Strange Beliefs, Practices Across Africa
Africa has many practices some of which are known, and many others that are unknown to the world.
Africa possesses some of the strangest religious beliefs and practices, ranging from killing Albinos to circumcising a grown boy without anaesthesia.
Some of these customs still exist in the remote parts of the continent, many years after civilization. These ethnic communities practice certain traditions that will leave you shocked.
Here are five weird religious beliefs and practices still going on around Africa.
Here are five tribes from across Africa with mouth dropping customs.
Killing Albinos for ritual purposes
In Malawi, Tanzania and Burundi people believe their traditional healers who say that acquiring the body parts of a human with a melanin deficiency, can assist with improving their luck, health or wealth.
Women bull jumping ritual, Hamer tribe
This may seem difficult but to Hamer women from the South-western Ethiopia, it’s more like a normal phase of life.
Before you can be allowed to engage in this ritual, you’ll first have to go through a series of whipping on both the back and buttocks until there are some scars that will signify that you’ve already gone through the ritual and you’re now a grown woman who is very ready for marriage.
Circumcision rites, Zulu tribe
Circumcision is often done on boys but as a baby. This is not the case in South Africa as Zulu teenage boys have to undergo a bizarre circumcision rite to become men.
These boys will be abducted and then taken to a secret place that can only be accessed by elderly women who bring them food and drinks. They are then covered in white dust before being allowed to use sharp blades or rocks to circumcise themselves. They end up having disfigured genitals, and some even die during the process.
The wounds are normally treated and dressed using mad or animal waste and may take four months or more to heal.
The Yoruba ethnic group use Magun for adulterers and most times the outcome is not palatable as the offender could lose his/her life.
The Magun is placed on a woman without her being aware of it either by her husband or his family. If she commits adultery, her lover could end up losing his life or getting stuck while in the act.
Chewa’s festival of the dead
The Chewa community is a Bantu tribe mostly found in Malawi. This group is known for its secretive society known as Nyau, and for covering their faces in masks. The community is also known for their agricultural practices.
During the burial ceremony of a tribe member, it is customary for the body of the deceased to be washed. To wash the corpse, the body is taken to a sacred place where the cleansing is done by slitting the throat and pouring water through the insides of the dead. The water is squeezed out of the body until it comes out clean. Then comes the bizarre part of the practice. The water is collected and used to prepare a meal for the whole community.
Banyankole’s ‘potency test’
In many African cultures, an aunt plays many roles among them being advising young nieces as they get through life stages including adolescence and marriage.
In Uganda, one’s aunt is not only used to advise a new bride but they also have to have sex with the groom as a ‘potency test’. Additionally, the aunt has to test the brides ‘purity’ before the bride and groom are allowed to consummate their marriage.
Another tradition directs the aunts to prove the potency by listening in or watching as the couple engages in sexual intercourse.
The concept of reincarnation is found among many African tribes and is not limited to a country.
Reincarnation refers to the soul of a dead person being reborn in the body of another. There is a close relationship between birth and death in Africa.
There are no limits set to the number of possible reincarnations. It is however important for Africans to discover which ancestor is reborn in a child.