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Culture

Pakistan. On the road.

Inscriptions on trucks offer a key to understanding the popular view on the ground and…

01 Mar 2017

Uganda. Acholi, the rite of the birth of a child

Acholi is a Luo Nilotic ethnic group from Northern Uganda. They are approximately 1.2 million…

01 Mar 2017

Sarcocephalus latifolius. A vital role in the healthcare.

The use of medicinal plants as a fundamental component of the African traditional healthcare system…

01 Mar 2017

Guatemala. The Mayan noble art of weaving

The textiles of Guatemala are known throughout the world. Among their vivid colours, that of…

01 Mar 2017

Jatropha curcas - A multipurpose African traditional medicinal plant.

Jatropha curcas (Linnaeus); commonly referred to as Barbados nut, it is a perennial shrub or…

01 Feb 2017

Nicaragua. Ometepe Island. Between ancient legends and biodiversity.

Formed by two green volcanoes; sanctuary of flora and fauna species. Ometepe is the largest…

01 Feb 2017

Zambia. Ncwala: a traditional ritual of thanksgiving.

The Ngoni people are one of the many ethnic groups living in Zambia. Just before…

01 Feb 2017

Mexico. The Tlaxcala Carnival. A colourful feast

Carnival in the state of Tlaxcala, in central Mexico, includes different dances whose names and…

01 Feb 2017

Africa. Voices of Opera

Through the interpretation of numerous opera repertories by African singers and authors, new paths are…

01 Jan 2017

Mexico. Chichen Itza, the power of time

Surrounded by dense rainforest, the Pyramid of Kukulcan in Chichen Itza is an ancient Maya…

01 Jan 2017

Kenya. Pökot, the Parpara Ceremony

The Pökot are a Nilotic people. They live in Western Kenya, in the districts of…

01 Jan 2017

Annona Reticulata: A powerful fruit plant

It is a fruit tree or shrub. The tree is commonly referred to as 'custard…

01 Jan 2017

China. Jade, the essence of heaven and earth.

The word “jade” communicates a sense of mystery. In Chinese, jade refers to a fine,…

01 Dec 2016

Carissa Spinarum: The Magic Herb

Carissa spinarum (Apocynaceae family) is a shrub which is indigenous to tropical Africa. Previously scientists…

01 Dec 2016

South Sudan. The Nuer people: between offence and repair.

In case of offence, the perpetrator must publicly acknowledge his guilt and reward the offended.…

01 Dec 2016

Mexico. The Sacred Mountain.

As time pass and cultures evolved, our appreciation to great achievements is enhance with the…

01 Dec 2016

Zanthoxylum chalybeum. The antidiabetic herb.

It is a tropical plant that grows in medium to low altitudes of dry woodland…

01 Nov 2016

Mexico. Sowiki, a drink for life.

The Tarahumara people, who call themselves the Rarámuri, are one of the ethnic groups that…

01 Nov 2016

Guinea Bissau. A people with a strong identity.

The Bijagos, a small ethnic group, struggling to preserve their cults and autonomy. The Bijago archipelago…

01 Nov 2016

Latin America - Day of the Dead

From ancient indigenous rituals to modern celebrations. Remembrance, respect and prayer for the dead, with…

01 Nov 2016

Trinidad and Tobago. Shango, sticking to roots.

Unknown to most people, and often considered a mere folkloric tradition, the Shango ritual plays…

01 Oct 2016

Malawi. Sharing in a beer party

Sitting in a circle. To chat, to exchange news, to joke and laugh. Chewa people…

01 Oct 2016

Shea butter tree. The skin’s best friend

It is a multi-purpose tree and is highly valued not only for its economic and…

01 Oct 2016

Guatemala. Quetzal: 'God of the Air'

It is one of the most enigmatic and elusive birds in the world. It is…

01 Oct 2016

South Africa. Dance changes their life.

From the dusty streets of the townships to dance theatres. The dream of  many girls…

01 Sep 2016

Tamarindus indica: A Multipurpose Medicinal Plant.

Tamarind (Tamarindus indica) is an evergreen tropical tree that grows wild mostly in the semi-arid…

01 Sep 2016

Uganda. Between gestures and words.

