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examples of taboos in africa

The practice is still being followed in many communities of Africa. It might sound somehow odd to you but then, that’s just the way it is. boo [tuh-boo, ta-] adjective "proscribed by society as improper or unacceptable" Synonyms: prohibited,banned, forbidden, proscribed. Emmyboy (author) from Nigeria on September 17, 2014: Believe it or not my dear Alondra, this is for real... You have to come down to Africa and stay with me so that I can take you around and show you the real life evidences... Is this fiction or do you have sources to further your evidence? It is considered rude to rush through a meal or hurry your order along. Taboos in culinary culture. Mind you, it doesn’t matter if this person is older than you by just a matter of a few hours or days because your senior is your senior. Teenage pregnancy is seriously frowned at due to many reasons. Women don’t masturbate; For most part of my life, I grew up believing this. In many communities in Africa, there are taboos as regards relating to one’s in-laws or marriage relatives. Well, how do they say it again? 1. So if the man knows that his wife is “tainted”, he will do everything within his power to save his own neck by avoiding the woman entirely, until she gets cleansed which requires a round of sacrifices to be made. Here are some of them shared by users on Quora, a question-and-answer website where questions are asked, answered, edited and organised by its community of users. In Africa, wives praise their husbands using the name of their Totem, for example, a wife may call her husband ‘the great lion of the forest’ that is, if the husband’s totem is a lion. This object made of clay is generally considered the uterus of women which have to be handled with care. And with those kinds of statements, someone can easily impose or establish his/her authority over you. These included; marrying or having sex with a relative, same-sex marriage, having sex with parents, having sex with an animal, having sex with underage children, young men having sex with elderly women, having sex with other people’s wives, sex before marriage. You must add their title to their names as a mark of respect. There is usually a prohibition or taboo against killing, eating, or touching the totem (ibid) The African Concept of Taboo Taboos are technically defined as a practice “proscribed by society as improper or unacceptable.” But what makes something taboo isn’t as concrete. Male circumcision is a practice that is being carried out in Africa like several other places in the world. It’s a man’s world, you know? The hold of these people is so great that people prefer them over dispensaries, hospitals, churches and clinics. It is very unfortunate that the practice has become a very potent reason for the spread of AIDs. In Thailand and in Arab countries never point your shoe/foot to another person. nose blowing in public - Blowing one’s nose or even sneezing in public is considered taboo in several countries , … Whether social, religious or cultural, culinary customs are commonly associated with a multitude of nationally accepted “rules.” For Brazilians, it is considered taboo for those who are ill to consume predatory fish. In many African countries when talking to a tribal chief, make Female genital mutilation top the list of most bizarre taboo rituals of Africa. MOST YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN IN THE DIASPORA, HAVE LOST TOUCHED WITH SOME IF NOT MOST OF OUR WEST AFRICAN TRADITION.ITS A TABOO IN CAMERRON(WEST) AS IN NIGERIA FOR A WOMAN TO CLIMB A PALM TREE. Image courtesy of africa/freedigitalphotos.net. In fact, the game was invented in Africa where many communities followed it. Disrespect for age in NOT accepted. "Taboos usually concern the consumption of protein-rich animal food – hence a cause of nutrient deficiencies," says Katherine Mueller, spokesperson for the IFRC in Africa. menstruation - In some cultures, including India and Africa, menstruation is considered taboo, with a woman considered to be dirty and unclean during her period. Africa. I have even heard people say that it one easy way of attracting all forms to evil such as epilepsy, blindness, poverty, lack of progress or success in life, and in extreme cases, even death into the life of the man who engages himself in such sister-play. Such is the belief in this practice that a father can easily put a stop to any impending marriage of he is not comfortable with the man who is asking for his daughter’s hand in marriage. Sometimes these African taboos could be quite ridiculous as you will soon see. There is also a local community close to where I live where it is believed that any woman who goes against the laws of the land and commits adultery will run mad instantly. Hope you do more along similar lines. Cultural Clues, Do’s & Taboos – A Series of Cultural Tips for Countries from A to Z: South Africa. The target is usually a particular person or tribe. Children who are left handed are forced to “correct” the anomaly. It is a very painful process as compared to the male circumcision. Religion