Essay on West African Culture

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Brief History From the 1500s to the 1700s, African blacks, mainly from the area of West Africa (today's Senegal, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Gambia, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Dahomey, Togo, Nigeria, Cameroon, and Gabon) were shipped as slaves to North America, Brazil, and the West Indies. For them, local and tribal differences, and even varying cultural backgrounds, soon melded into one common concern for the suffering they all endured. Music, songs, and dances as well as remembered traditional food, helped not only to uplift them but also quite unintentionally added immeasurably to the culture around them. In the approximately 300 years that blacks have made their homes in North America, the West Indies, and Brazil, their highly honed art…show more content…
"Soul food" incorporates an economical and satisfying cuisine based on cereals, vegetables (greens and yams), pork and pork offal as well as chicken. Meals and Customs The majority of rural Africans customarily eat one main meal a day and this is usually the evening meal. Upon arising, coffee, tea or milk or curds may form a small light meal while some people may be content to nibble on seeds. Throughout the day snacks of fruits, seeds, or nuts may be accompanied with beverages. In some areas a midday meal of fufu/ugali and relishes may be traditionally larger than the evening meal, which in this case would then be a cereal dish alone of gruel or fufu. Infants are usually breast-fed on demand up to the age of two. Attempts to introduce bottle feedings have often met with sad results: sterilization of bottles and formula were poorly understood, formulas were diluted to last longer, and with the abandonment of breast-feeding, intercourse was resumed earlier than usual with a resultant increase in children who could be ill afforded. Bota is a thin gruel for babies, fed by pouring into the mother's hand and gently easing into the infant's mouth. Some foods and medicinal herbs if deemed necessary are pre-chewed by the mother then given to the infant. Very young children are taught early that meat is a delicacy,
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