The greeting gesture has great importance among the Karimojong of Uganda. It has to be…

01 Sep 2016

Philippines. Dancing out poverty

From the slums of Tondo, Manila, this 18-year-old painstakingly earned her place in the international…

01 Sep 2016

Ibn Arabi. Poet and mystic

Mystic, philosopher, poet, sufi, Muhammad ibn al-Arabi was one of the world's great spiritual teachers.…

01 Aug 2016

Music. Youssou N’Dour: the king’s comeback

For many Senegalese Youssou N’Dour is more than just a singer: he is a living…

01 Aug 2016

Mexico. Radio Zapata, weaving communities from the heart of the…

A community radio that tries to improve the living conditions of indigenous people through communication. The…

01 Aug 2016

Book - The predictable rise of Boko Haram

In November 2015 a report released by the Sydney-based Institute for Economics and peace (Iep)…

01 Aug 2016

Uganda. ‘Imbalu’. The Pride of Bamasaaba.

The Masaba people, or Bamasaaba, live in the Eastern Ugandan districts of Sironko, Manafwa, Bududa,…

01 Jul 2016

Mozambique. In the shadow of the Baobab.

One day a group of young people gathered under a Baobab tree to listen to…

01 Jul 2016

Ecuador. The Puruhaes’ concept of Sumak Kawsay.

The Puruhaes are an indigenous people who live in the provinces of Chimborazo, Bolivar, Tungurahua…

01 Jul 2016

Germaine Acogny. 'The dance of being'.

Choreographer Germaine Acogny, who runs the Ecole des Sables in Senegal, teaches her dancers/pupils to…

01 Jul 2016

Music - Farewell to Papa Wemba

It is not common for the Vatican spokesperson to release an interview to remember a…

01 Jun 2016

Mexico. The Xitas, the symbol of cultural continuity.

Temascalcingo is a small municipality in the north-western area of the State of Mexico.  The…

01 Jun 2016

South Sudan. The Lokoya. A people’s comunity life

The Lokoya people are situated in Eastern Equatoria in the Southern Sudan.  They are estimated…

01 Jun 2016

Book review - Transitional Justice

Starting a conflict, history shows, might be quite easy; ending it is undoubtedly harder. The…

01 Jun 2016

Prunus Africana. A Wonder Medicinal Plant

It belongs to the Rosaceae family and it is also called the red stinkwood tree.…

01 May 2016

Ivory Coast, singing against terror.

Grand Bassam is wounded, and yet, she sings. Or better, a number of Ivorian artists…

01 May 2016

Book review - Islam and the future of tolerance.

From the moment when the 11/9 attacks inevitably changed the way in which a number…

01 May 2016

Mexico. The Huicholes' Drum Festival.

At the end of the rain season and after the harvest, the Wirraritari, as the…

01 May 2016

Music. Akendengué, fifty years of challenges.

At the beginning of his career he has been called “the African Bob Dylan”, and…

01 Apr 2016

China. Where 'men till and women weave'

Basha Miao Village, lies on the southern border of Southwest China's Guizhou Province. The Miao…

01 Apr 2016

Book Review. Media, revolution and politics in Egypt

The role played by media - both traditional and social - in the 2011 Arab…

01 Apr 2016

Kenya – Maasai. The drinking of milk ceremony.

One of the characteristic in the life of Maasai is the Eunoto ceremony, drinking milk…

01 Apr 2016

Peru. The Sacred Ice

Each year at the winter solstice, hundreds of people participate in a procession in Peru…

01 Mar 2016

Book Review. Geopolitics, popularized

One of the consequences of the spreading of social network usage is the possibility of…

01 Mar 2016

Mexico. The ritual dance of the flyers

This ancient ritual has been vital in the social and cosmological cultural rituals of the…

01 Mar 2016

Music. X-Maleya, from Cameroon to Paris

The boys have grown up. Playlist, the fifth album of the Cameroonian band X-Maleya, marks…

01 Mar 2016

Music. Souad Massi meets the “Masters of the Word”

“The fruit of silence - an old Arab saying goes - is tranquillity”. But if…

01 Feb 2016

Benin. The Gelede masks: a treasure of tradition

Masks, magical movements, singing: the wisdom of the village is passed down from generation to…

