Witnessing a lion attack during a game drive is one thing, but seeing a wildebeest fighting for its life for over 7 minutes and breaking free from the clutches of a lion’s jaws is something incredibly rare to witness.
The team at Ranger Diaries published this amazing video of the encounter. It’s sad, heartwarming and an inspiration to never give up, no matter how impossible the situation you are in may seem.
What an extraordinary event. Lucky wildebeest.
Thanks for letting us share your story Overlanding Africa
1,000-year-old copper coins from Kilwa Sultanate, East Africa found in Australia
Five copper coins thought to have originated in the East African Kilwa Sultanate (modern Tanzania), which date back to the early 900s, were discovered on the Wessel Islands off the north coast of Australia in 1944.
The coins are causing excitement among historians because they suggest that other seafaring peoples had discovered Australia 600 years before Captain James Cook. Although aboriginal Australians are thought to have arrived in Australia by boat from the Malay Archipelago between 40,000 and 60,000 years ago, the mainstream text of history claims that the Dutch navigators and later the English sailor Captain Cook “discovered” Australia. The first European landing on Australia is credited to Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon, who sighted the coast of Cape York Peninsula in early 1606 and landed on 26 February at the Pennefather River near Weipa on Cape York. A few years later, another Dutch navigator Dirk Hartog, reached the Island. William Dampier was the first English navigator to arrive in Australia, He landed on the north-west coast in 1688 and again in 1699. In 1770, James Cook explored the east coast which he named South Wales and claimed it for the English crown. Spaniard adventurer Luiz Vaez de Torres, discovered the strait between Papua New Guinea and Australia which was named Torres Strait in his honor. The British Government sent a fleet of ships under the command of Captain Arthur Phillip to establish a penal colony at Botany Bay in January 1788.
McIntosh points to where the copper coins were found on the map
The Kilwa Sultanate
However, the coins linked to the East African Kilwa Sultanate suggest that other seafaring peoples had discovered Australia at least six centuries before the first European sailors. But another theory suggests that the coins may have been washed ashore from a shipwreck. According to the Courier Mail, the site of the Kilwa Sultanate in Tanzania is a World Heritage ruin. Kilwa was a Medieval Sultanate whose territory covered the entire length of the East African Swahili Coast. It was a flourishing trade port with links to India from the 13th to the 16th century. Trade in gold, silver, pearls, perfumes, Arabian stone ware, Persian ceramics and Chinese porcelain flourished along the East African coast until Kilwa was overthrown by the Portuguese in 1505, the Courier Mailreports. The sultanate produced the oldest known copper coins in sub-Saharan Africa.
Archaeologists have long believed there might have been a maritime link between East Africa, Arabia, India, the Spice Islands and China. According to McIntosh: “This trade route was already very active, a very long period of time ago, and this may evidence of that early exploration by peoples from East Africa, or from the Middle East.”
Expedition to Australia According to the IUPUI, Australian researcher Ian McIntosh, Professor of Anthropology at Indiana University, is planning an expedition to the place where the five coins were found in the Northern Territory in 1944. An Australian soldier Maurie Isenberg, found the coins in 1944 while manning a radar station at one of the Wessel Islands, a group of Islands off Australia’s north coast. He found the coins while sitting in the sand on the beach. Although he had no idea where the coins came from or how old they were, he kept them in a tin and forgot about them until in 1979 when he sent them to a museum for identification. Experts identified them as 1,000 years old and asked him to mark “X” on a map where he had found them. He also found four other coins which were confirmed to be Dutch East Indian company coins dating back to 1690. Curiously, the map and the coins were forgotten until McIntosh rediscovered them a few months ago and confirmed they were from the East African Kilwa Sultanate.
The questions McIntosh and a team of Australian and American historians, archaeologists and geomorpholosgists hope to answer when they investigate the site where the coins were found include: How did they get there? Were they brought to the island by non-European explorers or were they accidentally washed ashore from a shipwreck? What sort of contact, if any, existed between the explorers and local Aboriginal populations? The team will also be looking for a cave mentioned in Aboriginal legends. The cave, said to be close to the beach where Isenberg found the coins, may contain ancient artifacts. If the team is able to locate the cave, they may uncover a new wealth of knowledge about the history of Australia before the first Europeans arrived.
Meserani Snake Park is located in Tanzania, East Africa.
The snake park is located 25km west of Arusha on the route to the Serengeti and Ngorongoro crater.
Meserani Snake Park provides a free medical health clinic, with over a 1000 patients per month and rising. The clinic treats many medical emergencies, a common issue is treatment for infections and snakebites.
The clinic employs two-full time nurses. The clinic is open 24 /7, 365 days a year.
