Interesting African Cultural Practices You May Be Unaware Of


Africa as a continent is one of the most culturally diverse in the world. From North Africa to Sub-Saharan Africa, there are no fewer than 3000 tribes that have their own distinctive languages and cultural practices. For this reason, you might be very cognizant of cultural practices in particular places and yet oblivious of other cultural practices in others.

We will try our hand at listing five African cultural practices from varying tribes that seem unique enough to not be widely known and you can see how much of an African culture nut you really are.

See Also: So What Do You Know About The Afar Tribe?

African Cultural Practices:

The Pokot Tribe:

The Pokot people live in the western Pokot and Baringo districts of Kenya and in eastern Karmoja in Uganda. They are mostly cattle herders or farmers with only about a quarter of them being cultivators, mostly growing corn. Despite the presence of cultivators, wealth in this tribe is determined by the number of cows one owns.

Pokot Cultural Practices

The cows are used for barter and exchange and subsequently determine bride wealth. In essence, men are permitted to take more than one wife provided he has enough cows to present their families in exchange for their hand in marriage. The cattle are hardly ever slaughtered as they are viewed as more valuable alive, providing milk, butter and cheese, important parts of the diet of the Pokot.

The Gio Tribe:

The Gio tribe can be found in Ivory Coast, all the wives a man marries have their own house and their children live with them until they are old enough to move out. They are never allowed to live with their fathers.

pjimage (4)

The Surma Tribe:

When a girl is a teenager in the Surma tribe of Southern Sudan, they have to begin the process of lip stretching. Her bottom teeth is knocked out to make space for a lip plate, which is then put in.

Surma tribe

The Latuka Tribe:

In the Latuka tribe of Sudan, when a man wants to marry a woman, he goes ahead and kidnaps her. Elders from his family then go to the woman’s family to ask for her hand in marriage. If the family agrees, the woman’s father beats the man as a sign of acceptance of the union, but if he disagree, the man may go ahead to marry the girl anyway.

The Maasai Tribe:

The Maasai tribe of Kenya and Tanzania spit their greetings. The spitting is believed to be a kind of blessing.


The Maasai warriors will also spit in their hands before shaking the hand of an elder and they spit on newborns and call them bad, believing that if they praise a baby, it will be cursed.

See Also: Interracial Marriages: A Huge Step Forward Or Another Death To Culture