01 Feb 2016

Africa. Vernonia amygdalina. The bitter leaf

Vernonia amygdalina, (family Astaraceae) is a medicinal herb commonly known as bitter leaf. This plant…

01 Feb 2016

Book Review. Eritrea at a Crossroads

Few State  are, at the same time, so relevant for the news media (or at…

01 Feb 2016

Book Review - An unlikely country

According to a decades-old (but false) saying “aerodynamically the bumblebee shouldn’t be able to fly,…

01 Jan 2016

Ghana. Ancestor veneration

The world vision of the Ashanti community is reflected in the ancestral worship ceremonies which…

01 Jan 2016

Nicaragua. Toro Huaco, cultural heritage

On 19 January the people come from all over the country to Diriamba, 45km from…

01 Jan 2016

Music. Essaouira, home of the Gnawa

For almost the entire year, Essaouira, on the coast of central Morocco, is just a…

01 Jan 2016

Music. Nneka, a project for the world

Thirty-five minutes long, and full of sound, My Fairy Tales, Nneka’s fifth album, is the…

01 Dec 2015

The papaya, a gift of God ...

Sweet as honey, just slightly acidic with a pulp that varies in tones ranging from…

01 Dec 2015

Book Review - Islamic State, Rewriting History

Apart from being pointed at as the most credible menace for stability in the Middle…

01 Dec 2015

Guatemala. Childbirth in Maya society

The birth of a child is particularly meaningful among the Maya people since it represents…

01 Dec 2015

Music. “Gospel Journey”, the sound of wonder

If the title of Faada Freddy’s first solo album, Gospel Journey, has to be taken…

01 Nov 2015

Book Review. Inside of Islamic State

Whether the so called Islamic State will be an important part of history books in…

01 Nov 2015

Mexican Catrina. A celebration of life

“Calaca’s taken him”, is a Mexican expression that is used when someone dies. Also known…

01 Nov 2015

Benin. Dancing with the spirits

The desire for  protection and justice takes on non-human appearances . The guardian of the…

01 Nov 2015

Egypt. The hidden charm of graves

The City of the Dead, or simply Al-Qarafa (the cemetery), as the inhabitants of Cairo…

01 Oct 2015

Nicaragua. The Nica Halloween

The Agüizotes Feast is celebrated on the last Friday of October. Ghosts, which have struck…

01 Oct 2015

Music. DR Congo. Rhythm from the mines

Times have changed and even the performers’ faces have, but more than fifty years later,…

01 Oct 2015

Peru/Bolivia. Life around Lake Titicaca

Few borders in the world show as much cultural similarity on both sides as the…

01 Oct 2015

Africa. Warbugia ugandensis: a miraculous plant

Warburgia ugandensis (family Canellaceae) is also known as the 'Uganda Green Heart Tree'. This evergreen…

01 Sep 2015

Burma. Pa-O. The forgotten People

The traditions and customs of the ethnic group Pa-O are little known and gradually disappearing. …

01 Sep 2015

Music. To touch everybody

A tribute to women and Africa marks the comeback of Dobet Gnahoré on the musical…

01 Sep 2015

Book review. At the root of the 'resource curse'

The exploitation of natural resources, from diamond to oil, is among the most debated issues…

01 Sep 2015

Book Review - Africa Uprising

When in late October last year a wave of protest in Burkina Faso’s capital Ouagadougou…

01 Aug 2015

Music. Monza, not just a “bad boy”

Politicians are often blamed if they try to wear more than one hat at a…

01 Aug 2015

Malawi. Gule Wamkulu. Dance of the Spirits

The 'gule Wamkulu' is both a secret cult and a ritual dance performed by…

01 Aug 2015

Myanmar - Calling Home the Spirits

The Karen people are the second largest ethnic minority in Myanmar. Because of the civil…

01 Aug 2015

Uganda. Reconciliation: drinking the sour and bitter Oput juice

Through their cultural and traditional justice system, Acholi people in northern Uganda address their…

01 Jul 2015

South Sudan - the Spear Master

He is a spiritual guide and has the ability to mediate between God, totems and…

01 Jul 2015

Book Review - Africa’s New Oil

At present, there is no political analyst, journalist or pundit that can avoid mentioning oil…

