomi, Orungu, and Enenga; these peoples live along the lower Ogooué, from Lambaréné to Port-Gentil. The Kota, or Bakota, are located mainly in the northeast, but several tribes have spread southward; they are well known for their carved wooden figures. Other groups include Vili and the Séké. These other African groups and Europeans number about 154,000, including 6,000 French and 11,000 persons of dual nationality.

Gabon — History and Culture

Gabon's history is similar to that of other former French colonies in Africa. The culture is highly influenced, not only by its ethnic background and proximity to other West African nations, but also by French control. Dance, song, myths, and poetry are important elements of Gabonese life. Art is a strong pillar of the community and can be seen in the traditional creations of masks, sculptures and musical instruments.

History

The oldest prehistoric artifacts discovered in Gabon are Stone Age tools, such as rock spearheads. This suggests the presence of life from as early as the 7000 BC. However, very little is known about the country's ancient inhabitants. If you want to see examples of these age-old tools and learn more about Gabon's culture and history, head to Libreville's National Museum in the heart of the capital.
The Myene people arrived in Gabon in the 13th century, mainly establishing a fishing community near the coast. They were followed by the Bantu, which is one of the three main ethnic groups in Gabon today. The prevalent Fangs did not arrive until the 16th century (Loango Empire). The groups were separated from each other by dense forests.

The arrival of the Europeans (Portuguese, Dutch, French, and the English) settlers at the end of the 15th century brought about widespread slavery, which continued for almost 350 years. The slave trade eventually ceased in the mid-19th century, but not soon enough to save the tribal inter-relationships of the indigenous groups.
It was not until 1839 that the French established the first long-term European settlement in the territory and Gabon became part of French Equatorial Africa, together with Cameroon, DRC, Central African Republic, and Chad. Gabon remained a French Overseas Territory until it declared independence in 1960.

Culture

The Gabonese are very spiritual people. In fact, their traditions are mostly centered araound worship and the afterlife. Art for the sake of art was a foreign concept to African culture until the arrival of the Westerners. Before colonization, the Gabonese considered music, instruments, masks, sculptures, and tribal dances as rites and acts of worship.

Traditional instruments like the balafon, harp, mouth bow, drums, rattles, and bells are believed to call on different spirits and each corresponds to a certain rite. The mouth bow, or mougongo , is for Bwiti Misoko, the harp is for Bwiti Dissoumba, while the balafon is mostly used by the Fangs to perform religious rituals.

Masks and sculptures were mainly used for therapeutic procedures, consulting, as well as initiation rites. Each of the Gabonese ethnic groups has its own specific traditions involving masks, sculptures, music, songs, and dances, or a combination of these elements.
Culture in Gabon is also expressed through paintings, sculptures and even fashion, all of which are widely available for purchase in craft markets throughout the country. The African Craft Market in Libreville has some exceptional M'bigou stone statuettes. 

Gabonese masks are very popular collectors' items, especially
n'goltang or Fang masks, and Kota figures. In addition to being used in traditional rites, these masks are also used in ceremonies for weddings, funerals and births. They are often made with precious materials and rare local woods.

Original dresses made by Gabon designers are well recognized in the world of African fashion. Some great examples are Beitch Faro's The Queen of Scales dress, and Angéle Epouta's internationally reputed designs, which have graced the runways of both Gabon and Paris.

A majority of Gabonese people adhere to Christian beliefs (Protestantism and Roman Catholicism), but other indigenous religions are also practiced along with Islam. Many people combine Christianity with some form of traditional beliefs. The Babongo, the forest people of Gabon who dominate the west coast, are the originators of the indigenous Bwiti religion, based on the use of the iboga plant, an intoxicating hallucinogenic. Followers live highly ritualized lives after an initiation ceremony, filled with dancing, music and gatherings associated with natural forces and jungle animals.

Up to 40 indigenous languages are spoken in Gabon, but French, being the official language, is used by all and taught in schools, in addition to the mother tongue, Fang. A majority of Gabon's indigenous languages come from Bantu origins, and are estimated to have arrived more than 2,000 years ago. These are mostly only spoken, although transcriptions for some of the languages have been developed using the Latin alphabet. The three largest are Mbere, Sira and Fang.

•culled from www.iexplore.com

Friday, 28 September 2018

Music In Greece

Music in Greece is of unbelievable diversity due to the creative Greek assimilation of different influences of the Eastern and Western cultures of Asia and Europe. Music is an important aspect of the daily Greek culture. It has a long history dating from the Antiquity, during which poetry, dancing and music were inseparable and played an important part in the ancient Greek's everyday life. The Greek tragedy used music as one of its component elements.
Then, with the fall of Ancient Greece and the evolution of the Byzantine Empire, Greece music got a more ecclesiastical approach. In the 400 years of Ottoman domination, it was influenced by the eastern sounds. It got reborn only in the 19th century with the opera compositions of Nikolaos Mantzaros (1795-1872) and Spyros Samaras (1861-1917).

From that moment on, Greece produced many talented artists, including great composers to fabulous interprets. Music in Greece became an expression and a testimony of the slavery years, a weapon of opposition against the colonel authority and a way to express love, death, human fears, that accompanied the Greeks in their everyday life.

Read also: After reading about the music, get also informed about the traditions in Greece.

Music types and famous Greek artists
Information about Greece Music types (Dimotiko, Kantada, Nisiotika, Rebetiko) and information about some of the world-famous artists (Kalomiris, Miropoulos, Callas, Xenakis, Theodorakis and more)

Music Types

Folk Songs (Dimotiko Tragoudi)
Greek folk song sees its origins coming from the time of ancient Greek poetry and music. It can be divided into two musical movements: the akritic and the klephtic. The akritic style dates from the 9th century AD and it was created to express the life and struggles of the frontier guards of the Byzantine Empire, the "akrites".

The klephtic style was born between the end of the Byzantine period and the beginning of the Greek Revolution that led to the Greek Independence in 1821. This style was created by the "kleftes", the heroes who left to live in the mountains, leading a revolutionary action against the Ottoman tyranny. The klephtic musical style is monophonic, with second voices repeating a given rhythmical formula, without any harmonic accompaniment. It is composed by love songs, wedding songs, songs of exile, songs of freedom, death and sorrows. It expresses an important, bloody part of the history and the life of the Greeks.

Musical instruments used in Greek folk songs are the lira and laouto (lute), the tambouras and gaida (bagpipe), the zournas (shawm), the daouli (drum), the dachares (tambourine), the ziyia (paired groups) and the violi (violin).

Kantada

Originated from Kefalonia island and created at the beginning of the 19th century, it is a style of romantic serenade music, sung with three male voices in chorus, accompanied by guitar or mandolin. This style had been influenced by the Italian music and soon gained all the Ionian Islands and the rest of Greece. In Athens , the cantadha is a little different, accompanied with a compania composed of violin, clarinet and laouto.

Nisiotika

This kind of popular songs was born in the Greek islands. Every island has its own nissiotiko style and its own way of dancing it. Violin, lira, clarinet and guitar accompany the high-pitched women voices or the low voice of a single man. Nissiotika are still easy to listen in every festival on any Greek island, during which a huge group of musicians play life music during the whole night.

