Africa is a huge continent and has contained many different cultures and civilizations.
Archeologists believe that the earliest of human development happened in parts of Africa and there are cave paintings in Africa that are thousands of years old. Unlike some continents, Africa has a variety of people, countries, and even geography.
Ancient Africa has been home to Egypt, the Mali Empire, the Kingdom of Ghana, Kush, the Kingdom of Aksum, Ancient Carthage, the Songhai Empire, and Central African Kingdoms. Each has experienced a rise and fall, and have contributed to the cultures that we are used to today.
The African continent is huge and at 12 million square miles, it has a lot of different types of landscapes and geographies. Each one has helped to shape the unique history and culture of the people and civilizations that live there.
The Nile River has been the most important role in developing Ancient Egypt, the Sahara Desert offered opportunities for nomads and to create trade routes; lakes, rivers, streams, and even waterfalls rank as some of the largest in the world, and the continent even has rain forests.
Northern Africa is known for the Sahara, while West Africa has the savannah, and the rainforests in Central Africa are essential to the health of the world.
With such a large continent, it makes sense that there would be many different types of people and cultures. Throughout its early history there were groups such as the central rainforest Bambuti, Nigeria’s Nok, North Africa’s Berbers, and South and Central Africa’s Bantu.
As people migrated from other regions, the continent saw the North African Arabs, and the South African Dutch Boers. Many of these civilizations had high levels of government and art.
Since Africa was an important trade route with prized salt and gold, they interacted with other cultures and became well acquainted with many around the world.
There were many clans and groups that often warred with each other and it was common practice for the winner of the attack to make slaves of the losing tribes.
Each tribe within the individual areas has their own set of beliefs and much of this has been wrapped around a tradition of magic.
They believe in mysterious forces, including those of nature and have established religious leaders that the Westerners call “witchdoctors”. These priests can help people get over illnesses with the use of herbs of remedies, cast spells, and provide charms.
Some of the artists involved in ironwork were also thought to use magic as the making of iron was kept secret. Some of the tribes believe in a single god whereas others believe in more than one god as well as nature spirits.
In a few religions there were beliefs that the ancestors that have died were still with them. Dancing, singing, drumming and the playing of instruments are all important in their religious and magical ceremonies.