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Showing posts from January, 2016




Chic African Culture Blog

Did you know?

1. No African country names begin with the letters F, H, I, J, O, P, Q, V, W, X, or Y.

2. Africa is surrounded by water but by definition Africa is not an island because Africa is a continent.

3. African tech startups raise billions of dollars annually, seven African start-ups were included in the World Economic Forum 2021 cohort of 100 Technology Pioneers.

African clay pottery history

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African clay pottery history Pottery making in Africa began around 9400 BC and continues to this day. Forming a large clay pot by hand Pottery is one of the oldest and most widespread of functional arts in Africa. Creating African clay pots in Africa is unique. Pottery making has a long history in Africa and is one of the oldest functional arts using what is available in natural surroundings. Pottery is clay that is modeled, dried, and fired having practical uses in cooking, storing food, eating, drinking, and as ceremonial vessels.  In most cases, pottery is made by women . Clay pots are often thick created from clay, sand, and water and used daily in African life. African pottery artists have always used raw materials easily found in the environment. Clay is made by mixing dry clay with water in clay mixer. Clay straight from the ground in Africa is not like the clay you buy from a ceram

Creamy Cheesy Plantain Gratin Recipe

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Plantains, creamy sauce, and spices in this classic gratin recipe dish combine to make a delightful new food experience. Plantains are an important staple food in Africa especially in Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Uganda. What are plantains? Plantains are fruits that resemble bananas but are longer, have a thicker skin, and contain more starch. Creamy Cheesy Plantain Gratin Recipe Creamy Cheesy Plantain Gratin Recipe Ingredients 3 peeled and chopped green plantains 1 cup any grated medium-hard cheese 2 tablespoons unsalted butter ¼ cup all purpose flour 2 cups whole milk 1 teaspoon nutmeg 1 teaspoon cinnamon ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon black pepper 1 cup plain breadcrumbs Directions Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Add plantains to a large pot of boiling water, boil 5 minutes.  Drain plantains set aside. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over a medium heat, add the flour and whisk thoroughly.  Gradually add

Banksy African Street and Graffiti Art

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Unknown stencil street and graffiti artist Banksy visual voice uses spray paint and stencils to paint the image of society’s troubles and humor on walls across Africa and the world. Who is Banksy? Banksy's zebra's black stripes Banksy is a graffiti and street artist master, political activist and an Oscar and Academy Award nominated film director whose real identity is unknown.  He is famous for stenciled graffiti on buildings and walls across Africa and around the world. Banksy was selected as Time Magazine's 100 most influential people in 2010. The first modern graffiti artist is widely considered to be Cornbread, a high school student from Philadelphia Pennsylvania in the United States, who in 1967 started tagging to get the attention of a girl he loved. Back in the 1970s, graffiti was an illegal counterculture associated with the grimy streets and subway cars of New York City. However, these days the univers

Simple Fried African Fish Cakes Recipe

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From Africa to the United States, fish is an abundant resource that contributes significantly to daily food, income and employment of millions of people. Simple fried African fish cakes is a universal recipe loved throughout the world. In one of my earliest memories, my father, brothers, and I would dig for worms, make fishing poles out of cane sticks, attached a fishing line, hooks to catch bream, and other freshwater fish.  We would spend hours fishing, so we could have fried fish for supper. Mom would clean the fish and filet on the shore of the lake. She would roll the fish in equal amounts of flour and cornmeal mixed with salt and pepper, and pan fry in vegetable oil until golden brown. There is nothing better than fresh caught fish for supper. Another recipe I fondly remember is fried fish cakes. Simple Fried African Fish Cakes Recipe    Ingredients 2 smoked fish filets 1/2 cup of dried bread crumbs   1 large egg, slightly beaten  2 tablespoons of chopped onions  2 tab

Ancestry Soul Name Explained

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In Ghana, children are given a name based on the day in the week they are born. Day names have further meanings concerning the character of the person Trendy names have little meaning and have little to no relevance to the African family however, Ghana soul names are already chosen and boys and girls are born into this world with ties to the ancestors and living family. Hearing and sharing name soul names fastens a person with their ancestral tribe creating an inner strength in the soul and fills the inner self with spiritual intenseness. Men and women Ghana soul name or day names are explained below. Men Ghana soul name or day name  Sunday born males names are Akwasi, Kwasi, Kwesi, Akwesi, Sisi, Kacely, or Kosi. Monday born males names are Kojo, Kwadwo, Jojo, Joojo, or Kujoe. Tuesday born males names are Kwabena, Kobe, Kobi, Ebo, Kabelah, Komla, Kwabela, Kobby, or Kobena. Wednesday born males names are Kwaku, Abeiku, Kuuku, or Kweku. Thursday born males names are Yaw, Eko