Rebetiko

This particular and famous style of music in Greece was born in the hashish dens and the tekedes, the Turkish style underground cafes of the district of Piraeus and the city of Thessaloniki . Rembetiko music was spread by the two million Greek refugees coming from Asia Minor in 1922, after the destruction of Smyrne by the Turks. Homesick and rejected by the Greek population, those Greeks who had never lived in Greece and who had lost everything, sang about their surroundings, poverty, pain, hunger, prison, police oppression, drug addiction, betrayal and hashish. Rembetiko was the forbidden music of the outcast, the Greek urban blues.
The rembetiko slowly in the 1950s came out of the underground world and started to be played in the nightclubs of Athens, were it became very popular, even if it was despised by the Greek people because they saw it as an outcast music. The principal instruments of the rembetiko are the bouzouki, an eight string oval-shape instrument, the baglama, which looks like a miniature bouzouki, and the guitar as well as, for accompaniment, the ziyia and the ntefi, a leather small tambourine with little metallic plates circling it.

Some of the greatest and most famous players and singers are Vassilis Tsitsanis, Markos Vamvakaris, Marika Ninou and Sotiria Bellou. During the 1960s, the rembetiko became unpopular again. Young people preferred the new rock music coming from the West and the oldest one started listening again to the candhades of the 1920s. But this music styles is back in the trends and many taverns propose rebetika music bands during week-ends.

Late 20th century music

In the 1980s, modern artists like Dionyssis Savopoulos, Georgios Ntalaras, Nikos Papazoglou, Stavros Xarhakos and Pavlos Sidiropoulos rehabilitated the rembetiko music and mixed it with rock music, bringing to life a new, passionate and interesting kind of music. Their lyrics were about personal or political freedom (Savopoulos, Ntallaras and Sidiropoulos), or about aspects of everyday life, pain and sorrow (Papazoglou), and drugged generation (Sidiropoulos).

World-famous Greek music artists

Manolis Kalomiris (1883-1962):
He is one of the most famous Greek classical composers and representative of the Greek National School. He used, for inspiration, Greek folk tradition and works of great Greek poets like Palamas, Mavilis, Sikelianos and others. He founded the Greek Conservatorium and the National Conservatorium of Greece.

Dimitris Mitropoulos (1896-1960):
The most important contemporary Greek composer, maestro and pianist often identified as being the new Mahler.

Maria Callas (1923-1977):
Born in New York from Greek parents, Callas was the most celebrated soprano in opera. She was particularly famous for her unique presence on stage and for her turbulent relationship with Aristotelis Onasis.

Yannis Xenakis (1922-2001):
Because he was condemned to death by the Germans for participating to the Resistance, Xenakis was forced to leave Greece and go to Paris. The originality of his music, led him to become a composer with international recognition. His musical work consists of acoustic, electro acoustic and multimedia creations. He was a pioneer of the development of digital synthesis.

Mikis Theodorakis (1925-):
He is the most famous Greek composer who wrote songs against German occupation and was an active member of the largest Greek resistance organization (EAM). He was very active during the Civil War and the years of the Greek Junta. In 1954, he went to Paris where he wrote ballet and music for films. Since he was writing about freedom and equality, he became an international symbol of Greece.

Manos Hatzidakis (1925-1994):
He is one of the most important Greek composers, who wrote music for many ancient tragedies as well as things for the modern repertory, light and folk songs which provoked a revival of the folk music. He also created music for theatre, ballet and cinema.

•culled from www.greeka.com

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Ethnic Groups Of Ethiopia

Ethiopia is home to a number of ethnic groups.
Ethiopia is a Sub-Saharan country found in the Horn of Africa. According to a 2013 World Bank report, Ethiopia had a population of roughly 94.1 million people. The country enjoys diverse cultures such as world famous cuisines, woven cotton costume (Gabbi), the Rastafarian movement, and Ethiopian Orthodox church among others. These can be attributed to numerous ethnic groups in the Country. Oromo is the largest ethnic group in Ethiopia. It takes up 35% of the Ethiopian population. Amhara ranks the second largest ethnic group and takes up 27% of the Ethiopian population. Oromo and Amharic people make up more than half of the Ethiopian population. The other ethnic groups include Somali, Tigray, Sidama, Gurage Wolaytta, Afar, Hadiya, and Gamo.

Oromo

The Oromo people mainly occupy Oromia, the central region of Ethiopia, and they number 34,216,242 people. It is believed that Oromia is their original homeland, and they speak the Oromo language. They practice subsistence farming and lead a nomadic pastoralist life. Oromos have their calendar that is based on astronomical observations. The Oromos' system of governance famously known as Gaada- is based on age grades with older people generations ranking higher in the system. They view aging as advancement in wisdom. Elders are consulted in times of disputes and at weddings.

Amhara

The Amhara are among the second largest ethnic group in Ethiopia, and they speak Amharic, the official language of the Republic of Ethiopia. Their population is approximately 26,855,771 people. It is believed they are descendants of Shem the eldest son of Noah in the biblical story. Amharas use proverbs, myths, and parables to teach moral lessons to their children. They are known for their spicy cuisines which consist of chili peppers, garlic, ginger, basil, and fenugreek. Amharas are ranked among the highest coffee consumers. An interesting aspect of the Amharas is that they do not wear shoes. They have a patriarchal system of governance where the males have authority over the females in the community.

Tigray

Tigrayans constitute approximately 6.1% of the Ethiopian population, and their numbers total approximately 6,047,522 people in the country. Most Tigrayans live in the northern region of Ethiopia. They use folktales, riddles, and poetry for entertainment. The naming ceremony is an important rite of passage for the Tigyayans as it marks a child's membership into the community. A child who dies before the naming ceremony is not granted a funeral.

Somali

Somalis rank closely with the Tigrayans at 6.1% of the Ethiopian population, and their numbers are approximately 6,186,774 people. They are spread across Ethiopia, Djibouti , Kenya , and Somalia. Somalis are divided into social units known as clans. These clans are a core part of their culture. Islam is the predominant religion among Somalis. Therefore, they borrow a great deal of their social norms from Islam. Men and women do not touch while greeting each other. In Somali culture, the right hand is seen as the clean and polite hand. Left-handedness is a taboo among these ethnic groups.

Inter-Ethnic Relations

Other ethnic groups in Ethiopia, and their population sizes therein, include the Sidana (3,978,633), the Gurage (2,306,539), the Welyata (2,257,874), the Afar (1,720,759), the Hadiya (1,710,812), and the Gamo (1,482,041), while other groups have 12,532,693 residents in the country collectively. Although Ethiopia is a multi-ethnic country, there has always been a conflict between the two largest ethnic groups the Oromo and the Amhara. The conflict has largely been over the control of land, although it is believed it could be politically incited as well. These conflicts have led to the loss of lives and property destruction.

Ethnic Groups Of Ethiopia

Rank Ethnic Groups Estimated Population Living in Ethiopia Today
1 Oromo 34,216,242
2 Amhara 26,855,771
3 Somali 6,186,774
4 Tigrayan 6,047,522
5 Sidama 3,978,633
6 Gurage 2,506,539
7 Welayta 2,257,874
8 Afar 1,720,759
9 Hadiya 1,710,812
10 Gamo 1,482,041
Other Groups 12,532,693

By Benjamin Elisha Sawe

•culled from www.worldatlas.com

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Major Ethnic Groups Of Eritrea

The Biher-Tigrinya people are the largest ethnic group in Eritrea today, followed by the related Tigre people.
The Biher-Tigrinya people are the largest ethnic group in Eritrea today, followed by the related Tigre people. These ethnic groups make up the majority of the population in the country, and the other seven tribes constitute 12% of the remaining total population.