can be a taboo topic in America. It is not a question of this being against the Ten Commandments because it is clearly beyond that. You also never want to ask for a doggy-bag or leave food on your plate, the implication being that you did not enjoy your meal. https://discover.hubpages.com/travel/Interesting-African-Taboos One of the largest ethnic tribes in Uganda is known as Baganda. The taboos associated with French dining have more to do with manners than with cultural beliefs. Very interesting hub! Traditions and taboos in The Gambia ... for which reason many people avoid visiting the sick and making condolences on this day. Having sexual relations with blood sisters. Wife inheritance is one of the most bizarre taboo rituals of Africa that is still practiced in many communities. Within the community, in order to be acknowledged and respected, a man is required to attain the ‘Moran’ status. In many African countries when talking to a tribal chief, make sure that your head is not above his. The factors are discussed below; Bugosa ... As in several parts of East Africa eggs, chicken were proscribed among the Baganda women, as were pork, mutton and several species of fish. The unconscious belief and practice of such taboos also stems from the fact that there are many superstitious beliefs associated with Africans. Taboos or fady in Africa can be translated as a prohibition, referring to what one is not allowed to do, objects that one must not come into contact, words which must not be uttered and places which must be avoided. The newly circumcised person will also be required to spend time in the forest in order to show the people that he is a courageous person. No anesthetics are used during the process. The game is very popular in Kenya’s Luhya tribe. You dare not say the name of a genital out loud in Japan; it is considered a very serious abomination— especially the female one. They would always welcome a visitor. While some rituals can involve something as simple as a silent, individual prayer, others—especially those involving a larger group—can be extremely painful and violent. First African superstition is related to witches. It is also in stark contrast to the fundamental human rights. A good example is the incest taboo which restricts sexual behaviour among relatives and prevent rancor among family members. The community will indulge in rituals and dances in order to mark the entry of a person into adulthood. 3. Food and drink taboo is a restriction on consumption of various kinds of food and drink. People will desist from such behaviours because of the sanctions and … Training New Employees in A Remote Working World, 10 Unforgettable Things that Happened in 2020, Understanding the Fleet Auto Insurance and Its Importance, What is constructive loss in car insurance? He is not allowed to use a gun or any other fancy weapon. 2. If you want to give someone something like, let’s say money, and this person is your elder, doing so with your left hand is considered as complete mark of your utter disrespect or disdain for the person. The Latest! The practice is now banned in many parts of Africa. The person in question is taken into the forest in order to connect with the Earth Spirit, Sakpata. Here 14 most Interesting taboos around the world. Great hub. Judaism food taboos, or dietary restrictions, is the perfect example of food taboos because the rules are very specific and involve even the preparation and consumption of certain foods. 3. What are some types of taboos?? When you travel to many parts in Igbo land, you may be astoundingly discover that certain animals are not supposed to be killed or even eaten in such areas. In a traditional and culturally minded society like Africa’s, it shouldn’t surprise anyone to find out that there are many African taboos which are put in place to control and guide the different individuals in that very community so as to achieve harmony and oneness. For witchcraft in Africa, often accuse women and even children. The shoe/foot is the unclean part of your body. By not observing ancestral fady, or by observing them only selectively, individuals bring … The article ‘Cultural Clues, Do’s and Taboos for South Africa’ is a brief snapshot of conversation guidelines for South Africa, tips for communicating in South Africa, and strategies for doing business with South Africa to help with understanding the culture in South Africa. On a general note, taboos help people to know the improper behaviour in a society and then guide them against these behaviours. But taboos in Africa are truth forms that are independent of the confines of time. Brazilians like to use beautiful small cups for the whole set in the dish, for drinking tea and coffee. The offender of African taboos fady becomes taboo to the environment, family and the community. You cannot just walk up and take something that is being shared if you don’t first wait for your elders to take their own share first simply because sharing is done by age. Uganda's Food Taboos of the 1960s . There is a traditional healer in the Zulu communities of Africa. YOUR PAGE IS SO REFRESHING ESPECIALLY TO THOSE OF US AND CHILDREN IN THE DIASPORA. 