The cheerfulness and catching love of life (joie de vivre) of the African people should be regarded as “culture”. Wherever you go you can see them laughing no matter which country you are in. Africa has got a cultural variety which partly reaches back for centuries.
ART: Architecture, painting, decoration of basic commodities, carving and many more.The oldest of these arts is rock paintings. Today they concentrate mainly on wood carving especially on the carving of masks and sculptures.
LITERATURE: Many African authors have published their books on the international market. Writers who are well known in our country are Amma Darko (Ghana), Ben Okri (Nigeria), Nadine Gordimer (South Africa), Ousmane Sembene (Senegal) and many more. There are also many African film directors who seem to be unknown to us. Ousmane Sembene for example is regarded as “Father of the African cinema”.
BODY PAINTING: Bodypainting is mostly used during festivals or rituals in order to let the person look more beautiful. Every tribe has got its own paintings so you can easily see which tribe the person belongs to.
MUSIC: Music is part of the every day life. The drums are the most important instruments. Ages ago they were a tool used for communication. The instruments are made from natural materials, e.g. wooden sticks, scooped tree-trunks, animal skins, capsules from fruits and many other things.
DANCE: see extra chapter “dance”
SINGING: A typical way of the African singing is the so called alternating singing. One person starts singing a verse and the rest is singing a response.
Traditions and customs are passed on from one generation to the other. Even the children take part in the festivals and rituals of the community in the village. That´s the reason why they automatically take on the traditions and customs. They quickly try to transfer some of it (e.g. dancing) into practice.
Nowadays many modern ideas are established in the cultural affairs. Howeverthere are attempts to connect traditional ideas with modern ideas .
Even in times of slavery the Africans tried to keep their cultural identity by dance and music.