African Cultures Essay

1234 Words Sep 15th, 2003 5 Pages
African Cultures

Africa has more than 800 languages native to its continent. African cultures are so diverse that they are different from any other culture of the world. African cultures contain many different languages. African languages range from common French to languages unheard of to most people such as Swahili. African arts are much different than American arts. Their art involves much more creative pottery, masks, and paintings. Africa has a very interesting culture. Reasons being the people are very creative and like to express their individuality. The most diverse cultures in the world belong to Africa.
There are more than 800 languages spoken in the continent of Africa. Most Africans speak two or three languages, their
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The most common languages in South Africa are Xhosa, Tswana, Zulu, and Swahili (African Languages).
Zulu is one of nine Bantu languages spoken in East Southern Africa. Approximately 8.8 million people speak this language (African Languages).
Swahili is spoken as a mother language vast along the coast of East Africa. It is the national language of Tanzania and the official language of Kenya (African Languages). It is also the official in German East Africa (Reader 265). Approximately 50 million people speak this language (African Languages).

Art is very important to the Africans. In fact it is part of their everyday life (Fetzer 106). South African artists are active in many areas of art including sculpture, pottery, mask making, and many more (African Arts Information). Like African paintings, poetry, and woodcarvings, sculptures tell a tale and immortalize cultures and beliefs. Different artists have different styles (African Arts Information). Materials and styles differ from village to village. Most sculptors use green wood, copper, tin, zinc alloys, bronze, ivory, or terra cotta, a kind of earth ware. Most sculpture figures are believed to contain ancestor's spirits. Others represent sacred ideas or events (Fetzer 106). Some objects are said to be magical and believed to have magical powers (African Arts). Africans carve figures, make masks, and decorate articles for ceremonies (Fetzer 106).
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