The owner operators of Meserani Snake Park Berry and Lynn Bale pay for all the salaries and medical supplies.
A physician assistant and a paramedic, both from Prineville, became friends with Wade Bale and learned about the Meserani Snake Park. They visited the facility two years’ ago and agreed with the Bales that a new clinic was needed to better serve the area, as the existing facility was much too small, not adequately supplied and too far away from the Snake Park itself. Upon returning to Central Oregon, these two, along with Wade Bale, his wife, Susan, and others who had also visited the Snake Park, formed Mbuyu Charities. The word comes from the local dialect, meaning “Baobab,” a tree that is plentiful in the area. This tree is often called “The Tree of Life,” and it is the goal of the organization to be able to provide hope and life to people living in the Meserani region.
Thanks to generous contributors, the Bales were presented with a $4,000 gift to begin construction of a new clinic. Since Berry Bale is also an engineer, plans were formulated and construction began quickly, using the Maasai as laborers. Nevertheless, this first influx of funds covers only about 1/3 of the total cost of construction.
The current clinic is now housing five orphans as well as caring for close to 50 patients a day. This is a project that needs to be finished, not only to provide for better and more centrally located medical care, but so that the old clinic can be transformed into an orphanage.
Mbuyu Charities sent a team of medical professional to Tanzania, please view the video.
The Tanzania trip was very successful, they treated over 1000 patients and one baby Elephant.
Through your support Meserani Snake Park has been able to move forward and provide the local people with a better quality of life.
Meserani Snake Park and Mbuyu Charities is greatly thankful.
Puff Adder Bite
Florian, he came here from Bukoba which is on Lake Tanganyika, about 800kms away. He had been bitten by a Puff Adder on the hand. The first picture shows the damage and his kidneys were failing. He came to visit us yesterday to bring us gifts for saving his life. The other picture is him now with Rarin, our nurse. Just great to see him doing so well with no side effects.
Fabulous job from everyone. Keep up the great work.
Tingatinga Art is primarily produced and sold in Tanzania. Although some artists are traveling and starting to take their art further a field.
It all started with a man called Eduardo Saidi Tingatinga, born in 1932 in a Namochelia village (which does not exist today). It was near Mindu and Nakapanya village, ca 70 km east of Tunduru town.
Eduardo Saidi Tingatinga was a self taught painter, with only 4 years of primary school education. He was just starting to receive recognition for his square board-paintings, when his life was cut short in 1972, he was mistaken for a fleeing thief and fatally shot by the police. Before he died he started to attracted young followers wanting to imitate his style. Today Tingatinga thrives. You will never see massed produced Tingatinga Art.
View Chidi Okoye Nigerian Artist amazing art collection.
Nigerian born, Chidi A. Okoye graduated with a distinction in sculpture (Higher National Diploma) from the Institute of Management and Technology in Enugu, Nigeria, in 1988. For the next six years he taught sculpture and drawing at Federal Polytechnic Oko Anambra State Nigeria. During this period, he created an outstanding collection, not only sculpting, but painting and writing as well. In Nigeria, He had his national solo exhibition “Textures of Life” and launching of his book “Lamentation” at national museum Lagos in 1993 sponsored by Mobil Producing Nigeria. Okoye is as famous for his poetry as for his painting and sculpture.
In 1994 Okoye moved to Vancouver, Canada, where he immediately became involved in a number of projects promoting international artistic exchange and was a leading light in the local Black creative community. Okoye believes that his art offers him a chance of relating to his environment, complementing the beauty of nature with man-made forms and images, which spring from his ancestral culture. He combines the strength, uniqueness and dynamism of his heritage with a technically skilled understanding of the power of forms, feeling and materials to create works, which continue to thrill audiences.
The wide appeal of his works seems to lie in its identifiably African approach to colors and lines, but with an ability to turn his distinctive style to a wide rage of subjects. Okoye’s paintings and sculpture have been praised for their capacity to raise awareness of important social-political issues without resorting to militancy.
In 2001 Okoye went to Atlanta where he has been actively involved in the creative art community. He won the first prize, South Fulton County Gallery Best Artist of the year 2002. He has participated in the jury art shows of National Black Art Festival Atlanta from 2002 to 2004. He recently executed Award commission for 2004 Clark Atlanta University ADVANCE Leadership Award. Chidi collaborated with Nelson Mandela in Unity Series in 2004.
Zanzibar for such a small Island it is pouring with history. From ancient Arab and Persian emigrants, wars and revolutions, Sultans, Dr Livingstone, Freddy Mercury and the center of the slave trade.
This is my third trip to Zanzibar, I must say you certainly never get tired of this beautiful historical place.