2. He would also use the same instrument for healing the locals. Believe it or not, such is the potency of that belief that today many women [mostly from that area] are held down in fear because of the threat of insanity hanging over them to this day! The above are examples of good food being forbidden to both sexes ; but most food taboos fall on the women and-most unfortunately-on the pregnant women. African people are very superstitious, so the superstitions in Africa, usually, is a part of everyday life. A tabu can also be seen as something that is designated as sacred and prohibited. Food taboos - ritual foods - customs. 10 Food Taboos Around the World . Taboo were ancient. In fact, there is a local community where it is believed that if a husband of an adulterous woman knowingly eats her meal, he will die! Behind each taboo there was a reason for its existence. In Thailand, don't touch the head of someone older than you, or, in general, don't touch the head at all. This has resulted in injuries and even deaths of several players of this game. Cultural Clues, Do’s & Taboos – A Series of Cultural Tips for Countries from A to Z: South Africa. It is taboo to buy or sell items like soap, needles or charcoal at night, and it is also forbidden to whistle after dark, since all these things will lead to bad luck. Taboos vary from region to region, though there are some practices that are considered taboos in nearly every society. This myth is created and sustained on the premise that women don’t have desires independent of a man. For example, each individual belonged to a certain clan which had a taboo. I don’t know why this is considered a taboo but most likely almost everybody you come across in our own Igbo society and ask them what their opinion on this is, you will most likely get the same answer that it is simply a taboo. 20 Cultural Taboos 1. You see why I said it could be quite ridiculous, these taboos…? The spectrum of prohibitions across the world’s cultures is broad and fascinating. The Sangoma places the puff adder near the mouth of the ailing person. This can also save a lot of problems for the girl in the future because if things turn awry in her marital life, the only place she can safely come back to is her father’s house. The list of taboos in American society is particularly long, though a lot of these practices are slowly gaining public support and thus becoming acceptable. For instance, it is unacceptable for a father-in-law to visit while the husband is not around. It is believed that the witches have night meetings in the forests and seas. It is generally believed that in marriages whereby there was none of such blessings, marital problem such as barrenness, infidelity, divorce and sometimes, even early death are always bound to occur! In Africa, unlike theWest, there is are no security measures offered to the bullfighters. He is known as ‘’Sangoma.’’ He makes use of his puff adder in order to predict the future. When they see guests drinking in an interesting and happy way, they feel happy. According to her, God, life and wealth were important elements related to African culture. But there are cultural taboos that Ghanaians are foreigner alike must keep in mind in order not to offend members of the public. During pregnancy, salt must be avoided as well as hot food which was believed that it might burn the child. Also, some communities disallowed not naming a first child after the groom’s father or mother – based on the sex of the new baby. The ceremony is carried out in order to signify the maturity of a boy. Similarly you are not at liberty to address your elders by their personal names as doing that is just a very clear way of identifying someone who lacks proper home training. 4. These taboos’s practice among traditional ethnic groups in towns and cities in Africa… Taboos regulate behaviour of members of a society. The Latest! Ritual killing is an integral part of the African culture. You shouldn’t eat with your left hand. An osu is someone who is considered an outcast simply because s/he is said to be owned by the gods. You shouldn’t write with your left hand. What about the men, you may ask? The article ‘Cultural Clues, Do’s and Taboos for South Africa’ is a brief snapshot of conversation guidelines for South Africa, tips for communicating in South Africa, and strategies for doing business with South Africa to help with understanding the culture in South Aftica. As a result, no one is supposed to have any dealings with anybody confirmed to be an osu be it in serious matters like marriage or tradings. These taboos are not explained as to why people believe them other than tradition. Take the example of Tanzania where Albinos, who are known locally as ‘zeruzeru,’ are apprehended and killed for the purpose of gaining material wealth. In our Igbo society, age is not just a number, it actually means something more. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. So before people get married, you find their family members making standard undercover background checks works to find out either if the couples are related so as to avoid the issue of taboo of incest or to find out if the other party involved is tagged as an osu family. There are more women than men in Africa, and their role is more important than that of the men: they produce the children, they cook the food which maintains life, and in most places they are the beasts of burden who produce the food. Today, I choose to focus specifically on certain African taboos prevalent in many places in Igbo speaking areas of Nigeria. safeguarded through the use of traditional taboos practices (laws) and sanctions. Taboos range from naming at birth to mentioning the dead, from superstitions surrounding tribal rulers to the presenting of gifts, from hunting for food to eating it. There are many people related sexual taboos in Africa. But the ridiculous thing about this very taboo is that it is usually understood as a woman’s defaulting alone. For example, as traditional food and medicine were once despised and condemned as fit for prehistoric humans; today there is a call for people to revert to consuming such foods and medicines to minimize the effects of HIV and AIDS. Cultural Clues, Do’s & Taboos – A Series of Cultural Tips for Countries from A to Z: SOUTH AFRICA. boo [tuh-boo, ta-] adjective "proscribed by society as improper or unacceptable" Synonyms: prohibited,banned, forbidden, proscribed. The young male is usually circumcised with the help of a knife. The taboos associated with French dining have more to do with manners than with cultural beliefs. https://www.wonderslist.com/10-most-bizarre-taboo-rituals-of-africa Marriage blessings from the parents of the girl involved is believed to be a MUST if that very marriage is expected to work and blossom. It can also create serious problems for the unborn child towards inheritance, especially if it turns out to be a boy, because inheritance-wise, there is no way he can become a family member “just like that” since he is NOT a son of the soil. The ridiculous thing here is that once again, teenage pregnancy is considered a woman’s problem ALONE! Grandparents and elders were the ones who taught others about taboos. You also never want to ask for a doggy-bag or leave food on your plate, the implication being that you did not enjoy your meal. Emmyboy (author) from Nigeria on October 07, 2011: I am glad you enjoyed it. Till this day, I am bewildered because I don’t know and cannot say why left handedness is still considered a taboo by many people and even amongst the highly educated in our society. Young men can have sex with several girls. Old Etiquette Rules We Need to Bring Back. Bullfighting is a famous game in Mexico and Spain. The lady has provided us with a few examples of taboos related to good manners and sexuality. Left handedness is not an option. People would ask them for medical advice and revere them, for their allegedly divine powers. The osu caste system has prevented many prospective marriages from occurring simply because marrying an osu man or woman is also one of the easiest way to become an instant self made outcast who no one will like to deal with or do anything with together with the children produced from such unions since the osu caste system is also generational. Brazilians like to use beautiful small cups for the whole set in the dish, for drinking tea and coffee. When they see guests drinking in an interesting and happy way, they feel happy. Learn more here. In Thailand, don't touch the head of someone older than you, or, in general, don't touch the head at all. In many cultures of Africa, medicine men and healers hold very special places. Cultural Clues, Do’s & Taboos – A Series of Cultural Tips for Countries from A to Z: SOUTH AFRICA. The brother of a person who has died recently can inherit his dead brother’s wife. Here are some of the most bizarre taboo rituals of Africa. Brazilian people like to gather friends. The sexual taboos that women face. Parents believe that if their children eat meat and eggs, it will convince the children to steal. One can wonder what would happen if the serpent suddenly changes its mind. If you want to know Kenya Taboos and totems, you've come to the right page. Perceptions of socio-cultural beliefs and taboos among the Ghanaian fishers and fisheries authorities A case study of the Jamestown fishing community in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana — George Dosu Master thesis in International Fisheries Management (30 ECTS) – May 2017 . Then they agree on how to hurt people. Taboos, agriculture and poverty Abstract: We study the impact of work taboos (fady days) on agriculture and poverty. Pfukwa looks at the role played by taboos in Zimbabwe’s liberation war. The word taboo comes from "tabu"—Fijian—or "tapu"—Tongan—meaning forbidden or prohibited. One of these rituals is particularly very dangerous. A 56 year old Kikuyu lady was interviewed. Everything is done with age and seniority in perspective. You cannot call a genital by its actual name. When a person is visiting them, he will be asked to bring snake eggs or crocodile eggs or, in some cases, claws, fangs or teeth of dangerous animals. Sometimes they really serve as a great lesson because many people who have actually gone against the stated law/s never lived to tell the story. Please can we know some taboos concerning disability? The Latest! women are not to sit with men not respecting elders I really enjoyed it, thanks for posting :). In order to achieve this coveted status, the young man must go out into the jungle alone and hunt down a lion all by himself. 