African tribes refusing to relinquish their cultures for modernity, here are some of Africa’s most bizarre traditions.
Also referred to as lip plugs, this tradition is very common among members of the Surma tribe of Ethiopia and South Sudan, especially those who live along the Omo River. The practice involves incising a hole in the lower lip and fitting a rounded plate inside of it. The plate is intended to stretch the lip out and is replaced with a bigger one as the lip enlarges.
Young boys from the Ethiopian Hamertribe are required to run, jump, and land on the backs of several bulls – while nude – to prove their manhood. Before a boy undergoes this ritual, his female friends must dance through a parade of elders who will whip them with sticks until their bodies are completely bruised. The girls believe that the vicious whipping is a show of loyalty to their friends.
This is certainly one of Africa’s most-bizarre traditions and mainly practiced by the Chewa (pictured) tribe in Malawi. When one dies, his or her corpse is taken to a sacred place and cut open at the throat. They then pour water through the hole and squeeze it down the stomach until it exits through the anus. This process is done repeatedly until the water comes out clean. What’s even more disturbing is the fact that this water is used to prepare food for the entire tribe.
The Banyankole people, a minority tribe in Uganda, usually require the bridegroom to sleep with the bride’s aunt on the night before marriage. This is meant to test the groom’s potency. Sometimes the aunt will sit and watch or listen to the couple’s sexual intercourse to be certain that the bridegroom has the ability to satisfy his wife in bed.
The Fulani people in Nigeria practice a tradition, where a bridegroom is whipped by community elders just to prove he is man enough. The bridegroom must bear the pain…or the wedding is called off. Unfortunately, many young men have died while undergoing this ritual.