It is (well into) 2014 and we are exploring West Africa. I have deviated this year in choosing a region rather than a country. There are a few reasons for this: for one thing, the political divisions of nations were made by colonists based on the colonial interests of the time, with no thought to the established cultures, often dividing ethic groups between countries. The region of West Africa is indeed similar in the cultural aspects of food, music, and clothing, which will offer cohesiveness in our exploration. Within these similarities, by exploring more than one country, the diversity within the region will help to imprint the recognition that Africa should not be reduced as one nation, but rather the continent of nations it is.
We're getting excited, based on the bit I've learned so far. Among others, we'll be learning about the Ashanti and Yoruba cultures.
|Traditional Ashanti Performance|
Photo Credit: John Tolva
|Weaving Kente Cloth|
Photo Credit: Damien Radermecker
|Game of Mancala|
Photo Credit: Adam Cohn
Photo Credit: R. Baird
Photo Credit: Carsten Brink
Map Sources: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ecowas_map.svg;