Zanzibar is where Freddy Mercury was born. His house has since been turned into a gift shop. Thousands of tourists come to visit to see where the famous rock star lived.
Zanzibar Island is divided into two main islands, Pemba and Unguja. The population is approximately 800,000, of which 150,000 are found on Pemba. 95% Muslim, 5% Christian all living in harmony. The language spoken is Swahili. The climate hot and humid. The currency Tanzanian Shillings, although the locals will accept US dollars.
Major Industries on Zanzibar are Tourism, Spices and Fishing.
The old part of Stone Town is built from rock and Coral from the sea, little did they no about the damage they where causing to their coral reefs. One tiny piece of coral broken off will take up to 60 years to grow back.
Walk threw the narrow streets of Stone Town you will come across the most amazing doors, the big brass knobs on the outside of these doors was to stop the Elephants from leaning on them, luckily there are no Elephants on Zanzibar anymore.
That is a quick overview of Zanzibar, for now I will chat about the famous Spice Tour.
Beautiful aroma’s full the Island. Get a guided tour of Zanzibar’s Spice Island taste and smell the fresh spices. All the spices are organically grown.
In the western world we use spices and herbs for mostly cooking purposes, not the locals of Zanzibar.
The Island grows a bush called Annatto, looks like a Lychee. From this the local people use it for dye in food and lipstick for the ladies. This is a bright red berry.
Soap Berry Tree is used for washing clothes and washing hair. It is a little brown berry, you open and rub into the water and lather it up in your hair.
Tamarind is a pod, its use making juice, the leaves are boiled and used for asthma in babies.
Cardomon used to spice up food and drinks such as rice, Indian bread, Tea and Coffee.
Ginger they make soda drinks, it is also used for tenderizing meat, and commonly used for sea sickness.
The Almond tree also known as the Umbrella Tree, the local fisherman use for timbers to make their Dhows.
Cloves is the biggest export on Zanzibar. The clove tree grows 10-15cm, they are all hand picked. They pick the cloves when the bud is green then dry in the sun. They make oil from this for tooth ache, you can boil the clove then drink the water, this will help stop tummy ache.
Pineapple is used for the digestive system.
Cassavi is used to make crisps, it doesn’t look like your traditional crisp, but sure tastes good.
Zanzibar grows chilli’s which they call Pili-Pili ho-ho, the smaller the chilli the hotter.
Henna is picked and dried, grinned to a powder then used to make temporary tattoos.
Paw Paw also called Pa pain is used in the manufacture of chewing gum. Paw Paw is also applied to the skin if you should stand on a sea urchin. Rich in vitamins A&C.
The trunk of the Iodine tree is used to stop bleeding, the locals use this much like we would use a band aid.
Cinnamon is used in cooking, but the most fascinating thing about the cinnamon tree is. If you take the root of the tree it smells just like menthol, so this is commonly used in colds and flus much like vicks.
The root of the Tumaric tree is used for food colouring and dyeing mats.
Passion fruit leaves are boiled, this is to prevent high blood pressure.
Choco beans are sucked just like sweets.
Lemon grass is used as a mosquito repellent.
Kapok looks just like cotton, this is used in the manufacture of pillows and mattresses. The local fisherman also use this for binding up their dhows so they don’t sink.
Nutmeg is used for making alcohol, they also say to much nutmeg will make you hallucinate. Many more spices are grown on the Island, Lang Lang used for perfumes. Vanilla, Jack Fruit, Bread Fruit Tree, Guara, Coconuts, Bananas, Avocado which they make juice from. And many more.
When your tour is over, relax and try some of the wonderful fruits that are grown on the Island.
Then you can head off to the local gift store and purchase some of the spices and teas you have just heard about. You can even buy some beautiful soaps, body lotions and perfumes made right on the Island.
This is just one of the great places to visit while in Zanzibar, I was fascinated with the many uses of the spices. This is one place you should put on your to do list.
After living in Tanzania for 10 months and traveling back from time to time, I discovered some useful information which may be helpful when traveling to East Africa.
The 5 traveling tips I am referring to are solely based on Tanzania, East Africa; Africa is an extremely large place, so I am not referring to the whole continent.
1. We all like to travel with some cash on hand. Tanzania’s currency is TZ shillings. American dollars is accepted in most places. The one thing that you may not be aware of that may cause some issues is. All foreign exchange outlets will not accepted any US currency older than the year 2000.The logic behind this is to try and fight counterfeiting. Please check all your American Dollars and save the inconvenience. As a side note credit card vacillates are available but always have plan B.
2. Tipping in Tanzania is not compulsory but it is expected. If you are willing to tip then please add this cost into your budget. This can become a costly exercise .If you ask for directions, dine out; use public transport any kind of service then you will be expected to tip. If you take a photo of any local Tanzanian, you may be expected to pay. It is wise to always ask permission first. If you choose to tip, how much you tip is entirely up to you.