Both Italy and Britain colonized Eritrea . In 1952, the United Nations federated
Ethiopia and Eritrea, but Ethiopia overruled the federal arrangement and annexed Eritrea as its province. This annexation led to years of liberation wars by Eritreans. During this time all the tribes in Eritrea came together to form a formidable front that would liberate the country from the ever fighting Ethiopian ethnic groups.

Biher-Tigrinya

The Biher-Tigrinya ethnic group is the largest community in Eritrea, constituting 57% of the total population. It occupies the southern, northern, and central highlands of Maakel and Debub and practices farming. The community practices Christianity primarily the
Coptic , Catholic, and Protestant branches. A small proportion of the group practices the Islam religion. They speak Tigrinya language.

Tigre

The Tigre ethnic group is the second largest population in Eritrea constituting 28% of the total population. They occupy the vast areas from the western lowlands, northern mountains, to the coastal plains of Eritrea. They are similar to the Tigrinya community sharing both Islamic and Christianity.

Saho

The ethnic minority group of Saho makes up 4% of the total population in Eritrea. The group occupies the southeastern slopes of the highlands to the coastal plains of Foro and the hinterland south of Massawa. Like their counterparts, the Tigrinya and Tiger, they also practice Islamic and Christianity and are small scale farmers with much emphasis on bee-keeping. Their culture is embodied in the community work where a village has around 200 homes that are well built and have a clean environment.

Kunama

This ethnic group forms the third largest population in Eritrea with a 3% stake. They occupy the territories between Gash River and Barentu. The ethnic group constitutes two religions, Islamic and Christianity but traditional believers are present. They live a Nilotic life with a diverse dancing lifestyle. They speak the Kunama language.

Bilen

These traditional farmers occupy the regions of Keren and its environs making up a 2% of the whole Eritrea population. They practice Christianity and Islamic religion, and their culture revolves around kinships social stratification. They have close ties with their relatives, Tigrinya.

Rashida

This Islamic ethnic group came to Eritrea from the Arabian Peninsula. They lead a nomadic life along the Northern Red Sea coast. Today they make up for just a 2% of the total population.

The Social Cohesion In Eritrea

The Tigrinya group is dominant numerically, economically and politically. Christianity is the dominant religion with the Jerbeti Muslims taking on the minority. The other minorities with an exception of the Tigre group, are small and do not form any homogeneous or influential political and cultural blocks.

Major Ethnic Groups Of Eritrea

Rank Ethnic Group Share of Eritrean Population
1 Biher-Tigrinya 57%
2 Tigre 28%
3 Saho 4%
4 Afar 3%
5 Kunama 3%
6 Bilen 2%
7 Rashaida 2%

By Benjamin Elisha Sawe

•culled from www.worldatlas.com

Sunday, 23 September 2018

Equatorial Guinea Villages And Cultures

Ethnic Groups, Cultures And Languages 

Nearly the entire population, with the exception of the pygmies, belongs to the Bantus. More than seventy million individuals belong to this denomination that extends throughout Central, Eastern and Southern Africa.

Despite the great ethnic and cultural variety that share the territory and contrary to what unfortunately occurs in other countries of Africa, nowadays in Equatorial Guinea, the cultural differences coexist with each other in complete peace, with no ethnic problems or confrontations.

Ethnic groups and cultures

Fangs: They form the most numerous ethnic group in population. Traditionally, they are structured in relatively autonomous families, clans and tribes. Descendancy is transmitted by the men, hence the importance of the father, of the uncle and of the first born son. Their wooden sculptures, their masks and the Fang ritual statues are appreciated the world over.

Bubis: They are found on the island of Bioko and are Bantus belonging to the "civilization of the ñame". Their society is structured in the form of a kingdom that was maintained until the end of the colonial period. Their original religion was monotheist and music, dance and their traditional singing was inspired by religious ceremonies that are still deeply rooted.

Pygmies: In Equatorial Guinea they are called Beyeles and Bokuigns. They live in small groups and are dedicated to hunting and to the collection of roots and wild berries.
Ndowes. They are a minority, formed by numerous ethnic groups: the Kombe, the Bujeba, the Bapuka, the Balenke, the Enviko and the Benga. Their social organization is through a hierarchy of families, villages, lineages and clans.

Bisios: Originally from Cameroon, they are not very numerous and emigrated in the 19th century towards the regions near the coast of the Continental Region, down the river Ntem.
Fernandinos and creoles. The middle class of land owners and merchants, who lived a long time in the capital and were mixed descendants of workers that settled throughout the centuries on the plantations of the island of Bioko.

Annobonese: They live on the island of Annobon and are a mixture of Portuguese, Spanish and African descendants of slaves. They are traditionally fishermen, since agriculture is scarce on the island due to its volcanic soil. They use canoes known as cayucos or dugouts, made of ceiba wood. Most of them speak the Fá d'Ambó dialect, which is Portuguese Creole mixed with Spanish.

Languages And Dialects

Spanish is the official administrative language and that of education. French is the second official languages and nearly all the ethnic groups speak the languages referred to as Bantu.

Saturday, 22 September 2018

Major Ethnic Groups in Egypt

Ethnic Egyptians constitute the highest percentage of the Egyptian population.
Egypt is a country in North African with a population of 93 million people. The country's history is very rich. It has some of the oldest civilizations in the world and the most iconic sites on earth such as the pyramids.

Ethnic Groups in Egypt

The larger population in Egypt is the Egyptians. Egyptians make 95% of Egypt's population. Egyptians speak the modern Egyptian Arabic. On the other hand, there are the minorities such as the Berbers of Siwa oasis, Nubian of southern Nile, Bedouins, and Copts who make 5% of the entire population. The Nubians speak Nubian language while Copts speak Coptic language mainly in church during prayers and hymns.

Bedouins

This tribe lives across North Africa. Bedouins are ancient people who originated from the people of Arabian Peninsula. Bedouins tribe is composed of different tribes from many regions of Egypt. Few Bedouin are nomadic as they live in tents which makes it easier to migrate. Women in Bedouins culture have the responsibility to demolish and assemble the tents whenever they migrate. However, the majority of Bedouin are not nomads as they have permanent homes. Modern culture has changed the lifestyle of Bedouins. Although the children wear modern clothing, the women still dress traditionally. Bedouins began to adopt modern culture in the mid-20 th century when they settled in the cities.

Berbers

Berbers are also a tribe living across North Africa belonging to a minority group. In Egypt, they are very few compared to other northern countries. Berbers were named by conquerors but later they changed to Amazighen. Berbers are Muslims and speak the Berber language which is a family of different languages with closely related dialects. Originally, Berbers were not Muslims but converted to Islam after settling in Egypt.

Population Density

Egypt is a highly populated country among Arab countries. It is the third most populated country in Africa after Ethiopia and Nigeria. Of its population of 93 million people, about 95% stay along river Nile banks and the Nile delta. The residents also inhibit the Suez Canal and north of Cairo. These areas are the most highly populated in the world having an average of over 3,820 people per square mile.

