Getting To Know Africa
There has been resurgence in the popularity of African art, especially when it comes to wood carvings and traditional African works of art. When most people envision African art, they are quite often thinking about the beautiful hand carvings created by the Makonde of Tanzania and Mozambique.
One of the most interesting forms of African art – one that we are seeing more and more in homes around the world – is Makonde artwork and sculpture . It is the visual appeal and abstract nature of the hand carvings especially that intrigue people, making these pieces very desirable in both home and office décor.
About Makonde Art
Makonde art has become popular in Western culture because of the fascinating nature of the pieces and the history of the Makonde culture. The Makonde peoples from Mozambique and Tanzania are known for their hand carved wood pieces in the global artistic community.
One of the most popular and fascinating forms of Makonde art is sculpture – especially Makonde sculptures . These pieces have become extremely popular today with art collectors and homeowners alike. Considering they come in many shapes, sizes, and types of carvings, it’s not surprising they are popping up all over the world.
Thanksgiving is a celebration that is observed in a select few countries around the world. However, while it is not a universal celebration, many other countries and regions do share similar festivals and celebrations. In Africa, it is known as Festival of the Rains or the Homowo Festival.
Drums have been around since the dawn of time
They are deeply rooted in history, spirituality, tribal ceremonies, and, of course, music. Every culture has a unique drumming history. Many primitive cultures used drums to celebrate battle victories and for rituals. Others used drums for worship as well as for music. The drum permeates the history of many cultures.
Commonly referred to as one of the great wonders of the world, the migration of african wildlife over the Serengeti is one of the most beautiful things to see in Africa.
The Serengeti wildebeest migration is a movement of vast numbers. The wildebeest are accompanied by large numbers of zebra, gazelle, eland and impala along their journey. The groups of animals move in a similar pattern throughout the year, making it a continual process as they are constantly looking for fresh land to graze and high quality water sources.
Most people have probably heard about the issues with poaching in Africa, and you may have even seen some of the images in National Geographic or on the Internet or television.
What most people fail to realize, though, is how brutal and serious an issue poaching actually is.
Illegal wildlife trade is a $19 billion per year industry – something that is causing some of the most endangered species on earth to reach critically low levels. Without action, many of these species could become extinct a lot sooner than you think.
Each year, millions of Serengeti wildebeests migrate across the African continent. But they are not the only ones. A number of different groups of animals move throughout Africa in a similar pattern each year, with the goal being to find water to drink and land to graze.
Zebras are one of the largest of the secondary groups that are part of the Serengeti migration each year. In fact, more than 200,000 zebras participate in this amazing journey each year.
Similar to Black Friday in the United States, Boxing Day, which is held on the day after Christmas, is one of the most popular shopping days in Canada and in other parts of the world.
It’s a day where deal seekers are out en masse, looking to take advantage of huge sales. It’s a day where millions of Canadians get up early, it’s almost impossible to get a parking spot at your local mall, and there are line ups to get into stores – all in hopes of getting a smoking deal on a TV, buy that gift they didn’t get for Christmas, or to cash in their gift cards.
“When we plant trees, we plant
the seeds of peace and hope.”
The Green Belt Movement (GBM) is an environmental organization, based in Kenya, which seeks to empower communities to conserve the environment. It was founded in 1977 by Professor Wangari Maathai as an offshoot of the National Council of Women of Kenya (NCWK) in response to the requests of rural Kenyan women. These women noticed a number of environmental issues that were posing a threat to the African environment, namely the drying up of streams, unsecured food supplies.
Tuareg culture is rich in history and tradition. A semi-nomadic Berber people, the Tuareg inhabit a large area of the middle and western Sahara and travel throughout Algeria, Mali, Niger and as far as Libya, Morocco, Tunisia and Nigeria.
In fact, Tuareg people don’t perceive the Sahara as one desert, but as many. They call the Sahara “Tinariwen” which means “the deserts”. The Tuareg language is spoken by more than 1 million people.
Extraordinary silversmiths, the Tuareg produce some of the most unique silver jewelry in the world.
African carvings have become very popular décor items in recent years. With people taking more of an interest in global art forms, and with the rise in popularity of abstract sculptures, this type of art is popping up in homes, offices and galleries across North America.
A particular type of African carving that is particularly alluring are handmade soapstone carvings from Kenya. While soapstone has been used for years as a carving material, it is the Kisii stone that is most desirable.
Imagine a society with no warfare, no rules, no official leaders, no known history of famine and relatively no personal possessions; a place where people truly live in the here and now.
Well, such a place still exists.
In northern Tanzania—in one of the harshest environments on the planet—live the Hadzabe people. The Hadzabe are a small indigenous ethnic group, numbering fewer than 1,000.
“This Maasai Olympics has been the greatest celebration of Maasai culture I have ever attended,” – Katoo Ole Metito (Maasai), Minister of Internal Security, Government of Kenya.
The Zulu (pronounced ZOO-loo) people are one of the most well-known groups in Africa, most notably for their unique style of speaking. Descendants of the Nguni-speaking people, they are known for their “click” speaking and singing.
The Omo Valley in southern Ethiopia is as picturesque as it comes. Hills, mountains, rivers, graceful waterfalls, jungles and numerous exotic wild animals and plants all converge in this one area. The grand Omo River snakes through the region emptying in Lake Turkana at the Kenyan border.
Africa is home to an incredible array of fascinating animals—among them many of the world’s most majestic big cats.
Imagine seeing upwards of a million and a half vibrant-colored flamingos congregated on the shores of a single lake.
Well, it’s not an uncommon occurrence in the Kenyan Lake System of the Great Rift Valley.
About 25 miles south of the bustling city of Cape Town, tucked near the southern tip of South Africa, is one of the most gorgeous and unique displays of plant life in the world.
The Cape Floristic Region is one of just six designated floral kingdoms worldwide. Africa is proudly home to 129 World Heritage sites, spread over 37 African countries.