African Map

Anthropology: Africa is a Multi Dimensional Continent Perceived as One Country

Africa is multidimensional

A map of Africa
African Continent
Source: african map – Google Search

Called the mother land and mother of origin of the entire human species, mainly due to the origin where the first skeleton (Lucy) was found. Africa is one of those continent not only misunderstood accross other regions of the world, but also most of the time by its own populations.

Enriched by its diversities, its ever growing and the birthing place of the youngest population in the entire world. Africa is one of those quiet continents blessed with so much. But unfortunately, like a child, with too many toys, knows nothing of what to do with all that it possesses and prefers to leasure on the bare minimum of its full potential.
Yes, Africa is a whole continent divided into 54 Countries, but despite the division of the land, it is also enriched with so many tribes.

Found in the north part of the continent are the Geryan/Tarhona/Drasa living most particularly in Libya. They have their own features and shades of colour, and we can also observe their traditional attire in the old days as shown in the illustration found below.

Geryan tribe in Libya
Geryan tribe in Libya
Source: Libyan People & Ethnic Tribes (temehu.com)

Firstly, found In the South we can find the Zulu/Basotho/Swazi are ihnabiting the land of South africa. Bear to notice the difference in he shades of colour. Aso the choice of clohing attires and facial features and enhancements which can be small cuts made on the face to distinguish people coming from the same tribe.

Basotho Tribe in South Africa
Basotho Tribe in South Africa
Source: traditional dresses Models photos: Sotho Traditional Dresses

Secondely found In the East part of the Continent we are the Isaaq/Abgal/Masare ihabiting the land of Somalia. Represented in the illustration are chief of the Isaaq tribe.

Isaaq Tribe in Somalia
Isaaq Tribe in Somalia
Source: Talk:Isaaq – Wikiwand

Thridly, we can find in some of the western part of the territory, the Wolof/Fula and the Jola inhabitant of the land of Senegal, and we can asume are also present in other neighbouring countries beyond the Senegalese boarders. Illustrated below is a man belonging from the jola tribe of Senegal.

Jola Tribe in Senegal
Jola Tribe in Senegal
source:Jola people – Wikiwand

The African continent has its disparities and strengths just like there are in any other regions of the world.The continent possesses An unmeasurable variety of religions, cultures, food diets, eating habits and attitudes or customs towards food that that make it stand out from other parts of the world.

From the composite of the family cell, which before modernisation, was made up of multiple generations living under the same roof. To the way education, customs and assesses were shared and communicated to the new generation.

Aside that, the traditional and modern fashion influenced by a mixture of the fashion found beyond its boarders, has been adapted to materials and know how skills, already existing in the land and is enhanced by the coming up and growing access to new technologies. Also Arts and architectures are also predominantly distinguishable accross all the regions in the continent, and can also be used to see how the continent is multidimensional in its own way.

In this article we will make a brief overview of a few predominant (religions/arts/fashion/food and architecture) present in few of the countries mentioned above. Consequenely, other articles will be created to bring you deeply into each and every parts, lands, regions and countries of the whole continent starting at the very top to lower part of the continent of Africa.

Brief Overview of Libya

 Libya6,754,507 (2018)[1]
Demographics of Libya – Wikipedia
Libya on the map
Libya on the map
source: Shaded Relief Location Map of Libya (maphill.com)

Firstly, we will visit the LIbya. Sitting at one of the top peaks of the Continent, as a result, Libya is one the entry and exit Points on the continent. With Tripoli as its capital city, the country has unfortunately recently been the most chosen route used by illegal immigration seekers and enablers.

Therefore, due to the constant use of its boarders and the increasing influx of people coming in the country with dreams of going abroad. Even though some will make it to their promised land of opportunities. The grand majority will either die drown in the sea or resume back to the libyan territory. As a result, most will chose to remain there, seeking petit jobs to be able to earn back the money invested, therefore, lost in the first failed journey to be able to repay for another dangerous journey travelling on a sea that has been known for killing way too many. Which of course resulted in the increase of the libyan population in recent years which has been in 2000 evaluated as made up of around 57.2% of libyan origin and the rest by people of other origins. as illustrated in the graph below.