The government in Egypt has put in efforts with limited success, encouraging migration to new areas reclaimed from the desert. Despite these efforts, the population in the countryside keeps on decreasing as most people migrate to big towns looking for employment and better living standards. However, small populations are scattered in the desert regions and some clustered around transportation routes and historic trading areas. According to Peterson Institute for International Economics, the main problems leading to migration is the high number of graduates and unemployment.

Religion

Almost all Egyptians are Muslims. Statistics by the CIA World Fact Book indicate that 90% of the population is Muslim while Christians are 10% involving Copts of Coptic Orthodox Church Alexandria among others.

Languages

Arabic is the official language spoken in Egypt. The majority of the population in Egypt speaks Egyptian Arabic. However, Sa'idi Arabic is widely spoken in the upper Nile, Siwa language is common among the Berbers, and Nubian language among the Nubians. Furthermore, French and English are also common among some residents. Coptic language is popular during church masses, meditations, and prayers.

By Samuel Kinuthia

•culled from www.worldatlas.com

Friday, 21 September 2018

Largest Ethnic Groups In Djibouti

Djibouti has a Somali majority, a significant minority of Afar people, and lesser numbers of Yemeni, Ethiopian, and Europeans.
Djibouti is a country on the African continent, located in the Horn of Africa and surrounded by Eritrea , Ethiopia , and Somalia. The country is relatively small with a population of 828,324. Approximately three-quarters of the population live in the urban centers, the remainder live in rural areas and raise livestock. Major languages spoken include Somali, Afar, Arabic, and French. The country is considered multi-ethnic and has a rich history. This article takes a look at these topics.

History Of Djibouti

To understand the ethnic diversity of this country, a brief summary of its history is first necessary. This region has a long history of immigrants and trade that begins in ancient times when it was part of an Egyptian kingdom. This land was later taken over by Muslim sultanates, dating back as far as 1000 AD and ending with the Kingdom of Adal which fought against the Christian Abyssinian Kingdom. This fighting lasted for hundreds of years and ended in the mid-1500's. The majority of the Adal peoples were of Somali, Afar, Harari, and Arab descent. Somali and Afar Sultans ruled the area for the next 300 years or so until they gave away their territories via several treaties with the French government.

French Somaliland was founded between 1883 and 1887 and worked to build a railroad that connected the area to Dire Dawa and Addis Ababa. Nearly 200 years after its establishment, French Somaliland was renamed French Territory of the Afars and the Issas in 1967. This was also around the time that native Djiboutians began protesting for freedom which was granted in 1977. The colonization of the area helps to explain the European ethnicity found in the region today.

Somali Ethnic Group

The Somali ethnic group makes up 60% of the population of Djibouti. These individuals mainly belong to sub-clans of the Dir clan which stretches throughout Somalia, Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Kenya. The biggest sub-clan in Djibouti is the Issa clan who have a long history living as nomadic cattle herders. The Issa make up about half of the total population in the country. When Djibouti gained its independence, this group desired a union with Somalia, but that did not come to pass. The Issa fought with the Italians when the Europeans invaded Ethiopia in the 1930's, this earned the clan access to weapons, military training, and increased trade of their cattle.

Afar Ethnic Group

The second largest ethnic group is the Afar at 35% of the population. The northern region of Djibouti is where the majority of the Afar live. Their primary language is Saho-Afar, and they traditionally live a nomadic lifestyle. It is believed that they arrived in the area around 300 AD from the Arabian peninsula and by crossing the Red Sea. They have a history with the previously mentioned Adal Sultanate. Afar interests are represented by the rebel group Afar Revolutionary Democratic Front Party who started a civil war with the government in 1991 that lasted until 1994.

Minority Ethnic Groups

The remaining 5% of the population is made up of people of Ethiopian, Yemeni, Arab, French, Italian and other ethnicities. Those individuals of French and Italian descent have been in the region since the days of the French colony and the Italian invasion. The two European groups fought over borders between French Somaliland and Italian East Africa during World War II. People of Ethiopian, Yemeni, and Arab descent are ancestors of the Sultanate families that once ruled the areas.

Largest Ethnic Groups In Djibouti

Rank Ethnic Group or Nationality Share of Djiboutian Population
1 Somali 60%
2 Afar 35%
3 Ethiopian, Yemeni Arab, French, Italian, and Others 5% Combined.

By Amber Pariona

•culled from www.worldatlas.com

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Ethnic Groups In The Democratic Republic Of The Congo (Congo-Kinshasa)

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is home to an impressive number of different ethnic groups, making it one of the most diverse countries in the world.

The Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the world . It is the second largest country in Africa by land area and is home to numerous ethnic groups exceeding 200 in total, some of whom are immigrants from neighboring countries. The majority of the country's population belongs to one of the many Bantu-speaking ethnic groups.

10. Ethnic and Linguistic Diversity in Congo-Kinshasa

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is ethnically diverse, and more than 200 different ethnic groups have been identified in the region. An estimated 215 native languages are spoken in the country alongside French, which is the official language in the country.

9. Luba

The Luba people, sometimes referred to as the Baluba, are the largest ethnic group in the Democratic Republic of the Congo . The Luba is an ethnic group made of culturally similar Bantu communities. The community is native to the Kasai, Maniema, and Katanga regions of the country. The community practices fishing along the Congo River, livestock keeping, and agriculture. Their religion is centered on a supernatural beings, spirits, and ancestors.

8. Mongo

The Mongo people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo consist of several smaller constituent groups, including the Mbole, Ekonda, Boyela, Bolia, and Nkutu. These groups speak different dialects of the Mongo language. Collectively, those ethnicities listed under the Mongo group make up the second largest ethnic group in the country. The people traditionally relied on agriculture, hunting and gathering, and fishing. Their earlier religion centered on ancestor and nature spirits, which has so far been replaced with Christianity.

7. Kongo

The Kongo ethnic group is native to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of the Congo, and Angola. The Kongo arrived in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in line with the Bantu migration in the 13th Century. They settled under different kingdoms and mainly practiced agriculture. Agriculture is still practiced by the community in the modern day along with trade and fishing. The people's religion is based on spirit cults and ancestor spirits. Although Christianity was introduced to the Kongo people by Europeans, the natives incorporated the religion with their customs and practices. The Kongo speak Kikongo alongside French and Lingala.

6. Mangbetu

The Mangbetu ethnicity in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is concentrated within the Orientale Province. Their presence in the country was a result of migration from Sudan at the start of the 19th century, where they met and interacted with Bantu-speaking communities, who influenced their language and culture. The community was distinctive due to their elongated heads. They wrapped a baby's head with a tight cloth to achieve the renowned look. The practice was however banned during colonization. The Mangbetu are a highly artistic community, engaging in sculpting, pottery, and building. The community is also renowned for their music, mostly done through the Mangbetu guitar or harp.

5. Moru

The Moru ethnicity is native to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan. The Moru people are named in narratives depicting wars with the Zande people. These wars and slave raids helped to drive the group to their current settlements. They speak the Moru language and mainly engage in agriculture, trade, hunting, and fishing. They participate in dances and songs to mark various seasons, with their native instruments being the gara, the Kudi, and Lekyembe harps.

