Top 9 Most Interesting African Cultural Practices You Probably Don’t Know

Top 9 Most Interesting African Cultural Practices You Probably Don’t Know

The list below shows 9 of Africa’s most interesting cultural practices you might not have heard of.

  • The Chewa community’s festival for the dead
  • Bull jumping feat in Ethiopia
  • Lip stretching of girls from the Surma community
  • Kidnapping of your bride in Sudan
  • Wife stealing night dance of the Wodaabe of Nigeria
  • The potency test of the Banyankole of Uganda
  • Determining one’s measure of wealth through number of cows by the Pokot of Kenya
  • Spitting one’s greeting by the Maasai of Kenya and Tanzania
  • Beating the suitor by the Fulani of West Africa

1.The Chewa Community’s Festival for the Dead

This is a Bantu tribe found in Malawi. When a tribe member has died, it is customary for the deceased’s body to be washed during the burial ceremony. After the corpse has been washed, it is taken to a shrine where a cleansing ritual that entails slitting of the deceased’s throat and pouring of water into the inside of the dead person through the orifices.

After that, the water that had been poured inside the corpse’s body is squeezed out until no more is left. The mouth dropping part of the practice is that the water squeezed out of the corpse is collected and used to prepare a meal for the community.

2.Bull Jumping Feat in Ethiopia

Top 9 Most Interesting African Cultural Practices You Probably Don’t Know








Being a male child in Africa requires you to undergo various tests, rituals, and rites of passage to prove your manhood to the community. Bull jumping is very captivating to watch and it forms part of cultural events in Africa that are a must see.

It entails a series of events whereby, the young man Str!ps Nak3d, runs and is supposed to land on the Bulls’ back. When this is done, he is now supposed to run across the backs of several bulls that are usually arranged in a straight line by the elders by holding them by the horns and tail. Despite its precarious nature, this practice is quite captivating to watch.

3.Lip Stretching of Girls  From the Surma Community

On reaching their teenage years, girls of the Surma community of South Sudan begin the process of lip stretching. This is done by having some of her lower jaw teeth knocked out so as to create space for a lip plate which is then fixed in.

The girls’ mothers are tasked with this gruesome task. It is not quite clear why this practice is done. But rumor has it that, the girl with the biggest lip plate gets the highest bride price paid for her.

4.Kidnapping of  Your Bride in Sudan

Top 9 Most Interesting African Cultural Practices You Probably Don’t Know






The Luka tribe of Sudan have an interesting way of wooing their brides to be. When a suitor has chosen the woman he intends to marry, he usually kidnaps her. Strange practice it is, but it is still, considered as one of the best African cultural practices we have in Africa. The thrill it brings makes one feel like they are on set, shooting a movie during the 80’s.

After kidnapping his bride, the elderly members of his family go and ask the bride’s father for her hand in marriage. If the bride’s father agrees, he does so by beating up the suitor as a sign of acceptance of their marriage.

5.Wife Stealing Night Dance of the Wodaabe of Nigeria

This practice forms part of the best traditional events in Africa, as it is done during the festive season. Members of the community go out dancing in the night. However, the dancing is not considered complete until one bizarre action of stealing women from their tribe takes place.

Men are allowed to steal women from their tribe, irrespective of whether the woman is married or not. The man is at liberty to keep her legitimately unless the woman does not consent to it or her husband catches the other man in the process of trying to steal her.

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