3. If you are with a tour company please be aware that your driver or your tour leader will often earn commissions on any purchases you make, such as gift items, activities etc. The places that your driver or tour leader suggests that you go to could possibly be where they earn the best commissions, not necessarily the best option available for you. If possible do your own research before you leave on places you may wish to visit. Don’t be afraid to tell your driver or tour leader on places you may wish to visit.
4. It is always good when traveling any where in the world to learn a little bit of the local language. In Tanzania the language spoken is Swahili. While most people do speak pretty good English it does pay to know some of the basics in Swahili. It can be to your advantage especially when you are shopping. The local people appreciate that you have taken the time to learn their language.
5. If you are intending to shop, price haggling is common. You shouldn’t always accept the first price offered. One example of this, I entered a store and was interested in a piece of clothing. I asked how much for the item, the first price offered was $80 US dollars, I declined, I was then offered the item for $60 US dollars, I declined again, as the item was not worth any where close to this amount. I was just about to exit the store when the store owner yelled out okay $10 US dollars. Now that seemed more like it. Keep your wits about you when shopping.
All in all Tanzania is a wonderful and interesting place to visit, friendly people, fantastic game parks, with a rich and diverse culture. If you do decide to visit Tanzania, I hope you find these tips useful.
Tinga Tinga Tales Why Does An Elephant Have A Trunk?
Have you often wondered why the Elephant has a long trunk, or why a Tortoise has a broken shell… a pre-school series, Tinga Tinga Tales reveals all.
Each film will be told in a traditional storytelling way of how the animal came to be.
52 x 11 minute episodes released in February 2010, on the television network Cbeebies UK. Produced on location in Kenya by Tiger Aspect Productions in conjunction with Homeboyz Entertainment, the show draws upon the inspiring talent of local artists and musicians and is expertly computer-animated using beautiful, hand-painted imagery.
50 African animators, illustrators, artists, designers, editors, audio technicians, production staff and musicians have bought a show together called Tinga Tinga Tales.
African Tinagtinga Art is primarily produced and sold from East Africa. The artist often paints bright, vibrant folk like animated animals. Tinga Tinga artwork originated from African artist Eduardo Saidi Tingatinga in 1960 in Tanzania. Eduardo Saidi Tingatinga was a self taught painter, with only 4 years of primary school education. He was just starting to receive recognition for his square board-paintings, when his life was cut short in 1972, Eduardo was mistaken for a fleeing thief and fatally shot by the police. Before he died he started to attracted young followers wanting to imitate his style.
That’s when the Tingtinga Arts Co-Operative Society was formed. (TACS) The Tingatinga Arts Co-operative Society in Dar es Salaam was the visual inspiration for Tinga Tinga Tales. Members of TACS have taught many artists who have gone on to become recognized masters in their field. Some painters have moved to other parts of Tanzania and even abroad. No matter where these artists reside they remain linked to each other and to their homeland by family, friendship and, of course, their beautiful artwork. Traditional Tingatinga Art is painted using bright enamel bicycle paint, making these paintings extremely hardy to last a life time. Tingatinga Art is extremely popular with tourists becoming commonly known as “Airport Art”
Children will be fascinated of how the animals came to be. Tingatinga Tales is an education filled with laughter and joy.
Cultural Heritage is a unique cultural center on the outskirts of Arusha, Tanzania. They have curio shops, a jewellery boutique, a Tanzanite and precious stone counter, a restaurant, bargain center and outstanding commercial art gallery.
The Fine Art and Antiques collection is the only one of its kind in the world, ranging from African antiques to contemporary and wildlife painting and sculpture and photography. You will be dazzled by our assembly of art and artifacts. The Gallery is a breath taking feat of engineering and artful display that will leave you awe-struck.
The Gallery was opened in 2010 after many years of imaging and five years of construction. The unique exterior was designed by our very own Director while the interior is the brainchild of Studio Infinity, a firm of architects from Nairobi.
The Gallery’s exterior is inspired by a drum, shield and spear; well known African objects charged with traditional meanings. The spear represents survival and strength and us a symbol of masculinity, pride and prestige. The shield signifies safety and shelter and represents bravery and identity. The drum is a symbol of maternity and community as well as a means of communication and celebration.
Together these resonate with the gallery’s role in the community – to represents, communication and celebrate Africa’s cultural heritage.
Novica was the first-ever micro finance website where customers can purchase products and lend money directly to artisans.
Now, into their 10th anniversary, Novica continues helping artisans expand their businesses by providing access to micro credit.