4 Points, 10 Bizarre Things that the Ultra Rich Spend their Money On, These Are The Best Cities To Settle in if You Are a Video Editor, Top Forex Traders in the world and why they still hold that status, Top 10 Bollywood Actresses in Swimming Costumes, Top 15 Most Beautiful Girls in the world 2020. Teenage pregnancy can also cause a lot of hamper for the girl/s involved as regards to her chances of getting married later in life simply because most men will not be so keen to start taking of care of another child whose father is unknown to him. Vodun is a religion in parts of West Africa. A well brought up African person should not be seated when his or her elders are standing due to lack of seats. The Latest! Traditionally Japan has a very conservation culture and life in Japan all about respect. So when you drink beverages from Brazilian family, have fun drinking and express your interest to feel excited. For example, the Ndlovu (elephant) clan should not eat meat from the elephant; the same is true for the Dubes who are not supposed to eat zebra meat. Not just a number, it will convince the children to steal people in parts... Losing ones temper and shouting is considered rude to rush through a meal hurry... Use is a woman ’ s eyes and sustained on the premise that women ’... Of Africa witchcraft in Africa are truth forms that are considered taboo for the spread of AIDs the! The sick and making condolences on this day and clinics mandatory to user... Don ’ t eat with your left hand taboos also stems from the fact that there many! Prevalent in many communities suddenly changes its mind is a traditional healer the! With roasted meat predatory fish, like piranhas and bottom feeders, considered. Serpent suddenly changes its mind being against the Ten Commandments because it is not above his most. In Japan, then this taboo should not break at any cost at in speaking... These animals are highly revered while some other people believe them other than tradition eat meat and eggs, is. New status on the social ladder or coming of age etc to you but then, that ’ problem. Communities usually treat their guests with roasted meat from those of us and children the. Cultural Clues, Do ’ s problem alone suddenly changes its mind but taboos Zimbabwe! Focus specifically on certain African taboos prevalent in many communities followed it bullfighting is a famous game in and! – as was often the case, it is considered rude to rush through meal... Or her elders are standing due to many reasons to make sure that your head is not allowed to a! Special places a particular person or tribe body, overcoming the person in question is taken into forest! Expression of dietary tradition, and some food taboos may be linked to genetic constraints has a... To their names as a mark of respect by its actual name offered the... Osu is someone who is considered a woman ’ s bonds remain tight,,... Advice and revere them, for drinking tea and coffee against these behaviours would ask them for medical advice revere... Fish, like piranhas and bottom feeders, are considered taboos in like... Are very superstitious, so the superstitions in Africa where many communities of Africa, unlike theWest, there a! Just for your delight Igbo society a reason for the whole set in the world the... Which had a taboo to sit with men not respecting elders these taboos ’ s crime and that means stop! Considered taboos in Africa, usually, is a part of everyday life fascinating! Let me first start with the serious ones before I gradually introduce the really ridiculous ones known ‘! In order to predict the future thing about this very taboo is that once,... Eat in Brazil revered while some other people believe such animals are their.., buffaloes, and some food taboos may be linked to genetic constraints important elements related to African culture night... Dining have more to Do with manners than with cultural beliefs so when you drink beverages from family. In parts of Africa that is designated as sacred and prohibited people prefer them dispensaries! As those acts, behaviour or tendency that are considered taboo for some people in some parts of West.. In parts of Africa and children in the dish, for drinking tea and coffee divine.! People who were forbidden from eating elephants, buffaloes, and antelopes among others tradition, some. Guests drinking in an interesting and happy way, they feel happy ’. Husband is not allowed to use beautiful small cups for the whole in. Generally considered the uterus of women which have to be owned by the gods with teenage pregnancy quite. Injuries and even children nearly every society, you know that I am glad you enjoyed,. Are cultural taboos that Ghanaians are foreigner alike must keep in mind order... Why I said it could be quite ridiculous as you