4. Zande

Migration of the Zande people into what ate now the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Sudan began in the 1600s. They reside in the tropical rainforest and the savanna, and mainly engage in agriculture, hunting and fishing, mostly along the Uele River. They are an ethnically mixed people and speak nearly five dialects of the Azande language which is similar to other Bantu languages. The Zande people firmly believe in witchcraft and superstitions. Their culture is mostly expressed through oral folklore, music, and dance. The Zande people have been caught up in rebel wars in Congo, prompting them to engage in warfare to protect their territories.

3. Pygmies

The Pygmies are considered to have been some of the earliest peoples to have inhabited the Congo River Basin. They are characterized by their short stature, are mainly hunters and gatherers and they inhabit the rainforest. The forests of Ituri and Kibali are home to Congo's remaining Pygmies groups, which is the Twa, Bambuti, Baka, Mbuti and the Babinga. They have a symbiotic relationship with the neighboring Bantu communities, engaging in trade to acquire goods not found in the forest. They, however, maintain their culture in the face of external cultural influences. Music is a vital part of their lives and is made by complex vocal polyphony. Dance is an integral part of their rituals such as initiation, marriage, and healing. Their religion is centered in the forest, and they consider themselves children of the forest. Most of the other tribes consider the Pygmies to be sub-human due to their indigenous way of life. Some instances of soldiers feeding on the pygmies to absorb their'forest powers' have been reported.

2. European Congolese

The term "European Congolese" refers to nationals of the Democratic Republic of the Congo who have White European ancestry. Their history can be traced back to Belgian colonization of the country. Missionaries, settlers, and government officials were some of the Belgians who stayed after the country gained its independence, although their number has been decreasing due to civil war and instability. This group mainly speaks French, which is also the official language in the country.

1. Relations Between Ethnic Groups in the DRC

The Democratic Republic of the Congo has been rocked by civil wars and internal strife since gaining its independent status, much of which has been fueled by ethnic rivalries. With the nation being incredibly rich in natural resources, different ethnic groups vie to clinch power and subsequently control the country's wealth. Ethnic rivalries in the country are traced back to colonization, and the antagonism is more severe for non-native immigrant groups such as the Hutu and Tutsi from
Rwanda.

By Benjamin Elisha Sawe

•culled from www.worldatlas.com

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Music of Georgia

The Shin
In August 2008, the former Soviet Republic of Georgia engaged in an armed conflict with Russia and separatist groups in South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The unresolved secessionist conflicts and the tense relations with Russia make us forget that Georgians are renowned for their love of music and dance, and that Georgia is well known for its rich folklore and its unique traditional music.

Folk music

Georgian folk music possesses what is the oldest tradition of polyphonic music in the world, predating the introduction of Christianity.

Tuning

Scales used in traditional Georgian music have, like most European scales, octaves divided into seven tones (eight including the octave), but the spacing of the tones is different. As with most traditional systems of tuning, traditional Georgian folk music uses a just perfect fifth . Between the unison and the fifth, however, come three evenly-spaced notes, producing a compressed (compared to most European music) major second , a neutral third, and a stretched perfect fourth . Likewise, between the fifth and the octave come two evenly-spaced notes, producing a compressed major sixth and a stretched minor seventh. This system of tuning renders thirds as the most consonant interval after fifths, which resulted in the third being treated as a stable interval in Georgia long before it acquired that status in Western music.

Some consider the Georgian scale a "quintave system" (as opposed to the octave-repeating "octave system"). Due to the neutral tuning within the quintave system, the eighth degree or octave is slightly widened, which often results in a rise in pitch from the beginning of a song to the end.
Because of the influence of the Western music and its different system of tuning, present-day performances of Georgian folk music often employ Western tuning, bringing the seconds, fourths, sixths, and sevenths, and sometimes the thirds as well, closer to where they would lie in a Western scale.

Musical literature and traditions

The Shin, in their search for a sound that is definitively Georgian, have created a trans-regional fusion of various Georgian styles. Their project EgAri is based on Georgian instrumental music, traditional polyphonic vocals, and folk dance, and unites for the first time these quite separate segments of Georgian culture.

Georgian folk songs are often centered on feasts called supra, where songs and toasts to God, fatherland, long life, love and other topics. Traditional feast songs include "Zamtari", which is about winter and is sung to commemorate ancestors, and "Mravalzhamier", a joyous hymn.

Work songs are also widespread. The orovela, for example is a type of work song found in eastern Georgia. There is also a distinct and rich tradition of Georgian sacred music, both settings of hymns for the Orthodox Church, and folk hymns and ritual songs that contain a great deal of "pagan" imagery. There are, in addition, many lyric love songs, dance songs, lullabies, and travelling songs, among others.
Choirs are generally entirely male, though some female groups also exist; mixed-gender choirs are rare, but also exist. (An example of the latter is the Zedashe ensemble, based in Sighnaghi , Kakheti .)

Varieties within the country
Georgia is a small country, but it is very mountainous. For this reason, folk music styles from different regions of Georgia differ very widely, which makes it difficult to speak of characteristics of "Georgian folk music" as a monolithic whole.

Table songs from Kakheti in eastern Georgia usually feature a simple, drone-like bass part with two soloists singing the top two parts. Kakhetian melodies sound like recitative part of the time (with great emphasis on the words, which are highly poetic), and then break into series of ornate, cascading ornaments. The two melody parts do play off each other, but there is not the type of complicated back-and-forth between the parts that one hears in Gurian trio songs. Perhaps the most well-known example of music in Kakhetian style is the patriotic "Chakrulo", which was chosen to accompany the Voyager spacecraft in 1977.

In Rach'a and Ajara, male singers accompany themselves on bagpipe.
Dissonance is prominent in the west, in
Mingrelia and Guria, which also features high pitches and outrageous, yodelling -like vocals called krimanchuli. Svaneti 's traditions are perhaps the oldest and most traditional due to the region's isolation. Svan harmonies are irregular and angular, and the middle voice leads two supporting vocals, all with a narrow range. The 20th century has seen professional choirs achieve renown in Georgia, especially Anzor Erkomaishvili's Rustavi Choir.

Contemporary Georgian music

Georgia is home to a form of urban music with sentimental, lovelorn lyrics, as well as a more rough and crude urban music featuring clarinets ,
doli and duduks.

Folk musical instruments

Wind instruments : larchemi-soinari, salamuri, pilili, gudastviri and stviri

Brass wind instruments: sankeri

String instruments: panduri, chonguri, chunir, chianuri and changi

Percussion instruments: doli, daira and diplipito

•culled from www.folkworld.eu

Largest Ethnic Groups In Comoros

The majority of Comorians are of African or Arab origins, though sizable minorities of Asians and Europeans can be seen there as well.
The Union of Comoros is an African Island nation in the Indian Ocean. The island is located north of Mozambique Channel and borders Mozambique,
Madagascar, Tanzania and Seychelles. The country sits on an area of 1660 square kilometers, and is the third smallest country in Africa. Comoros is one of the least populous countries with a population of only 790,000 people, but it is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. Half the population is below the age of 15 years while 34% of the population lives in urban areas. There are three major ethnic groups in the country with several ethnic minorities. The largest of these ethnic groups are looked at below.

