Taboos In Africa

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Africa as a community has a very high standard of culture, although modernization has tend to avert some of it.Many will still exist down to the jet age.And thanks to some of our elite whom embedded the traditions into their country’s laws,taking for instance in Zimbabwe having sexual relationship with ones relation is against the African tradition and constitutional law.Below are the few activities that are regarded as taboos in our African societies.

1. Consummating with relatives : Having sex with one’s relative is a taboo considered as the worst form of sin in most African communities. As such, people that were known to have engaged in this act are usually outcast. The level of modernization in many communities have not stopped this practice.In Africa, it is believed that engaging in such act attracts many tragedies to the family and to the community. Poverty, epilepsy, stunted progress and occurrence of epidemics were cited as consequences.For some communities, both individuals found culprits are killed to conciliate the gods or ancestors.

2. Disrespecting the elderly : One of the core fabrics of African customs is‘Respect’. Hence, disrespecting an elder is considered misgivings to the young person.It is also a common practice that young people are not allowed to shake hands with an elderly person, or for opposite sex (eithermarried or single) to hold hands or display any romantic display in the presence of an elderly person.

3. Relationship with in laws : This is still clinched to  many communities in Africa, there are taboos as regards relating to one’s in-laws or marriage relatives. For instance, it is unacceptable for a father-in-law to visit while the husband is not around.Also, some communities disallowed not naming a first child after the groom’s father or mother ;based on the sex of the new baby.

4. Pot breaking : Aconsidered a great taboo in many parts ofAfrica, including Southern Nigeria. This object made of clay is generally considered the uterus of women which have to be handled with care.Among the Gikuyu tribe (the largest ethnic group in Kenya) and Igbo tribe of Nigeria, aspecial ritual is performed to appease the gods and cleanse a woman who broke a cooking or water pot.

5. Food taboo : Food taboo is also one practice that modernism has failed to take away from many communities in Africa. For instance,consumption of some fruits is strongly discouraged for women during pregnancy.In some Central African countries, eating of eggs is forbidden for children.

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