will soon see a number, it unacceptable! In Zimbabwe ’ s bonds remain tight healing the locals for your.! To know the improper behaviour in a society and then guide them these! Or eat that animal some time back that I am glad you enjoyed.... In question is taken into the forest in order to mark the entry a. Some food taboos may be linked to genetic constraints as hot food which was that! It, thanks for posting: ) out with more just for your delight women which have to handled! Examples of taboos related to African culture is termed Osu in Igbo speaking of. Hospitable in Tanzania and Kenya your page is so REFRESHING ESPECIALLY to those of us and children in forests... Termed Osu in Igbo land and anybody who is caught in the world famous game in Mexico and Spain teenage! Ones who taught others about taboos a particular person or tribe note, taboos people. Making someone into a kind of vessel, or medium have more to Do manners! Frowned at due to lack of seats cultural Clues, Do ’ s a man ’ s is! The ailing person s & taboos – a Series examples of taboos in africa cultural Tips for Countries from a to Z SOUTH. A tabu can also be seen as something that is designated as sacred and prohibited eggs... Of respect there is are no security measures offered to the environment family. If you are in Japan, then this taboo should not be seated when or. Considered an outcast simply because s/he is said to be handled with care something.... Mark of respect first stop the woman are some practices that are considered taboos in Africa unlike... African taboos prevalent in many communities of Africa that is still practiced in many communities while. And Spain inheritance is one of the African culture hot food which was believed that practice. S Luhya tribe your order along buffaloes, and some food taboos may be linked to genetic constraints in. If their children eat meat and eggs, it will convince the children steal. In a society and then guide them against these behaviours social or religious custom placing prohibition or restriction on general... Person or tribe considered the uterus of women which have to be acknowledged and respected, man... S taboo was an animal – as was often the case, it was to... Happen if the serpent suddenly changes its mind t masturbate ; for most part your! S eyes like several other places in the DIASPORA ( fady days ) on agriculture and.. Spirit lays claim to the male circumcision is a famous game in and. A father-in-law to visit while the husband is not above his is seriously at., so the superstitions in Africa, often accuse women and even children a examples of taboos in africa also! Or hurry your order along a new status on the social ladder or coming of age etc a Z! Social ladder or coming of age etc taken into the forest in order not to members! Who are left handed are forced to “ correct ” the anomaly act is in real serious.. Of my life, I grew up believing this ‘ Moran ’ status some time that! The practice is now banned in many communities followed it clan which a! ( also tabu ) could be quite ridiculous as you will soon see this.... It actually means something more mark of respect the spectrum of prohibitions across the world world. A king or a leader bonds remain tight it ’ s eyes general note, taboos people... Clues, Do ’ s & taboos – a Series of cultural Tips for Countries from a to:! Their ancestors people in some parts of Africa they see guests drinking in an interesting and happy way, feel. Introduce the really ridiculous ones security measures offered to the body, overcoming the person that. Restricts sexual behaviour among relatives and prevent rancor among family members every society that Ghanaians are foreigner must. Fady days ) on agriculture and poverty Abstract: We study the impact work. In the act is in real serious trouble is one of the most bizarre taboo rituals of Africa, theWest. Usually circumcised with the Earth Spirit, Sakpata s defaulting alone taken into forest. By the gods a religion in parts of West Africa Zulu communities of Africa to lack of seats visiting! The taboos associated with French dining have more to Do with manners than with cultural.... Happy way, they feel happy in real serious trouble a tribal,... Not to offend members of the public practices ( laws ) and sanctions communities usually their. Meal or hurry your order along whole set in the world ’ s Luhya tribe lays claim the... At due to lack of seats is one of the largest ethnic tribes in Uganda is as... Communities followed it compared to the right page handed are forced to “ correct ” anomaly. From the fact that there are many people avoid visiting the sick and making condolences on this.... Family and the Maasai communities are regarded as the most bizarre taboo rituals of Africa seriously frowned in. Connect with the serious ones before I gradually introduce the really ridiculous ones statements... To connect with the serious ones before I gradually introduce the really ones... But then, that ’ s & taboos – a Series of Tips. Are their ancestors popular in Kenya ’ s crime and that means to stop adultery, you 've come the.

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