Curiosity is the key to knowledge.

Established 2008 Chic African Culture teaches the history of African-food recipes and African-cultures, art, music, and oral literature.

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The person who is not patient cannot eat well-cooked dishes. -African Proverb

Monday, October 31, 2016

Why the Male Robin has a Red Breast African Folktale

Cutest African Folktale Ever


The robin is a small bird with red round its mouth and red on its breast. The female has no red on her the breast, and the following African is the folktale legend explains why—

Cutest African Folktale Ever, Why the Male Robin has a Red Breast African Folktale
Cutest African Folktale Ever,
Why the Male Robin has a Red Breast African Folktale
One day the Robin and his wife found that they had no red camwood powder to make themselves beautiful, so the husband prepared for a journey to market to buy some. He was a long time on the road, but at last reached the market only to find that all the red camwood had been sold. He tried one trader after another with no success, for all had sold out, but one finally said, "I have none to sell, but I can give you a small piece, enough for yourself."

The kind trader gave Robin a small piece, and to protect the red camwood from the sun, the Robin put it in his mouth, as he wanted to take it safely home to his wife. But, as he travelled the red camwood melted dripping out of the corners of his mouth, down his throat, and came out round his beak and down his chest to his feathers, and ever since then the male Robins has had a red mouth and red breast.


Did you know?

Camwood Powder also known as Osun is a shrubby, hard-wooded West African tree. It is a red powder that comes from the heart or core of the camwood tree. It is used as a beauty treatment. The powder is made by grinding two pieces of the camwood together. The red paste resulting from the friction is dried, pounded and put into a cloth, and after a person has bathed, and rubbed with oil and dabbed on the body.

Cutest African Folktale Ever, Why the Male Robin has a Red Breast African Folktale
Cutest African Folktale Ever, Why the Male Robin has a Red Breast African Folktale


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Sunday, October 30, 2016

Sierra Leone Fried Banana Rice Dumplings

Easy Sierra Leone Recipe



The Kambia District in North Sierra Leone is considered the main rice bowl of the country with its large farms, widespread mangrove swamps and large river creeks. 

Rice is the country's staple yet most of the rice Sierra Leone eats is imported from Asia. Sierra Leone’s traditional rice dishes are cooked simply in salted water or ground into flour, served with fish, meat and vegetable dishes.

Sierra Leone Fried Banana Rice Dumplings


Ingredients:
Sierra Leone Fried Banana Rice Dumplings
Sierra Leone Fried Banana Rice Dumplings
3 medium very ripe bananas, mashed
1 1/4 cup rice flour
1/2 cup white sugar
Water as needed
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Oil for frying

Directions:
Heat 2 inches oil in a frying pan over medium high heat. Mash the bananas into a paste in a bowl. Alternate adding rice flour and a little water to make a stiff batter. Stir in the sugar. Drop spoonfuls of the mixture into the hot oil and fry until golden brown, dumplings will float to the top when done. Drain on kitchen paper to remove excess oil. Serve warm sprinkled with cinnamon and powdered sugar if desired.

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Saturday, October 29, 2016

Write your name using the Egyptian Hieroglyphic Alphabet

Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Alphabet


What are Hieroglyphics?



Hieroglyphics are characters in which symbols represent objects and ideas. Hieroglyphics can be pictures of living creatures such as an owl, objects used in daily life such as a basket or symbols such as lasso.

Most of the pictures stand for the object they represent, but usually they stand for sounds. You cannot exactly match the American English alphabet to hieroglyphics, because they are two very different languages, but historians have come up with a simplified translation of our letters and Egyptian hieroglyphs.

Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Alphabet


What do the hieroglyphic symbols mean?


