Culture of West Africa
Geography and climate
West Africa includes the western part of the Maghreb (Western Sahara, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia), occupies an area of more than 6.14 million km2, or about one-fifth of Africa. The vast majority of these lands consist of the plains lying less than 300 meters above sea level, although some elevation exists in many countries along the southern coast region. The northern part of the West African semi-arid terrain is made up of known as the Sahel, the transition zone between the Sahara and the savannas and forests west of Sudan (Ehret, 2002). At the crossroads of peoples and civilizations, the West Africa, inhabited by a predominantly rural population (70 to 90%), has a great diversity ethnic, coupled with a cultural and natural heritage very diverse traditions and cultural interactions generally harmonious.
Cultural Values of West Africa
West Africa is a fascinating blend of cultures, traditions and myths, and especially us closer to the fearless, curious and mythical city of Timbuktu. African arts and crafts find expression in a variety of woodcarvings, brass and leather art works. Mali in West Africa is one of the poorest countries in the continent, although, after 1992, has become one of the most stable political governments worldwide. Consequently, sub-Saharan music festivals continue to grow in popularity and attract many followers, including many of the best European musicians. Mbalax , highlife , fuji and Afrobeat are modern musical genres with many listeners in the region. Today Timbuktu, perched on the edge of the Sahara desert is a bleak and impoverished city. However, thousands of visitors come here every year, most of them through the Niger River by boat from Mopti. Djenne, one of the most renowned centers of Islamic learning, is also one of the oldest cities in SSA. It is located in the floodplains of the rivers Niger and Bani, a little over 300 kilometers southwest of Timbuktu...
References: Davies, B. (2008), “Encyclopedia of the African Diaspora: Origins, Experiences and Culture,” ABC-CLIO
Ehret, C. (2002), “The Civilizations of Africa,” Charlottesville: University of Virginia
Raheem, T. A. (1996), “Africanism: Politics, Economy and Social Change in the Twenty First Century,” Pluto Press, London
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