ran in to this today and i must say nice photography … beautiful…and ......
i really didn’t want to comment and take away from your art,.. but….
anyway........ first of all there is nothing like an ” African culture,” never have been… could Africa have been a country then may be that alone would qualify us to ” African culture” …. but Africa is one of the biggest continents with extremely very dynamic ,different multi_ cultural practices per every country, interpreted by districts , tribe ,totem and defined differently per every house hold or clan basing on their own understanding.as taught by those that came before them, religious influence or what ever they find fit.
given this i find it impossible to blanket something this broad and putting it under one umbrella….. i happen to be from Southern Africa, Botswana and from a village called Serowe in the central district, and i can tell you this… i have no idea about the practices and cultures of the next district from us, and not only this. we do not speak the same languages and culturally we dress ,even eat different……...also it is very common to be from the same district and still have different dialogues ..
more puzzlingly we look ,are built and behave very very differently…and in some cases with some bad blood ( superiority issues , land issue and ..other waste of time politics.)….,and this have influenced what and how we culture ,worship and practice… how then can we have the ” African culture” if the people of Africa themselves are so different?
i laugh.. , i read a blog here and the obviously not traveled writer was talking about the African soap, African cloths, African food ,African women and African children… rubbish …….. there is no such…. the thing is ,if one is to talk about Africa, be specific on which country and tribe you addressing and avoid generalizing a whole Continent consisted of 54 countries.( i am not sure ,check online)
then you talk about the African child and the spirits… . sounds more like a horror plus zombie movie to me,.... but having said this i can not speak for the rest of the Continent , above all i have no idea where you got your information from ......but where i come from we look and raise our children as the rest of the world, may be different principles per house but totally nothing to culture shock…
YOUR WORDS HERE…
“The transition from childhood to adulthood holds special significance in most African nations and the process involves teaching the individual about life, social norms and taboos and a focus on life’s mission and purpose. A person may naturally get older, but has to work and accomplish in order to become an elder and a role model for others to follow. This very important differentiation motivates all individuals to perform in order to achieve that status. …..
AGAIN so is the rest of the world right? we all want to work hard, have purpose and role model to those to come after us . i wouldn’t put this as culture but rather a simply need of personal growth and self-realization.
long time ago in my own culture and other parts of the country , there was a practice where young men and women went through some transformation explained as initiation ….. Bogwera and Bojale “was notoriously known more for its circumcision believes ” and in today’s time.. it is irrelevant to speak of it as the arrival of the missionaries and western cultures have labelled it mutilation.( i don’t see it as mutilation , not that i will practice it, but who has a right to tell a man what to believe in let alone how to live his life in his own soil? )
to be honest with you..in this point in time it is very difficult to come up with a clear definition of culture , people have migrated, people are educated , some have borrowed and adapted to self suiting practices both locally and internationally. ……..most young people in Africa today in big cities and towns are no different from the youth here in America or every where in the world…they are more in to fashion, music , internet ,sex and ..blah blah… and could care less about some village status or how they are understood…..
then you talk about death and spirits in Africa…..umhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh , i got lost here… , anyhow s .. from what i understand from books, the common religious practice in Africa is Christianity as expressed in its different branches, e.g, Roman Catholics , Anglicans and Methodists … Of course some people like every where in the world believe in ancestors or some superstitious believes.., i am one of them, i believe dead people are mediums between us here and where ever god is..... i also believe we will see our loved( dead) ones again in heaven , more of a romantic idea than anything ....but totally not an African thing…
i hope you understand my perspective and i respect yours .. however Africa is the most misunderstood setting ever and if we proud Africans don't say anything and correct where we find fit , then ahhhhhhhhhh…….
feel free to correct me