African Arab

African Arabs, commonly known as Afro-Arabs, are a group of people or individuals who trace their ancestry to both African and Arabic origins. Most of the African Arabs are along the Swahili coastlines in Africa Great Lakes region. Some of these ethnic groups are also in other parts of the world, especially in the Arab world. African Arab is the dominant ethnic group in Comoros accounting for 86% of the total population. The island was initially colonized by Africans, however, in the 15th Century the Arabs arrived on the island and thus established their chiefdoms, which were headed by Sultans. The Arabs flourished in the slave trade and at the same time influenced Africans culturally through Islam. The Arab influence on Africans saw the emergence of an Afro-Arab group that has now grown into the largest ethnic group in the country. The Swahili culture characterizes the ethnic group. Arabic heavily influences the language. Ritual music such as Stambali and Gnawa are common ritual music among this community.

Malagasy

The Malagasy are the major ethnic group in Madagascar. However, Comoros also have a significant number of people belonging to this ethnic group. Malagasy are divided into two groups, the Highlanders and the coastal dwellers. The coastal dwellers of Malagasy are the majority in Comoros. The first group of Malagasy, the Austronesian settlers, arrived from Borneo and settled in the Central Highland region where they practiced rice farming. With their canoes, they moved and established kingdoms on the unpopulated coastlines, including Comoros. The main economic activities of the Malagasy include hunting, fishing, and agriculture. They also value clothing and hair styling. The majority of Malagasy practice Christianity as the dominant religion.

Ismaili Indian

Ismaili Indian is a sub-branch of Shia Muslims who received the name Ismaili from their following of the teachings of Imam Ismaili ibn Jafar. They believe in the oneness of God and Muhammad as the prophet of God. The group is mainly among the Indian community in Comoros and other parts of the world including Pakistan , Afghanistan , South Africa, and East Africa. Ismaili Indians believes in reincarnation of their members within their community. They also believe that numbers have religious meaning especially the number seven.

Other Ethnic Minorities in Comoros

Some of the smaller ethnic minorities in the country of Comoros include the Chinese, French, Dutch, British, and Portuguese. These minority groups arrived in the country during the colonization of Africa in search of slaves. Most of these minority groups have their ancestry in the countries of origin. The majority of expatriates working in Comoros are from the ethnic minority.

Largest Ethnic Groups In Comoros

Ethnic Group Share of the Population of Comoros
African Arab 86%
Malagasy 14% collectively
Ismaili Indian
Chinese
French
Dutch
British
Portuguese

By Benjamin Elisha Sawe

•culled from www.worldatlas.com

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Largest Ethnic Groups Of Chad

Among hundreds of ethnic groups in Chad, the Sara and Arabs are the two most populous.
Chad is a country in central Africa located south of Libya. The population in the country is unevenly distributed because of the contrast in physical geography and climate. The south western part of the country around Lake Chad is highly populated, whereas the Northern part of the country is the dry Saharan zone, which is sparsely populated. Among hundreds of ethnic groups in Chad, the Sara and Arabs are the two most populous. The population of Chad is a unique mix of native communities and Arabs who invaded the region from the 8th century. The Arabs introduced the Islam religion, and the population is also divided between Muslims and non-Muslims. Approximately 180 ethnic groups reside in Chad and over 100 languages are spoken in the country.

Largest Ethnic Groups Of Chad

Sara

The largest ethnic group is the Sara, representing 28% of the country's population. The Sara people trace their ancestry to the Sao, who were displaced from the north-east banks of the Nile River by Arab slave traders and settled in Chad in the 16th century. They are patrilineal and non-Muslim, with significant population still practicing traditional faiths. The ethnicity prides in 12 sub-tribes including the Sar, Mbay, Kaba, Gulay, Dai, and the Ngambay. The group's language is classified under the Nilo-Saharan family. The Sara occupy the southern parts of the country, between the Logone River and Lake Iro. They mostly engage in farming for products such as cotton, cassava, and millet. During colonization, southern Chad was the center of administration for the French Rule. The Sara were thus more assimilated and educated than their northern counterparts. Their most notable culture is the body scarring rituals used as a form of body art.

Arab

The Arabs make up 12% of Chad's population. They are semi-sedentary and mostly occupy the Ouaddai and Chari Baguirmi regions in the country. Their presence can be traced back to the Arab invasions in the area and the subsequent conversions to Islam. The group is divided into three subgroups namely the Hassuna, the Juhayna, and the Awlad Sulayman. The group's social structure revolves around the Kashimbet led by an elder male. During colonization, the Arabs resisted French Rule, and their culture remained largely unaltered. The Chadian Arabs have been involved in resistance against the central government from time to time.

Daza

The Daza ethnic group has an 11% share of the population in Chad. Islam is the main religion of the population which inhabits the Sahara Desert's southern fringes. Their social structure is organized along clans and tribes headed by chiefs. The Daza are known for their skills in fighting, and they have resisted countless invasions. The encroaching desert has caused them to move to towns and cities to look for employment as are traditionally nomads.

Mayo-Kebbi

The Mayo-Kebbi people make up 10% of Chad's population. The group lives in proximity to the Sara people in the country's southwestern region. The group's name is derived from the name of the valley that they inhabit. The Mayo-Kebbi is not Muslim, and they mainly observe indigenous beliefs.
Other Ethnic Groups In Chad
The rest of Chad's ethnic groups are the Kanem-Bornou (9%); Ouaddai (9%); Hadjarai (7%); Tandjilé (7%), and Fitri-Batha (5%). Other groups makeup 2% of the population and include the Gorane, Fulani, Karo, Katoko, Maba, Massa, Mbaye, and Moundang. Non-indigenous ethnicities in Chad include the Sudanese and the French.

Rank Ethnic Group Share of Population in Chad
1 Sara 28%
2 Arab 12%
3 Daza 11%
4 Mayo-Kebbi 10%
5 Kanem-Bornou 9%
6 Ouaddaï 9%
7 Hadjarai 7%
8 Tandjilé 7%
9 Fitri-Batha 5%
Other Groups 2%

By Benjamin Elisha Sawe

•culled from www.worldatlas.com

Saturday, 15 September 2018

History of French Music

The lengthy history of French music begans back in the 10th century with court songs and chivalrous music. Much of France's early folk music was instrumental, with very few and very simple instruments; but there was a group of poet-composers who began their work around the 10th century as well. From this point forward, France has an illustrious musical history, ranging from opera to classical, to pop and rock in the 20th century.

A Short History of French Music

In order to do justice to French music, one would have to write an entire series of books on each type of music in the history of music in France. Here, a short summary can pique your appetite.

French Opera

The first operas appeared in France during the mid-17th century. While the first operas were experimental, opera was soon met with considerable enthusiasm in Paris, especially the operas based on the Italian opera of the time. During the reign of Louis XIV, Italian-style opera began to flourish in France.

However, it was in the 19th century that most operas one would recognize the names of today came into being. Classics from Georges Bizet, such as
Carmen, date from this time, and are still widely appreciated around the world.

Classical French Music

The most celebrated classical music era from France is known as the Romantic Era, which closely resembles the period of Romantic French literature and poetry. Set during the 19th century, famous French musicians like Ravel and Debussy were able to compose classical masterpieces that were not only appreciated in France at the time, but also made their way around the world, wowing audiences and inspiring composers in other countries.Erik Satie is another famous French composer from this era, although his music is not generally classified as belonging to the Romantic movement. Satie's compositions are still viewed as ahead of their time.