In the Novica spirit, they cut out all the financial middlemen and took the matter into their own hands!
With no middlemen involved in the process, the Artisan’s Loans carry 0% interest.
Yes – artisans will not be charged any interest. This revolutionary concept is possible only because Novica has offices in developing nations working directly with artisans and fulfilling customer orders. Now, Novica’s offices will also serve as disbursement centers for Artisan Loans, providing artisans access to the credit that they need to grow. It’s a very exciting time.
The micro finance program is crucial to helping artisans attain funds in order to expand their crafts and workmanship.
Once a month throughout 2013 we are giving away a unique African Candle Wax Batik of your choice. Simply enter your name and email address, then keep an eye out in your inbox to see if your our lucky winner!
Couldn’t be more easier than that.
Head on over to our face book page. the link will automatically take you to our competition page, there you can fill in your details.
Interview with African Art Online by Ricardo Martinez
Ricardo is a student attending Pasadena City College, USA. His professor assigned them to read a blog regarding African Art,
Ricardo says "Well I found that your blog is the most interesting one so I picked it to do my assignment on.
I was wondering if you could answer a few questions regarding your role with African Art. I hope it does not take too much time of your schedule.
1. How did you become involved with African art. 2. Did you receive a degree from a school for African art or is it just a hobby? 3. Are you currently working on any papers or shows or exhibitions or conferences regarding African art? 4. How long have you been in the field? 5. Where do you get your info you post on the blog? like do you have sources or you do your own research?”
We where very honored and glad to help answer Ricardo’s questions.
Attached is the final version of his essay, which he received an A.
Well done Ricardo.
Art 2 250
November 1, 2010
Humanitarianism Through Art
Stepping foot on any part of Africa is like stepping into an art gallery. There is art to be taken in with every blink and every breath. With a little imagination and creativity anyone can share this art gallery with the world. Such is the case with modern information technology and more precisely the Internet and art. There is virtually no place that the Internet isn’t or at the very least, can’t inform on. Today’s diaries are no longer being written on paper and for the writers eyes only—they are being written in the form of blogs or web logs. Blogs are reverse chronological posts on a website about any one topic or many. Individuals use this method to put out diverse pieces of information for anyone with an Internet connection to find. One such person is Tania Bale of blog.AfricanArtOnline.com. Her contribution to the Dark Continent is to promote its art to the world and to help those whose hands help paint, mold, carve or otherwise define their culture.
Tania Bale is a New Zealand citizen who became interested in African art during her trips to Tanzania, a country on the western part of Africa. Her in-laws live there and naturally family visits led her to the continent. Once there she says she “[fell] in love with the arts and the culture”. It is not surprising that the outsider would fall in love with Tanzania when the motto on her in-laws Meserani Snake Park is “arrive as stranger, leave as friend”. Mrs. Bale’s reason for beginning her blog was to promote her favorite style of African art, the Tanzanian native form Tingatinga art, aptly named so after the original master, Eduardo Saidi Tingatinga. Tingatinga art is best known for the use of vibrant colors of bicycle paint on masonite, a type of hardboard. This type of art often has animal as well as human subjects depicted with colors not natural to it. Mr. Tingatinga’s art can be considered cartoonish but the pieces are considerably more complex. Mrs. Bale’s adamant passion of Tingatinga art is helping her pursue an ambassadorship to the art form for New Zealand.
Tania Bales efforts to promote Tingatinga art are also leading her, I believe, to a more humanitarian role than ambassador. Though not specifically stated by her that she is on a mission, her actions definitely define her as a type of humanitarian through art. As stated previously the motive for her blog was to promote Tingatinga’s art form, but now she promotes and sells various forms of African art. She does this because native artists don’t have the resources to promote their own art to the world, Mrs. Bale states “It can be extremely difficult for the artists in Africa to showcase their work, so with our help, we now help the artists provide for themselves and their families. It’s a great feeling.” In Tanzania local artist depend on the word of mouth from tourism, and even then only if they buy local art. By promoting other artist’s art she is ensuring that they become known and sought after and in return they receive income for their art. Mrs. Bale also donates ten percent of all proceeds to Maasai Land community services as well as the Meserani Snake Park which is not only a sanctuary for snakes but also a clinic for the local snake bite victims as well as other ill patients.