Libyan made up Population and Progression

Ethnic Composition of Africa
According to: Libya – People | Britannica

As a multipot with people coming from neighbouring countries and even further to find refuge and seek for a better life accross the boarders of Libya, in 2000 the population was composed of: 57.2% Libyan; 13.8% Bedouin; 8.1% Other; 7.7% Egypian; 6.8% Amazigh (Berber) and 3.5% Sudanese and 2.9% Tunisian.

Although Islam is predominantely practiced by over 90% of the Libyan population, Christianity comes at 0.7% and Budhism at a rate of 0.3% as illustraed in the graph found below.

YearPopulationYearly %
Change
Yearly
Change
Migrants (net)Median AgeFertility RateDensity (P/Km²)Urban
Pop %
Urban PopulationCountry’s Share of
World Pop
World PopulationLibya
Global Rank
20206,871,2921.38 %93,840-1,99928.82.25478.2 %5,375,7710.09 %7,794,798,739108
20196,777,4521.48 %98,893-1,99927.42.41477.9 %5,281,7340.09 %7,713,468,100109
20186,678,5591.49 %97,835-1,99927.42.41477.6 %5,183,3630.09 %7,631,091,040109
20176,580,7241.36 %88,562-1,99927.42.41477.3 %5,088,0510.09 %7,547,858,925109
20166,492,1621.15 %73,847-1,99927.42.41477.1 %5,005,6580.09 %7,464,022,049109
20156,418,3150.70 %44,130-60,00027.12.45477.0 %4,942,4790.09 %7,379,797,139109
20106,197,6631.34 %79,810-23,71125.72.50477.7 %4,815,1540.09 %6,956,823,603108
20055,798,6141.59 %88,145-4,11424.02.64377.0 %4,465,0290.09 %6,541,907,027104
20005,357,8911.60 %81,819-11,47422.13.20376.4 %4,091,1030.09 %6,143,493,823104
19954,948,7982.21 %102,42779320.24.22376.0 %3,760,7870.09 %5,744,212,979107
19904,436,6612.75 %112,5761,09818.55.71375.7 %3,359,5790.08 %5,327,231,061109
19853,873,7813.77 %130,86322,67617.46.68275.5 %2,922,7770.08 %4,870,921,740112
19803,219,4664.01 %114,86511,50716.17.67270.1 %2,256,6370.07 %4,458,003,514117
19752,645,1394.39 %102,32311,73316.18.10262.8 %1,660,7570.06 %4,079,480,606122
19702,133,5264.24 %80,0449,60017.07.99149.7 %1,059,7370.06 %3,700,437,046126
19651,733,3063.66 %56,9789,17818.57.30133.7 %583,5410.05 %3,339,583,597132
19601,448,4173.07 %40,6129,20419.37.20127.3 %395,7540.05 %3,034,949,748132
19551,245,3582.06 %24,169019.87.14123.2 %289,0270.04 %2,773,019,936132
Source: Worldometer (www.Worldometers.info)Elaboration of data by United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. World Population Prospects: The 2019 Revision. (Medium-fertility variant).

The Family cell structure, the Dietary Habits, the cultural and customary rites in Libya

The Family Cell structure in Libya

As in a majority of countries and more particularly in our study of african countries. The structure of the Libyan Family cell, like in most parts of Africa, Asia and latin America involves multiple generations in decision making and education. Family tends to one anothers, taking care of the previous generations as a duty and family right. Children Grow up surrounded by oncles, aunties, grand and great grand parents, resulting in the family being closed knitted.

Example of a family structure in Libya
Example of a family structure in Libya
Source: historical libyan family – Google Search

The Dietary Habits in Libya

Libya has its own diet and eating habits, rules and regulations that go hand in hand and conform with the laws within the Islamical religion. Because Islam is the religion dominantely practiced in the country. Consequentely alcohol consumption is completely banned, and Pork meat is not even a question as it is forbidden in Islam laws. The picture below shows an example of the type of meals found in Libya, the meal is called Basin and is one of the favorite among the locals.

Picure of the meal called Basin
Picure of the meal called Basin
source: Enjoy a taste of Libya’s traditional dishes | The Libya Observer

The Cultural and Customary rites in Libya

The Culture and customary rites in Libya likewise in other regions where islamic religion is dominant, are based on the islamic laws and regulations. Although Child marriage is supposed to be illegal under the law. However according to Child Marriage in Libya: Ignored by Society, Unprotected by Legislation – Defender Center website, there is a close whereby the legal guardian of the girl bride can seek for allowance to marry the child bride to another family as a response to the situation at hand. But this can also depend on the regions you might be visiting.