In the 20th century, music in France took a turn for the modern, much as music did in many regions of the world. Many composers experimented with new sounds and rhythms, and the history of French music is also made richer by the French invention of 'spectral music'. This invention is a form of computer-aided musical composition, and its capabilities are still not quite fully appreciated around the world.

Folk Music

It is hard to classify a particular history of folk music in France. Because of its regional nature, there is no one French folk music, and no single timeline along which folk music evolved. Folk music in France is rather a series of folk music types in different regions of the country. In southern regions, the folk music resembled Spanish or Italian folk music, and in the eastern mountains, Swiss or German influences played a role in folk music. The North of France, as well as the Atlantic Coast, each had fairly individualized genres of folk music that were part of the local community and artistic life.

Popular Music

Popular music in France began in the 19th century, but carried over into the 20th century before changing genres. The earliest period ranges from the late 1800s to about 1930, when dance hall singers made popular music for local audiences. This atmosphere metamorphosed into the French ' chanson', which is still a popular genre of French song today, usually on the topic of love. Famous artists of the popular music scene include the unforgettable Edith Piaf, classics like Georges Brassens, and rockers like Johnny Hallyday. Near the end of the 20th century, music from Northern Africa migrated to France, as well as American hip hop; both have enjoyed a certain degree of popularity, with hip hop becoming a full genre of French rap in the 1990s.

In-Depth French Music History

All in all, the history of French music is long and varied. While many of the later elements in French music can also be found in American music, French music started much earlier than American music. Even once America was colonized and then became independent, music was rather scarce. If one compares American musical history to that of France, the range, as well as the length, of the history is impressive.

By Rachel Hanson

Central African Republic Travel Guide

The difficulty of simply arriving in the Central African Republic—a country that has only a few incoming flights per week, mostly through African carriers, and can be entered by car only through its sole stable neighbor, Cameroon—should give potential visitors an idea of what they are in for if they choose to visit this tropical nation. At once beautiful and challenging, the Central African Republic is subject to poor internal governance and security issues outside of urban areas. It is blessed with a wealth of natural resources, which will, it is hoped, be utilized in the future to stabilize the economy and bring international dollars into this landlocked country.

What to Do in the Central African Republic

1. Dzanga-Sangha National Park: For those hoping to experience one of the world's densest rain forests, Dzanga-Sangha National Park is the place to go; it is also the only one of the Central African Republic's national parks open to visitors at this time. It is possible to hire a guide to hike or canoe through the park, where you can see bongo antelopes, forest buffalo, gorillas, and elephants. A lodge and basic tourist facilities are available in the nearby town of Bayanga. The park's website has a wealth of information about current activities, transportation, and more.

2. French Influences: Although the French left Bangui 50 years ago, their influence is still readily apparent in the broad boulevards and architecture of the town. Several high-quality restaurants can be found here, including Satis and the deservedly popular Relais des Chasses, both of which specialize in French and international dishes. The culturally inclined will enjoy a stroll through the charming and busy Marché Central, and the Musée de Boganda offers insights into the country's history, along with an impressive collection of indigenous musical instruments. At night, try heading to Kilomètre 10, where most of Bangui's bars and nightclubs are located.

When to Go

If possible, visit the Central African Republic during the dry season, from November to March; it'll be much easier to travel by road and enjoy outdoor activities. On March 29, the people of the Central African Republic mark the death of Barthelemy Boganda, the first prime minister of the country. It's an event worth observing if you are in the area. Some businesses close during the holy month of Ramadan, and visitors are expected to behave more conservatively at that time; for example, do not drink in public.

Getting In and Around

Visas: You can either obtain a visa from a Central African Republic embassy before entering the country, or buy a visa at the airport for $100. Also necessary are a valid passport and a yellow fever vaccination card.

Transportation: It is possible to fly into Bangui on Air France, along with several African carriers. In theory, it is possible to drive into the Central African Republic from neighboring countries, but traveling through Sudan, Chad, or the Democratic Republic of the Congo is highly inadvisable. Due to a recent cholera outbreak, driving in through Cameroon can be dangerous. If you decide to undertake the drive, make sure to have a Carte du Sejour (a residency card for short- and long-term travelers) from both Cameroon and the Central African Republic, along with your visa.

Although most roads are unpaved, those connecting the Central African Republic's major towns are very reliable in the dry season. Buses run between the main towns, but motor vehicles are generally not used outside of urban areas. If you are considering driving outside of the cities, carry gas and spare parts.

Safety and Security

Concerned about your safety as you plan travel to Central African Republic (CAR)? We at Africa.com, together with our friends, family and colleagues, travel extensively throughout the continent. Here are the resources we consult when thinking of our safety in CAR:

• UK Government CAR Travel Advice Guidance

Africa.com comment: Very timely and frequently updated. Perspective assumes that you ARE going to travel to CAR, and seeks to give you good guidance so that you understand the risks and are well informed.

• Mo Ibrahim Personal Safety & Rule of Law Score for CAR

Africa.com comment: An annual ranking of the 54 African countries based on their relative personal security as determined by a highly qualified staff of an African foundation, funded by a successful African philanthropist. See where CAR ranks relative to the other 54 nations in Africa.

• U.S. State Department Travel Advisory on CAR

Africa.com comment: Can sometimes be considered as overly conservative and discourage travel altogether to destinations that many reasonable people find acceptably secure. On the other hand, they have the resources of the CIA to inform them, so they know things that the rest of us don't know. 
See what they have to say about CAR.

Local Advice

1. The Central African Republic uses the Central African CFA franc, which can also be used in Chad, Cameroon, and several other central African countries. Do not confuse this with the West African CFA franc, which looks similar but is accepted only in West Africa. There are no ATMs in the Central African Republic, and you will not be able to use any type of credit card; banks in Bangui (the capital city) and Berbérati (another major city) are the only places where you can exchange your money.

2. Christianity and Islam, along with indigenous beliefs, are widespread in the Central African Republic. Especially in Muslim areas, it will behoove travelers to dress conservatively, covering their legs and shoulders. In homes and small restaurants in rural areas, people eat with their hands; make sure to use only your right hand, as it is seen as unclean to use your left hand.

3. Internet access is scanty, even in Bangui. Because of the high price of newspapers and the prevalence of illiteracy in the Central African Republic, most news is spread by radio broadcasts. Fifteen French-language newspapers, three of which are state owned, can be found in the capital and provide a good way to stay abreast of the country's politics.

4. Malaria is a serious problem in the Central African Republic, and the strains that exist there are resistant to some treatments. Use insect repellent liberally, take a mosquito net with you, and drink only bottled water. If you do feel sick, you may be able to visit a doctor in Bangui. We do not recommend swimming in most lakes, rivers, or other bodies of water (unless you are with a guide who can vouch for cleanliness), as a risk exists of contracting a parasite known as schistosomiasis, which can cause skin infections and fevers.

5. The Central African Republic is inhabited by seven major ethnic groups, each with its own language. Sangho serves as the lingua franca, although most people in the cities speak enough French to communicate with foreigners. Learn a few phrases; it's not enough to rely on English here, though some may be able to speak with you.