01 Jul 2015

Music. Keur Gui: hip hop for change

Their country did not change, they say, so they didn’t either. More than three years…

01 Jul 2015

Kenya – Maasai. The place where the grass is tied…

The ritual of tying grass means a close union with God and with other…

01 Jun 2015

Music - Asa, the little Nigerian hawk

Who said that African artists are only to be taken into account when dealing with…

01 Jun 2015

Book Review. ISIS - Inside the army of terror

Since June 2014, when it announced the establishment of a Caliphate in the areas it…

01 Jun 2015

India. Wari Walking

Singing praises and dancing, thousands of people have undertaken a pilgrimage to worship the Lord…

01 Jun 2015

Mexico. The Mexicaneros. A space in time

The Mexicaneros, are an ethnic group, who keep their traditions and costumes alive through celebrations,…

01 May 2015

Benin. How much does a funeral cost?

Over the last twenty years and every week from Thursday afternoon until Saturday at dawn,…

01 May 2015

Music - A Bantu from Canada

Bantu originally meant “people” in many African languages, but it did not take long before…

01 May 2015

Book review - Boko Haram

It was officially launched on February 28, a mere month before the scheduled date for…

01 May 2015

Music - Sia Tolno, African Woman

“I’m a very changeable person: I don’t wear the same face everyday”. The description Sia…

01 Apr 2015

Book Review - Congo

Since Joseph Conrad wrote Heart of Darkness in 1899, the country which is now known…

01 Apr 2015

China. The sound among the mountains.

Paika is a rural community of the Miao ethnic minority in the hilly Guizhou Province,…

01 Apr 2015

The African head scarf, a work of art

The African head scarf, supposed to match clothes, comes in different fabrics, forms and styles.…

01 Apr 2015

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Culture Archive – summaries

Mexico. Mazahua Sashes, between art and symbolism

The Mazahuas are an indigenous people concentrated particularly in the municipalities of San Felipe del Progreso…

01 Mar 2015, Culture March 2015

Uganda. The Karimojong prophets

In the Karimojong group living in north-east Uganda, a particular figure in the Karimojong society is…

01 Mar 2015, Culture March 2015

Music - Voice of Hope

Contamination is often part of contemporary African musicians’ work, but few - if any - have…

01 Mar 2015, Culture March 2015

Book review - South Africa’s suspended revolution

As South Africa, a few months ago, reached a very symbolic point in its history, celebrating…

01 Mar 2015, Culture March 2015

Mexico. Wisdom of the mask-makers.

Every Mexican town usually has one or more artisans who make masks. All of them have…

01 Feb 2015, Culture February 2015

Book review - The world’s most dangerous place

At a first glance, it may seem just another eye-catching headline, but it is not. The…

01 Feb 2015, Culture February 2015

Uganda. Karimojong. Akiriket – Joint Togetherness

According to the setting of the Karimojong social organization, an ethnic group of agro-pastoral herders living…

01 Feb 2015, Culture February 2015

Mexico. Carnival in Tetela de Ocampo. The unreal world.

They say the opposite of what they mean. It is a social game, everything under the…

01 Feb 2015, Culture February 2015

Book - Emerging Africa

Africa as the ‘continent of the future’: this is the topic around which the debate between…

01 Jan 2015, Culture January 2015

Kenya. Pokot - Adango, dancing under the stars.

This is a common dance or game organized by young men, that is played during the…

01 Jan 2015, Culture January 2015

Togo. Beyond mere numbers

The Wachi, an ethnic group in southern Togo. They are agriculturalists and live off the products…

01 Jan 2015, Culture January 2015

Music - African Ambassador

'Blitz the Ambassador' is not the usual New York City rapper winking at Africa, at least…

01 Jan 2015, Culture January 2015

Kenya. Maasai - The concept of God

In the life of Maasai, God is always present. They are indeed a deeply religious people. Not…

01 Dec 2014, culture December 2014

Book - Egypt after the Arab Spring

The last thing one would expect from a book entitled 'Egypt - the Elusive Arab Spring'…