African Art Online blog’s timeline begins on March 2008 with at least one post per month after that. The first post addresses the love for Tingatinga’s art by giving a brief summary of the man himself and how the art survived through a few disciples of his. She often introduces new artists along with their art for the readers to view and have a better understanding of why his/her art is how it is. Following the post from the original date one can take a look inside her mind and see what motivates the blogger. Not only is art a motivation for her but also the people and culture which can be seen as art itself. Elspeth Huxley said it best, “Africa is a cruel country; it takes your heart and grinds it into powdered stone – and no one minds”, I can only assume this is how she feels about Tanzania. It has taken her by the heart and she doesn’t mind. The artists and the people of Tanzania are her motivation, one that makes her want to help them in any way she can. The area in Tanzania where she spends most of her time while in Africa is home to the Maasai people. In one of her posts she relays the London Marathon event in which six Maasai warriors ran the marathon in order to raise money for water wells and lines to carry potable water for their people. Empathetic posts like this and about the help the Meserani Snake Park provides, along with diary-like personal posts are found throughout the blog; all of which address the need to be human and allow others to share in that emotion.
American psychologist Abraham Maslow theorized in his “Theory of Human Motivation”, that in order for a person to become self-actualized—meaning to fulfill such needs as being creative and moral—a person had to fulfill the needs in the lower parts of his hierarchy of needs. The lowest echelon of his hierarchy could only be satisfied by the physiological needs of breathing, eating and having water to drink. Africa is a land in which fulfilling those basic physiological needs can sometimes feel and be impossible. And though nourishment is sometimes not met as it is here in America, the resilient people of Africa do get to be artistic and creative and moral sometimes at the cost of the middle echelons of basic human needs. Though the blog does not touch on political injustices or subjects, one can infer that Mrs. Tania Bale is very in touch with the realities of the continent. There is no doubt that blogs such as hers are launched in response to the needs of the people and for the desire to be one to make a difference. The hearts that have been turned into powdered stone have not only just felt emotions, they have grown arms and fingers and decided to make difference even if it is with a simple gesture of bringing art to the world by the way of a blog
Circumcision is part of the Maasai Culture, known in Maasai as (Emurata.)
In Maasai culture a boy only becomes a man once he has been circumcised. and a young girl may only get married once she has been circumcised. Circumcision of boys is carried out every seven year period, each seven year period is given a name eg Nyangusi the next seven year group Seuri the next group Makaa etc.
Once a boy reaches a certain size he is asked by an elder if he is ready to be circumcised if he agrees preparations are made brewing beer (Anaiho in Masai) which is made up of honey, sugar and water this is left to ferment for three days then aloe roots are added the brew is then left for a further two weeks. When preparations are complete the celebrations start one day before circumcision day in the afternoon the warriors sing and dance with the boys to be circumcised known as ( Layoni ) this carries on through out the night then early in the morning.
The Layoni are taken to the bush by the Moran or warriors and washed with cold water this is known as (Engare Endolu) once they have been washed they return in silence once they reach home the boys are taken to the entrance of the cattle kraal (cattle boma) where the Witch doctor (Olakitoi) is waiting while one boy is being circumcised the other boys are guarded by the Moran in side the Boma. Circumcision takes place on a cow skin placed at the entrance of the boma. No antispetic or anesthetic is used.
Boys are circumcised by the witch doctor using a sharp knife. The boys who do not cry out while being circumcised are honored by the relatives giving them a cow or a goat. It is classed as a sign of weakness if the boy cry’s out while being circumcised. This rarely happens as they are outcast. Once circumcised they are taken inside the house and put to bed to wait for blood diluted with milk which helps the boy to recover his loss of blood, when the boy (Skolio) has had enough he is left with one Moran ( warrior) to tend to him till he gets better which is about seven to ten days. The celebrations continue to the evening, Moran and young girls sing and dance drink milk and eat meat while the elders drink beer and eat meat. The Skolio circumcised boys (pre warrior) spend the next seven months or a year recovering, singing and enjoying them selves in this period they only wear black and paint their faces with white chalk, during this period the warriors and woman are not allowed to eat in front of the Skolio however the elders may. After this period there is another celebration as the Skolio now become Moran and change from wearing black to wearing red cloths at this stage they have very short hair for a period of six months then they are allowed to have long hair.
Female Circumcision:- Is carried out once the girls are mature and not by age. Preparation for circumcision is carried out much the same as for boys. The girls are washed by the elder woman relations, they are then taken to their mothers house were they will be circumcised by a female Witch doctor (Engakitoy). During the circumcision the senior Moran will appoint two warriors who will watch the girl being circumcised, the other moran dance behind the two morans watching. Once she has been circumcised the two warriors will enter the house and hand the girl their spears, handing the girl their spears is a sign that all is over and she must now getup. The two morans then leave the house and join the dancing morans out side where they continue dancing. The girl then comes out with the two spears and hands them back to the morans, she then returns to the house to rest but the calibrations continue all night much the same as for the boys. The girl the same as the boys must wear black. During the recovery period they are called (Eskolio) Once they have fully recovered they can then get married.