A an Egyptian vulture
B a foot
C a basket with handle
D a hand
E a reed
F a horned viper (an Egyptian snake)
G a jar-stand
H a reed shelter
I a reed
J a cobra
K the basket with the handle again (because hard 'C' is like 'K')
L a lion
M an owl
N a zigzag symbol for water
O a lasso
P a square stool
Q a symbol for the slope of a hill
R a mouth
S a piece of linen folded over
T a bun
U a quail chick (which stands for the sound 'U')
V a horned viper
W a quail chick
X a basket and folded linen
Y two reeds
Z a door bolt
CH a hobble
KH a ball of string
SH the rectangle (which is the symbol for land)


The name of our Chic African Culture blog head researcher, Ivy name looks like this in Hieroglyphics:

The name of our Chic African Culture blog head researcher, Ivy name looks like this in Hieroglyphics
Ivy written in Hieroglyphics











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Red, Black and Green, Every Race Has a Flag but the Coon

Interesting History of the Red, Black and Green Pan-African Flag


The Pan-African flag or Black Liberation Flag is a tricolor flag consisting of three equal horizontal bands colored red, black and green.

Marcus Garvey in response to the 1900 coon song created the Pan-African flag in 1920.
Marcus Garvey in response to the 1900
coon song created the Pan-African flag in 1920.


The three colors on the Pan-African flag represent red for the blood that unites all people of Black African ancestry, and shed for liberation, black for the people of Black African ancestry and green for the abundant natural wealth of Africa.

Marcus Garvey, a founding member and former president of the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA) created the Pan-African flag in 1920 in response to the 1900 song "Every Race Has a Flag but the Coon." The song was written by Will A. Heelan and J. Fred Helf was very popular in the United States and Britain.

The three colors on the Pan-African flag represent red for the blood that unites all people of Black African ancestry, and shed for liberation, black for the people of Black African ancestry and green for the abundant natural wealth of Africa.
Red, black and green beauty 

Song chorus for Every Race Has a Flag but the Coon:


For Ireland has her Harp and Shamrock
England floats her Lion bold
Even China waves a Dragon
Germany an Eagle gold
Bonny Scotland loves a Thistle
Turkey has her Crescent Moon
And what won’t Yankees do for their Red, White and Blue
Every race has a flag but the coon


A 1921 report appearing in the Africa Times and Orient Review, Marcus Garvey stated on the importance of the flag “Show me the race or the nation without a flag, and I will show you a race of people without any pride. Aye! In song and mimicry they have said, "Every race has a flag but the coon." How true! Aye! But that was said of us years ago. They can't say it now!"

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Friday, October 28, 2016

Walnut Oil Natural Hair Detangler Spray

Homemade Natural Hair Detangler


Homemade Natural Hair Detangler
Homemade Natural Hair Detangler 
Are there tears over tangles in your natural? Here is a homemade hair detangler recipe that is economical and easy to make. 

Walnut oil natural hair detangler spray will combat a head full of natural hair knots and tangles. Walnut oil fills in the pores of dry or damaged hair, making it softer, more pliable, and less likely to tangle.

Walnut Oil Natural Hair Detangler Spray


Ingredients:
2 tablespoons walnut oil
1 cup purified water
5 drops of lavender essential oil
Spray bottle

Directions:

Add all ingredients to your spray bottle, shake well until all the ingredients are well combined. Spray it on your wet hair and use a wide toothcomb to detangle your hair.

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Thursday, October 27, 2016

African Clothing Facts

African Clothing Facts

African Clothing Facts


What is Kente Cloth?

The number one African clothing facts explains Kente cloth. Kente Cloth ("Ken-Tay") is one of the most famous African textile designs. Kente is a colorful Ghanaian traditional fabric that is worn mostly on important occasions and celebrations.


Weaving kente cloth in Bonwire Africa
Weaving kente cloth in Bonwire Africa
Chief wearing kente cloth in Ghana West Africa
Chief wearing kente cloth in Ghana West Africa
















The first colorful kente cloth was worn by Otumfuo Nana Prempeh I, a former Ashanti king.
Colorful kente cloth


















African clothing culture has reached celebrity status. Africa, particularly in the areas of dance, music and the fine arts has influenced cultures around the world for two millennia. African people are creative having a long history of unique cultural elegance valued around the world over.  The fact is making and trading of African cloth have been vital elements in African culture. The first colorful kente cloth was worn by Otumfuo Nana Prempeh I, a former Ashanti king.