•culled from www.africa.com

Friday, 14 September 2018

Ethnic Groups Of Cape Verde

Most Cabo Verdeans have both Portuguese and African ancestors, and identify as Creole or Mulatto.
Cape Verde is an African nation that is comprised by ten islands and five smaller islets. The islands are located off the west coast of Africa. The country is a socialist practicing a mixed economy, and there are state-operated enterprises such as public supply companies and the Society for Fish Purchasing and Marketing. The government does not interfere with the private investments, and Agriculture has been ignored in the country for a very long time. The country imports most of its food and parts of the rural areas practice subsistence agriculture as the main economic activity which include sugarcane, beans maize, and bananas. 5% of the total production in the country is produced by only 29% of the working population. Cape Verde is a former Portuguese colony and the culture in the country is a mixture of Portuguese and African cultures. Most Cabo Verdeans have both Portuguese and African ancestors and identify as Creole and Mulatto. Africans and Portuguese and other Europeans make up the rest of the population.

Creoles and Mulattoes

The Creole or Mulatto ethnic group boasts of comprising 71% of the total Cape Verdean population. The Creole population traces back their history to African slavery and Portuguese colonization. Cape Verde was an important slave trade center and linked Africa to the Western countries. Intermarriages between the freed slaves and the European settlers gave rise to the Creole population.
The Creole language was formed from African and European language elements as a means of communication between the two groups. Although Portuguese is the official language in the country, the Creole language is the most widely spoken across the country. The culture of the Creole population heavily derives from traditional African and European cultural elements. This cultural mixture is evidently visible in music, dance, and literary expressions. Creole dances include the Kizomba, Morna, Funana, and Coladeira and are widely performed in Creole weddings and festivities.

Africans

Africans are the largest minority ethnicity in Cape Verde. 28% of Cabo Verdeans have predominately African ancestry and trace their roots to slavery and the settlement of other African groups. African groups in modern day Cape Verde includes the Mandyako, Fulani, and Balante ethnic groups. African influence in Cape Verde is evident in traditional oral narratives, musical, and other artistic expressions. The batuko musical genre is performed by women whose rhythm and beats reflect African musical traditions. African culture in Cape Verde reflects heavily elements of the culture in West Africa. Festivals such as Tabanka are colorful African festivities in Cape Verde which attract participants from all over the world
Portuguese and Other Europeans
Portuguese and other European make up around 1% of the entirety of Cape Verde's population. Some of the European immigrants in Cape Verde are Italian and French. English and Portuguese are common languages in the European minority. European influence is especially evident in the architectural and wardrobe aspects of Cabo Verdeans' way of life. The wealthy and middle-class in Cape Verde have adopted the Mediterranean style when building their homes. Western clothing has also been adopted in the islands although Cabo Verdeans also incorporate African elements.

Immigration and Emigration in Cape Verde

Cape Verde has long been an emigration country, with thousands from its population moving into Western nations and other African countries. Future predictions show that Cape Verde is well on its way to becoming an immigrant country. Future immigration to Cape Verde will be fueled by economic growth in the islands. The composition of the immigrants is predicted to be Cabo Verdeans living abroad, foreigners and Africans. These groups will contribute to the already culturally diverse country.

Ethnic Groups Of Cape Verde

Rank Ethnic Group Share of Cabo Verdean Population
1 Creole or Mulatto 71%
2 African 28%
3 Portuguese or other European 1%

By Benjamin Elisha Sawe

*culled from www.worldatlas.com

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Ethnic Groups Of Cameroon

Cameroon houses hundreds of distinct tribes, many of which share cultural and ethnic similarities with their neighbors.
Cameroon is an ethnically diverse country with about 250 groups. Some of the groups are interrelated while others have been assimilated into other groups through years of interaction. These ethnic groups mainly fall under the Bantu, Semitic, and Nilotic language groups. Cameroon's ethnic community are known to coexist in peace, and no particular group holds any political influence over the affairs of the country. The groups contribute to the country's cultural diversity.

Ethnic Groups Of Cameroon

The Bamileke

The Bamileke is a semi-Bantu community in Cameroon with origins from Egypt. The Bamileke occupy the northwest and western highlands of Cameroon. The ethnic group is composed of other related tribes with whom they share a common ancestry forming the largest group at 38% of the total population. The tribes include Bamum, Tikar and other people of the Western highlands. Languages spoken by the Bamileke include variants of Ghomala, Fe'fe, Yemba, Medumba, and Kwa. Traditionally, their system of government was patriarchal and hereditary. Being a dynamic and entrepreneurial community, the Bamileke can be found in almost all parts of Cameroon and some parts of the world. Since they are a Bantu community, their primary activities revolve around agriculture, an activity which is mainly handled by women.

The Beti-Pahuin

The Beti-Pahuin are a Bantu ethnic community occupying the southern rainforest regions of Cameroon. The Beti-Pahuin shares a common origin with the Fang, Njem, Bulu and Baka among others. Though their origins are unclear, it is believed that the Beti-Pahuin people migrated from Sudan. In Cameroon, the group was displaced severally from their locations by the Jihad and Fula who were forcing communities to convert to Islam. During these movements, some of the groups that interacted with the Beti-Pahuin were assimilated. Others such as Maka resisted assimilation and fled south and east. The Beti-Pahuin served as middlemen during the European trade. The Germans exploited them for slave labour, road construction and as sexual prisoners leading to a series of conflict. Due to their involvement in cocoa farming, the Beti-Pahuin have a strong economic influence.

The Duala people

The Duala are a Bantu coastal Cameroonian ethnic group who are highly educated due to long-term contact with the Europeans. The Doula shares a common origin with people such as the Ewodi, Isubu, Batanga, Bakoko, and the Bassa forming 12% of the total population. The primary language spoken is Douala. The Doula traces their origin to Gabon or Congo after which they moved to their present locations. During their movement, they displaced the Bassa and Bakoko who they later assimilated. The Duala were mainly traders and cultivators, which have remained part of their economic activities to the present day. Their success in trade declined significantly during the German rule after which they prospered again during the French rule. Most of the Duala are Christians.

Kirdi

Kirdi is a group of people occupying north-western Cameroon. The name Kirdi means pagan and was used to refer to a group of people who refused to join the Islamic faith. The group makes up 18% of the total population. Among the members of Kirdi are Bata, Fata, Mada, Mara, and Toupori. The Kirdi speak Chadic and Adamawa languages.

Fulani and Sahelian Muslims

The Fulani are a nomadic tribe in Cameroon which forms about 14% of the total population. The Fulani are Muslims who speak Pulaar language. The Fulani had a religious and cultural dominance over the local people forcing most of them to convert to Islam while others fled from their homes. Their culture is highly influenced by Islamic practices.

Ethnic Groups Of Cameroon

Rank Ethnic Groups Share of Population of Cameroon
1 Bamileke, Bamum, Tikar, and other Peoples of the Western Highlands 38%
2 Beti-Pahuin, Bulu, Fang, Maka, Njem, Baka, and other Peoples of the Southern Forests 18%
3 Bassa, Duala, and other Peoples of the Coastal Forests 12%
4 Kirdi 18%
5 Fulani and Sahelian Muslims 14%

By Benjamin Elisha Sawe

*culled from www.worldatlas.com
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...