Female circumcision is illegal in Tanzania, unfortunately this still takes place underground and is very hush, hush.
It was really interesting talking to these six young men. This is myself and my daughter with six young boys after their ceremony. They would normally not agree to such photo’s being taken, but kindly agreed.
Words of Appreciation Dedicated to Meserani Snake Park
This project work is dedicated to Mr. BJ for his kind filled heart for making Meserani Snake Park a home for us and all other university students who wished to conduct their practical training in the snake park.
This is project is to show you that we appreciate the chance you have offered us, hopeful this work will be useful to you in advertising Meserani snake park all over the world as it is surely a place with unique attraction, for me its a splendid deposit of culture and nature all mixed up together magnificent way that can blow hearts away with joy that they have experience the view of reptiles like no other and understanding maasai culture that deep to the extent of feeling part of it.
For we have seen how hard you work in helping the local people fight against poverty, ignorance and diseases. You inspires us a lot BJ for the lives that you have touched in million numbers of way. The most inspiring part is when you have empowered women as their the main pillar in society development, We promise to be a good ambassadors of Meserani snake park..
Cheers to you for what you have achieved and best of luck for the upcoming achievements. We will forever be honored for the chance you have given us.
Words of appreciation from Erca G. Uisso, A University Student from Dodoma.
Shanga is one of life’s small and heartwarming success stories. In 2007 Saskia Rechsteiner made some necklaces for a Christmas Fair in Arusha, and now Shanga employs 42 disabled Tanzanian people. When I first visited there back in 2009, they employed 15 staff. Shanga has the River House Restaurant, (scrumptious food) and exceptional service. Plus the Shanga Shop – all located on one of Tanzania’s oldest and prettiest coffee estates. All income from the Shanga workshop, restaurant and shop sales goes towards employing more disabled people – the waiting list for jobs is endless. At Shanga they learn together – how to make unique, fabulous and high quality products from recycled materials in a positive environment that respects people of all kinds.”
Shanga Shangaa was founded as a for-profit company to create a community that would support and empower those Tanzanians who have been marginalized by their disabilities. By providing an open and safe environment, disabled Tanzanians are able to realize their potential, develop new skills, build relationships based on respect and improve their own lives. Using recycled materials and producing at a sustainable level allows Shanga Shangaa to continue to expand and offer these opportunities far into the future.
Shanga has just launched their glass blown collection. The pieces are all made from recycled bottles. The collection consists of unique wine glass, brandy glasses, champagne glasses, coffee mugs, bowls of all shapes and forms and jugs. They come in a variety of different colors.
The wine glasses displayed in this photograph have intricate detailed bead work on the stem of the glass.
Shanga is located on Burka Coffee Estates, next to Tanapa on the Dodoma Rd.
Naturally I had to indulge and snap up a pair of these divine wine glasses for myself
Nice addition to my glass collection, with such a great story to tell while sipping a nice Sauvignon Blanc. Cheers
Herds of Elephants come to the watering hole in Northern Botswana to bath and drink.
The sounds of the African savannah is tranquil
The date and time is in South Africa which is GMT +2. (Rough estimates on time - USA is 6 hours behind us, Australia is 8 hours ahead. UK / Europe is 2 hours behind
Most active time for elephant at the water hole is 11:00 am to 3:00 pm but you will be able to see many other animals at different times of the day. A night light has been installed so there is 24 hour viewing
I have viewed Lion, Gazelle, Water Buck, numerous herds of Elephants, different species of birds and Zebra.
Personally I could watch this all day :)
Here’s the link again, be sure to check back often to see what’s going on at the watering hole.
Africa is not a country. It is the world’s second largest continent and the second most populous, after Asia. Occupying 20 percent of the Earth’s land area, it measures roughly 5,000 miles from north to south and about 4,600 miles from east to west. This makes it about four times the size of the United States.
Africa’s population of about 890 million is slightly less than 14 percent of total world population. Its peoples belong to thousands of ethnic groups and clans. Some of the more widely known ethnic groups in Africa are Arab, Ashanti, Bantu, Berber, Dinka, Fulani, Ganda, Yoruba, Hausa, Kikuyu, Luba, Lunda, Malinke, Moor, Nuer, Tuareg and Xhosa.
Africans are by no means homogeneous. There is no African culture. Africans have diverse and varied ways of life. They behave differently from country to country, ethnic group to ethnic group and clan to clan.
There is also no African language. Africans speak about 2,000 languages. Among Africa’s most widely spoken languages are Swahili, Hausa, Yoruba, Bantu, Akan, Arabic, Koma and Songhai.
And far from being a perpetual laggard, Africa has made and still makes quite significant contributions to the world order. History 101 says Africa provided the slave labor that developed the New World and enriched the Old World. Today, Africa provides columbite-tantalite, the mineral from which the computer chips that drive the 21st century’s high-tech global economy are made.
