African Map

Anthropology: Africa is a Multidimensional Continent and the Origin of the Human Species (Not a 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, where the first skeleton (Lucy) was found. Africa is one of those continents not only misunderstood by other regions of the world, but also most of the time by its own populations. Some people might think Africa is a country, when it has so much culture and history, not to mention its size! Africa is multidimensional.

Enriched by its diversity, its ever growing culture as 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, it knows nothing what to do with all that it possesses and prefers to be at 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 northern 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
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Geryan tribe in Libya
Source: Libyan People & Ethnic Tribes (

Firstly, in the South, we can find the Zulu/Basotho/Swazi are inhabiting the land of South Africa. Bear to notice the difference in the shades of color. Also, the choice of clothing 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

Secondly, in the East part of the Continent, we find the Isaaq/Abgal/Masare inhabiting the land of Somalia. Represented in the illustration is the chief of the Isaaq tribe.

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

Thirdly, we can find in some of the western parts of the territory, the Wolof/Fula and the Jola inhabitant of the land of Senegal, and we can assume are also present in other neighbouring countries beyond the Senegalese boarders. Illustrated below is a man belonging to 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 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 assessments were shared and communicated to the new generation.

Aside from that, the traditional and modern fashion, influenced by a mixture of fashions found beyond its boarders, has been adapted to materials and borders as skills already exist on the land and is enhanced by the coming and growing access to new technologies. Also, art and architecture are also predominantly distinguishable across all the regions on 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 a few of the countries mentioned above. Consequently, other articles will be created to bring you deeply into each and every part, land, regions and countries of the whole continent, starting at the very top to lower part of the continent of Africa.

Brief Overview of Libya

 Libya 6,754,507 (2018)[1]
Demographics of Libya – Wikipedia
Libya on the map
Libya on the map
source: Shaded Relief Location Map of Libya (

Firstly, we will visit LIbya. Sitting at one of the top peaks of the Continent, as a result, Libya is one of 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 to the country with dreams of going abroad. Even though some will make it to their promised land of opportunities. The great majority will either die by drowning in the sea or go back to Libyan territory. As a result, most will choose 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 was 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 multipublic with people coming from neighbouring countries and even further to find refuge and seek a better life across the borders 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 predominantly practiced by over 90% of the Libyan population, Christianity comes at 0.7% and Buddhism at a rate of 0.3% as illustrated in the graph found below.

Year Population Yearly %
Migrants (net) Median Age Fertility Rate Density (P/Km²) Urban
Pop %
Urban Population Country’s Share of
World Pop
World Population Libya
Global Rank
2020 6,871,292 1.38 % 93,840 -1,999 28.8 2.25 4 78.2 % 5,375,771 0.09 % 7,794,798,739 108
2019 6,777,452 1.48 % 98,893 -1,999 27.4 2.41 4 77.9 % 5,281,734 0.09 % 7,713,468,100 109
2018 6,678,559 1.49 % 97,835 -1,999 27.4 2.41 4 77.6 % 5,183,363 0.09 % 7,631,091,040 109
2017 6,580,724 1.36 % 88,562 -1,999 27.4 2.41 4 77.3 % 5,088,051 0.09 % 7,547,858,925 109
2016 6,492,162 1.15 % 73,847 -1,999 27.4 2.41 4 77.1 % 5,005,658 0.09 % 7,464,022,049 109
2015 6,418,315 0.70 % 44,130 -60,000 27.1 2.45 4 77.0 % 4,942,479 0.09 % 7,379,797,139 109
2010 6,197,663 1.34 % 79,810 -23,711 25.7 2.50 4 77.7 % 4,815,154 0.09 % 6,956,823,603 108
2005 5,798,614 1.59 % 88,145 -4,114 24.0 2.64 3 77.0 % 4,465,029 0.09 % 6,541,907,027 104
2000 5,357,891 1.60 % 81,819 -11,474 22.1 3.20 3 76.4 % 4,091,103 0.09 % 6,143,493,823 104
1995 4,948,798 2.21 % 102,427 793 20.2 4.22 3 76.0 % 3,760,787 0.09 % 5,744,212,979 107
1990 4,436,661 2.75 % 112,576 1,098 18.5 5.71 3 75.7 % 3,359,579 0.08 % 5,327,231,061 109
1985 3,873,781 3.77 % 130,863 22,676 17.4 6.68 2 75.5 % 2,922,777 0.08 % 4,870,921,740 112
1980 3,219,466 4.01 % 114,865 11,507 16.1 7.67 2 70.1 % 2,256,637 0.07 % 4,458,003,514 117
1975 2,645,139 4.39 % 102,323 11,733 16.1 8.10 2 62.8 % 1,660,757 0.06 % 4,079,480,606 122
1970 2,133,526 4.24 % 80,044 9,600 17.0 7.99 1 49.7 % 1,059,737 0.06 % 3,700,437,046 126
1965 1,733,306 3.66 % 56,978 9,178 18.5 7.30 1 33.7 % 583,541 0.05 % 3,339,583,597 132
1960 1,448,417 3.07 % 40,612 9,204 19.3 7.20 1 27.3 % 395,754 0.05 % 3,034,949,748 132
1955 1,245,358 2.06 % 24,169 0 19.8 7.14 1 23.2 % 289,027 0.04 % 2,773,019,936 132
Source: Worldometer ( 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 another, taking care of the previous generations as a duty and family right. Children grow up surrounded by uncles, aunties, grand and great-grandparents, 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 dominantly practiced in the country. Consequently, alcohol consumption is completely banned, and pork meat is not even a question as it is forbidden by Islamic 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 favorites among the locals.

Picure of the meal called Basin
Picture 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 the 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 will also vary according to the regions within the libya. Most importantly, there is certainly a pattern that will differentiate Libya from other sub-regional countries. As illustrated in the photograph below of the celebration 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 areas of the country, and this looks to have been highly influenced by the Greek and Romans. As is shown in the picture below representing the Leptis Magna in Libya.

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

Brief Overview of South Africa

South Africa
South Africa on the map of Africa Source: Savanna Style Location Map of South Africa, highlighted continent (

Secondly, in our study, we will briefly visit the land of South Africa. As one of the tourist hot spots on the continent, South Africa has its cultures, rites, adversities and advantages others countries in the region do not have. Enriched by its mixtures, its population is made up of people from multiple origins who have come to find a home in the land. Among its residents and inhabitants we can easily find Asian, European and Africans from subregional countries who call South Africa their home. The Graph that follows gives us a brief overview 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 (

As a result, the South African Culture/ customs, Diet, and Education is mixed and highly internationalized in certain areas due to this diversity, but at the same time, it is one of those countries that is able to maintain and bring to the entire world its culture, rites,customs, tribal songs and even its language. Further along the study, we will overview the South African family 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 1900s, 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 diversity, South Africa is one of those countries where one can easily find local and internationally influenced dishes in most regions of the country, especially in big cities. The pictures below show some of the menus found in the land with the first “Biltong”, which is one of the most known and praised side dishes 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 ( 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, depending on the region you are visiting, you will soon find out that the land has within its regions a multitude of rites, customs, beliefs, and ways of doing things.

Significance in Anthropology

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