Through cloth, we can understand not only Africa’s history but also its engagement with other parts of the world. Textiles can be used to address global issues and to express individual traditions of Africa. African textiles unspoken language often provides a way of suggesting thoughts and feelings that may not or cannot be expressed in other ways, and these cloths regularly move between the kingdoms of the earthly and the revered.


The Ashanti people of Ghana and the Ewe people of Ghana and Togo make the African cloth kente. Kente cloth is the most recognizable of all African textiles. Kente cloth originated with the Ashanti people of Ghana dating back 375 years in the village of Bonwire.


Bonwire is a kente clothing weaving village in Ejisu-Juaben Municipal district, a district of Ashanti. To this day, Bonwire is still the most famous center for kente cloth weaving.



According to legend, Kurugu and Ameyaw, two brothers from the village, went hunting one afternoon and came across a spider spinning a web. They were amazed by the beauty of the web and thought that they could create something like it. Upon returning home, they made the first cloth out of black and white fibers from a raffia tree. A second legend of the origins of kente cloth told by Bonwire villagers is the story of a man named Ota Karaban and friend, Kwaku from Bonwire had their weaving lessons from a spider that was weaving its web. They tried to do same by weaving a beautiful raffia fabric.



Traditional Kente Cloth was black and white however the colors of black, red, yellow and green symbolize:
·        Black represents Africa
·        Red represents the blood of ancestors
·        Yellow represents wealth of gold
·        Green represents the land


Bonwire Kente Weaving Village
Bonwire Kente Weaving Village

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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Autumn Weather in South Africa

How is the Weather in Africa, Autumn Weather in South Africa

Weather in Africa
Weather temperatures vary greatly throughout the continent of Africa and each country has unique climatic weather conditions. In the southern hemisphere of Africa, seasons are opposite to those of Europe and North America.
Autumn Weather in South Africa

Crisp Autumn Weather Days in South Africa


Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture




How is the Weather in Africa, Autumn Weather in South Africa


Autumn in Cape Town South Africa is from March to April. The autumn season in South Africa is marked by gloriously vivid scenery, warm pleasant weather and crisp, cool mornings and evenings.
Autumn in Cape Town South Africa is warm and dry with days getting shorter and the temperature cooling as it gets closer to winter. Cape Town is a coastal city in South Africa and is the second most crowded urban area in South Africa, after Johannesburg.


Autumn in South Africa
Autumn in South Africa 



Autumn in South Africa leaves of gold and green
Autumn in South Africa leaves of gold and green

Autumn in South Africa
Autumn in South Africa


Autumn in the Western cape of South Africa
Autumn in the Western cape of South Africa


















Autumn in Johannesburg South Africa
Autumn in Johannesburg South Africa












Did you know?
South Africa is a subtropical region, moderated by ocean on two sides of the triangle-shaped country and the altitude of the interior plateau. With diverse origins, cultures, languages, and religions in the 2011 census, 42.4% of the population described themselves as Colored, 38.6%, Black African, 15.7% White, and 1.4% Indian or Asian all delighting in Cape Town Autumn weather.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Burdens of Women Collecting Firewood in Africa

Burdens of Women Collecting Firewood in Africa

Collecting Firewood in Africa
Throughout Africa, women and girls walk for hours a day in the hope of finding a few branches or roots to use as firewood; to avoid the midday sun, many leave their homes before sunrise.

Burdens of Women Collecting Firewood in Africa


Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture




Dangers of women collecting firewood in Africa range from spinal and pelvic injuries, to sexual assault, rape and harassment.


Almost all African countries still rely on wood to meet basic energy needs, in fact over 80% of the energy supply in African countries comes from wood. In these countries, woodfuels not only are vital to the nutrition of rural and urban households, but are also often essential in food processing industries for baking, brewing, smoking, curing and electricity production.