Algeria, Egypt, Libya and Nigeria are the major petroleum and natural gas producing countries in Africa. They account for about 20 percent of the world’s petroleum needs. Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo and South Africa together produce 50 percent of the world’s diamonds. Ghana, South Africa and Zimbabwe together produce nearly 50 percent of the world’s gold.
Africa also contributes 70 percent of the world’s cocoa each year, 34 percent of the coffee and 50 percent of the palm products. The United States imports 30 to 60 percent of key African products; French industry depends on Africa for over 90 percent of its uranium, cobalt and manganese, 76 percent of its bauxite, 50 percent of its chromium and 30 percent of its iron ore; and British industry depends on Africa for 80 percent of its chromium, 65 percent of its lubrication oil, 55 percent of its manganese and 54 percent of its cobalt. China imports nearly 30 percent of its oil and gas from sub-Saharan Africa.
Africa is the continent longest inhabited by human beings. There are two competing theories to explain how mankind spread across the globe from Africa.
The “Out of Africa” theory suggests that between 100,000 and 200,000 years ago, modern man (Homo sapiens) emerged from Africa to slowly populate the rest of the world, replacing any human species that were already there.
The other theory suggests that modern humans arose simultaneously in Africa, Europe and Asia from one of our predecessors, Homo erectus, who left Africa about 2 million years ago.
Proponents of each theory, however, agree on one point—that all humans alive today could share common ancestry with a being in Africa who lived 120,000 to 220,000 years ago.
History is emphatic that Africa is the cradle of civilization. Egypt, Ethiopia and the ancient empires of Mali, Songhai, Kongo, Oyo, Kanem-Bornu and Ghana are among Africa’s early civilizations. The Nile Valley is also acclaimed for the inventions its African inhabitants bequeathed to modern civilization.
Africa boasts of having some of the best brains in the world. According to the United States Census Bureau, Africans are the most educated ethnic group in the United States.
But what do the Western media say Africa is?
This dehumanization of Africa has become a matter of concern not only to Africans, at home and in the diaspora, but also to teeming non-Africans who have suckled at Africa’s generous breasts.
Very interesting read indeed. Seems to me Africa is a very wealthy Country. Where does all the money go?
Morocco is a magnificent country and it is steeped in rich culture and tradition. Many travel to Morocco to sample all of its delights which are diverse and plentiful. The arts and crafts available in Morocco reflect these traditions and the culture it has managed to keep for so many years.
When you travel to Morocco you will see in there potter and crafts that they use a variety of bold colors and bright patterns, even to this day the Moroccans use the same techniques, and the quality of produce has never been compromised. This is why the craftsman of Morocco are so highly honored all over the world.
A world famous craft is the widely known magic carpets, hand woven using fine materials and again capturing the tradition through the use of bright colors and patterns. Carpets originate in one of two different styles, based on the weaver’s Berber or Arabic roots. Carpets in the high-Islamic urban style, most closely associated with the city of Rabat, have a very high number of knots per square inch, and can take many months to complete. Outside Rabat, carpets are made by hundreds of Berber tribal groups. Each of these carpets is entirely unique, and covered with symbols of significance to the individual tribe.
Moroccans make both gold and silver jewelery; the designs are completed using a distinct Moroccan style. You will mainly find gold jewelery in the cities but silver is found all over. Jewelery is made in every form, including earrings, bracelets, necklaces and anklets. Some have semi precious stones. You will also come across many heavy solid bracelets with deeply etched designs.
Apart from Moroccan carpets, textiles and handicrafts, Morocco has also become well known for its Moroccan pottery and art culture. This includes ceramics, sculptures and paintings. The three well known regions are Safi, Fez, and Meknes, all near the capital of Rabat. Within each region is its own style and color schemes and it is argued that the best pottery comes from Safi as it is here where artistic flavor has had centuries to be perfected. Ceramic tagines and water jugs have become hot tourist items and have thus increased the demand and production. The pottery on display in certain regions tells a story about the influences of that area. The pottery of Safi, for example, comes from Andalusia because of its shiny, almost metallic look. You will find the pottery of Fez and Safi are closely related. But, pottery in Fez tends to be brown, yellow, and even green on a white background. Meknes, which adopted methods of pottery making from Fez, has the famous metallic-green pottery that is on display in many artistic institutions across Morocco.
When you travel to Morocco you will be sure to find items that you can bring home as a memory of your Moroccan holiday. In each city you may visit you are bound to find a style, color and type that will suit your own personal preferences. Take your pick of any authentic souvenir which will remind you of your time in this magnificent country.