History and Traditions of the African Society

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Many of the West Africans were farmers by the early sixteenth century, which they usually lived in villages made up of extended families and clans. In some societies, social rank and property was passed though the males. Such as from father to their son and so on. In the matrilineal societies, property and rank, are still controlled by men, are passed from generation to generation in the female line. Many of the West Africans lived in societies with no states, no government other that provided by extended families. In nuclear families or some polygynous families acted as economic units. These family units existed in the text of the broader family of the community. Which are made up of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. The elders in the extended family have a greater power over the social lives and the economy. The elders in my extended family still have an influence on my life. I respect their opinions and ask their approval on issues or different situations.

People often used mud to build their small houses, which were rectangular or round. Usually the houses had thatched roofs or palm roofs. Many different items they had were cots, rugs, storage chests, tools, weapons, and household items that they used to prepare food. Just as we do in our society, we have many of the same items we use on a daily basis. West Africans cultivated millet, sorghum, and rice for their diets. They also kept goats and cattle for milk and cheese. They also ate yams, peas, okra, watermelons, and many different kinds of nuts. It was very hard to do farming in West Africa, since drought was common. Usually the men were responsible for planting, weeding, harvesting, and carrying in the produce. The women usually took care of the children, prepared meals, and created household pottery.

Since West Africa was had stateless societies, most of them lived in hierarchically states headed by monarchs who claimed status. The monarchs were far from absolute in the...
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