01 Dec 2014, culture December 2014

Music - Father and Son

In the hands of Toumani and Sidiki Diabaté, the kora (the 21-strings harp widely used in…

01 Dec 2014, culture December 2014

China. “Empress for a day”

Ancient Chinese marriage customs have been maintained for thousands of years and are still practiced today.…

01 Dec 2014, culture December 2014

Music - From Illinois to Nigeria

What do you get if you bring an Illinois-born black singer of Ugandan and Rwandan descent…

01 Nov 2014, culture November 2014

Book review - Sudan and South Sudan: incomplete divorce

Few issues, in African history, are as intricate and deep rooted in time as the tensions…

01 Nov 2014, culture November 2014

China. The Kirgiz Falconers

Falconry is an essential part of Kirgiz traditions and culture. The majestic grasslands, rugged deserts and…

01 Nov 2014, culture November 2014

Togo. The Wachi World

The Wachi are an ethnic group in the south of Togo. They are a people…

01 Nov 2014, culture November 2014

Music - Papa is back

Sixty-five years, have marked the age of retirement in many countries, including DR Congo, for a…

01 Oct 2014, Culture October 2014

Kenya. Maasai : 'Hold onto your own life'

Every Maasai from an early age is part and parcel of many groups. Each of these…

01 Oct 2014, Culture October 2014

Theatre in South India – The new myths of Yakshgana

In South India, particularly in the state of Karnataka, there is one form of …

01 Oct 2014, Culture October 2014

Book Review – The voice of the voiceless

From 1983 to 2005, the Sudanese fought a harsh civil war. To many, this was simply…

01 Oct 2014, Culture October 2014

Music - Back to the roots

It is not frequent that a few seconds of music summarize the features of a whole…

01 Sep 2014, Culture September 2014

Ethiopia. Wasa: bread and symbol of life

In southern Ethiopia, among the Sidamo and other ethnic groups, wasa is the staple food-crop.…

01 Sep 2014, Culture September 2014

Book review - Drone Warfare

Definitely, Medea Benjamin is not afraid to tackle controversial themes: on the contrary, it seems she…

01 Sep 2014, Culture September 2014

Kenya. Pokot. The rite of initiation: 'Sapana'

'Sapana' is a celebration undertaken by young men, around 20 years of age, to become recognized…

01 Sep 2014, Culture September 2014

El Salvador - Ancestral knowledge to cultivate the land

Agro-ecological practices include the use of native seeds, organic fertilizer, biological pest control, crop rotation, and…

01 Aug 2014, Culture August 2014

India. The Garo People: Culture and Dances

The Garos people live in the northeast of India, in the state of Meghalaya. They are…

01 Aug 2014, Culture August 2014

Kenya. The Maasai Elders

There are two important rituals which 'aspiring elders' must undergo before being fully recognised as ‘elders’. The…

01 Aug 2014, Culture August 2014

South Sudan. Dinka peace and reconciliation process

The Dinka people are the largest ethnic group in South Sudan. They live mostly in the…

01 Aug 2014, Culture August 2014

Tanzania - Symbolism among the Maasai

Leeyo, the first Maasai had two wives. Each wife had her own house. The cattle of…

01 Jul 2014, Culture July 2014

Puerto Rico – 'Bomba' dancing

If you take a walk at sunset along the northeastern beach of Puerto Rico at the…

01 Jul 2014, Culture July 2014

Music - Fatoumata Diawara

Being nominated one of the most listened-to people (in a broad sense) of an entire continent…

01 Jul 2014, Culture July 2014

Book review - A Good African Story

Andrew Rugasira was a man with a dream, and he fulfilled it. A Good African Story…

01 Jul 2014, Culture July 2014

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Advocacy

A Museum for advocacy?

A Museum can surely be an action of advocacy, if it provides awareness towards empowerment. The National Museum of African American History and Culture that ex…

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Baobab

Why the sea is salty.

Long ago, the sea was not salty. People got their salt from the mountain of salt across the sea. One day, the people in the village…

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Youth & Mission

Bennie was the wrong person, in the wrong place at…

Bennie had a thin, hollow face, the picture of malnutrition at 22 years of age, he had never been to school for more than a few…

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