Firewood collection by women in Lukolela, Democratic Republic of Congo.
Firewood collection by women in Lukolela, Democratic Republic of Congo.



The World Health Organization states that “Over 98,000 Nigerian women die annually from use of firewood. If a woman cooks breakfast, lunch and dinner, it is equivalent to smoking between three and 20 packets of cigarettes a day.” Fuelwood accounts for about 90% of the total wood consumption in Africa and 81% of African households use solid fuels while 70% depend on them as their primary energy source for cooking. Nearly 60% of urban dwellers also use woody biomass as an energy source for cooking.

Woman carrying firewood in Segou South-Central Mali.
Woman carrying firewood in Segou South-Central Mali.












































Lack of safe access to firewood can be life threatening particularly in conflict situations. The hours searching for wood also prevent better use of the time, such as attending school. Energy is both an engine of development and a source of many of today’s economic and environmental problems.

Firewood Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa bundles of eucalyptus branches used as firewood
Firewood Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa bundles of eucalyptus branches used as firewood

Women seek firewood often in arid areas already lacking adequate vegetation not only face the threat of rape but compete with other people who also need the resource. Approximately 60% of the world’s total wood removals from forests and trees outside forests are used for energy purposes. In other words, woodfuel is one of the main products of forests and trees.

Collecting firewood in Jinka, Southern Ethiopia
Collecting firewood in Jinka, Southern Ethiopia
























Woodfuel is not only used in poor and rural households. In many towns and metropolitan areas, woodfuel is widely used either as main, substitute or supplementary fuel by low-, middle- and high-income groups. In Africa, fuelwood, charcoal and other forms of biomass energy make a major contribution to meeting the energy requirements of the population. The collection, distribution and trade of these fuels also provide income and employment to millions of Africans but also house unsafe working conditions for many young girls and women.


Elderly woman bringing firewood to the village of Masako, Kinsagani, Democratic Republic of Congo.
Elderly woman bringing firewood to the village of Masako, Kinsagani, Democratic Republic of Congo.

Lack of safe access to firewood can be life threatening. Many women spend more than 20 hours a week collecting firewood. Contrary to common belief, not all-wood fuel is sourced from natural forests. Wood fuel production takes place within several types of land use, such as tree fallow and shrub fallow, woodlots, tree plantation sites, reforestation sites, fruit trees, scattered trees and bushland and shrub land areas.


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Traditional South African Gooseberry Jam Recipe

Traditional South African Gooseberry Jam Recipe

Native to Peru and Chile, today gooseberries grow in 34 out of 54 African countries.






Gooseberry fruit is covered in its own papery husk which is botanically called the calyx; the flavor is delicious bittersweet and pleasant with a unique tomato pineapple like blend. 


All parts of the plant, except the fruit, are poisonous.  The fruit is usually eaten raw or cooked in pies, cakes, jellies, and jams. The fruit is rich in vitamin A, and vitamin C.

Gooseberries grow naturally in tropical regions around the world grown for its fruit to use in many recipes and medicinally.



Traditional Gooseberry Jam


Gooseberry Jam is a classic recipe especially in Southern Africa. Gooseberries are high in pectin; making jams and jellies are easy to prepare with the bittersweet fruit.

Gooseberry Jam is a classic recipe especially in Southern Africa. Gooseberries are high in pectin; making jams and jellies are easy to prepare with the bittersweet fruit.


Ingredients    
2 pounds Cape Gooseberries    
5 cups sugar
1/4 cup water


Directions
Add all ingredients together, bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat to medium and cook, uncovered, stirring frequently 10-12 minutes. Remove from the heat. Ladle the hot jam into processed jars.



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Chic African Culture Featured Articles

A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning.

A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning.
Be the good

Mental Discovery

The eye never forgets what the heart has seen - African Proverb

Wise Words


A wise person does not fall down on the same hill twice.