ALso the choice of attire during celebrations and or mourning also will vary according to the regions within libya. Most importantly there is certainly a pattern that will differentiat Libya from other sub-regional countries. As illustrated in the photograph below of the celbration of a wedding.

wedding celebrations in Libya
wedding celebrations in Libya
Source: (40) Pinterest

We will end this part of our article by admiring the historical Architecture found in some area in the country, and this looks to have been highly inlfuenced by the Greek and Romans. As it is shown in the picture below representing the Leptis Magna in Libya.

Libya-Archaeology-Leptis-Magna1
Libya-Archaeology-Leptis-Magna1
source: Once Reviled, Libyan Archaeologists Take on a New Role – Al-Fanar Media

Brief Overview of South Africa

South Africa on the map of AFrica
Source: Savanna Style Location Map of South Africa, highlighted continent (maphill.com)

Secondely in our study, we will briefly visit the land of South Africa. As one of the tourist hot spot on the continent, South Africa has its Cultures, Rites, adversities and advantages others countries in the region did not have. Enriched by its mixities, for its population is made up of people from multiple origins who came to find a home in the land. Among Its residents and inhabitants we can easily find: Asian, European and African from subregional countries who call South Africa their home. The Graph that follows gives us a brief oiverview of what the south african population was made up of in the year of 2017.

Bar graph and pie chart showing South Africa's population in 2017, according to four main population groups: African, coloured, Indian or Asian and white. Data sourced from Statistics South Africa's 2017 mid-year population estimates.
Bar graph and pie chart showing South Africa’s population in 2017, according to four main population groups: African, coloured, Indian or Asian and white. Data sourced from Statistics South Africa’s 2017 mid-year population estimates.
Source: South Africa’s population | South Africa Gateway (southafrica-info.com)

As a result, the South African Culture/Custom, Diet, and Education is mixed and highly internationalized in certain area due to this diversity, but at the same time it is one of those country that was able to maintain and bring up to the entire world its culture, rites,customs, tribal songs and even its language. Further along the study, we will overview the South African familly celle structure, its most popular dietary choice and habit, its culture and its tribal rites.

The Family cell structure, the Dietary Habits, the cultural and customary rites in South Africa

The Family Cell structure in South Africa

Like in Most African countries, the family cell includes multi generational members living under the same roof, or at close proximity. The picture below, taken of a South African family cell in the 1900, is still relevant today.

South Africa Family (mother Father and Six Children) Outside Their Simple Homestead.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Historia/Shutterstock (9856564a) South Africa Family (mother Father and Six Children) Outside Their Simple Homestead. Unattributed Postcard South Africa Family Outside Their Simple Homestead
Source: South Africa Family mother Father Six Children Photos éditoriales libres de droits – Image libre de droits | Shutterstock

The Dietary Habits in South Africa

Also due to its mixities, South Africa is one of those countries where one can easily find local and internationally influenced dishes in most regions in the country especially in big Cities. The Pictures bellow show some of the menus found in the land with the first “Biltong” which is one of the most reknown and praised side dish originating from South Africa.

Examples of food eaten in South Africa
Examples of food eaten in South Africa
Source: south african best food – Google Search

The Cultural and Customary rites in South Africa

South African Cultural dresses, the meaning and some on the their rites.
South African Cultural dresses, the meaning and some on the their rites.
sources: Traditional African Clothing (rebirth.co.za) South Africa initiation schools suspended after circumcision deaths – BBC News S. Africa mall manager suspended for barring shopper in traditional wear – The East African

As shown in pictures above, selected from various sources. Cultural rites and customs, the way of dressing, the material of each piece of clothing, and where on the body these pieces are placed respond to requirements attached to gender, age, position in the tribe and even the tribe itself. As a result deoending on the region you are visiting, you will soon find out that the land has within its regions a multitude of rites, customs, beliefs, an ways of doing things.

Significance in Anthropology

Hopefully this article goes to show that African is not just one country but a multidimensional continent consisting of many different cultural domains. The diffirent cultures in Africa have diverse traditions, foods, religions, and indigenous populations. Awareness of the geographic regions and diverse cultures is important and should dispell the idea that Africa is just one country in current society and education.

Leave a Reply