Five Edible Flowers

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Adding edible flowers to recipes is a very common practice. Eating flower blooms has a very long history in Africa. Squash and zucchini flowers are a common sight in African kitchens.   Squash and zucchini flowers are a common sight in African kitchens. Every year around springtime during the months of September, October and November, the desert South Africa Namaqualand region comes alive with a sea of colorful indigenous wild flowers.  With the blessings from Mother Nature, Namaqualand displays around 1,000 - 4,000 different species of plants and flowers each season. Many flowers are inedible however; five flowers are commonly used in cooking African food . Edible flowers are flowers that can be consumed safely, below are five edible flowers to add to your home recipes.  Always try to pick the blooms as close to when you are going to use them as possible. Five Edible Recipe Flowers  Arugula Flowers Young arugula flowers have a milder, subtler flavor than

Inside Giant Termite Mounds of Africa

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Mound building termites of East, Central, and Southern Africa can serve as an oasis in the African desert to plants by replenishing the soil. Giant African Termite Mounds About Giant African Termite Mounds Queen termites can live up to decades under ideal climate conditions. Giant mound-building termites are a group of termite species that live in mounds and look like whitish brown grains of rice with big heads and hedge-trimmers for mouthparts. According to the New York Times “Researchers at Princeton University and their colleagues recently reported in the journal Science that termite mounds may serve as oases in the desert, allowing the plants that surround them to persist on a fraction of the annual rainfall otherwise required and to bounce back after a withering drought. ”By poking holes or macropores, as they dig through the ground, termites allow rain to soak deep into the soil rather than

Life Can Be Unfair African Proverbs

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Life Can Be Unfair African Proverbs Bad things happen to good people African Proverbs teach how to cope. Life can be unfair African proverbs teach us we can accept things and get on with the business of living happily even though life is unfair. Sometimes life is just unfair African Proverbs Life Can Be Unfair African Proverbs A story is narrated by whoever tells it first. A rose sometimes falls to the lot of a monkey. If the wind blows, it enters at every crevice.   A monkey is only sick when the trees slide. God does not pay weekly but pays at the end. As you began the dance, you may pay the piper.   Where the bee sucks honey, the spider sucks poison. Water from far does not quench thirsty. A child can be punished because of his father’s faults.   The one you eat with is the one who digs your grave. The past can never be changed. A monkey does not see its ass.   A greedy man has his eyes on his wife’s pot. Empty fingers are not licked. A snake

Survive a Disaster with Survival Dry Biltong Meat

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Survive a Disaster with Survival Dry Biltong Meat One item a prepper’s food pantry must have to survive a catastrophe is South African biltong. Preppers best-tasting survival food recipe, survive a disaster with survival dry biltong meat. Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture 1-19-2016 Biltong is traditional dried meat from Southern Africa however, biltong is not beef jerky. Biltong is substantially softer and thicker than jerky because it is air-dried whole for around 20 days and then cut into the desired amount. The basic traditional drying method of meat is called sun drying, done by direct solar radiation and natural air circulation.  Ingredients and Directions In a clean area free from critters, dirt, sand, and litter, meat pieces are cut into thin .5 or 1 cm thick strips, dipped in a 14% table salt solution, and suspended in the open air or spread on drying trays made of wire mesh. The salt helps to limit microbi

Lake Retba Senegal Pink Lake

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Lake Retba natural pink lake in Senegal East Africa is at its height of rosy pinkness during the dry season between November and June. Lake Retba Senegal Pink Lake Not many living organisms are able to survive in Senegal's pink Lake Retba because of its high salt content. In Africa, there is a natural lake the color of strawberries, Lake Retba or Le Lac Rose lies in Senegal one hour from its capital city Dakar . The lake is named for its pink waters caused by an edible, salt-loving micro-algae dunaliella salina. Lake Retba or Lac Rose as it is known by locals is separated only by some narrow dunes from the Atlantic Ocean and, as expected its salt content is very high. Its salinity content compares to that of the Dead Sea and during the dry season it exceeds it. The lake is only 3 square kilometers big (about 1,1 square miles) and there is no major town developed along its shores. The natural strawberry pink lake of East Africa’s Senegal is a world famous tourist

Cassava Leaf Stew Recipe

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Cassava also known as arrowroot, yucca, manioc, and tapioca is a nutrient-rich root vegetable.  Cassava is the third most important source of calories in tropical Africa, after rice and maize. The cassava plant is a staple crop in Africa, different parts of the plant such as the root; leaves are used in herbal remedies. Families depend on cassava as a vital link for both food and income. Cassava Leaf Stew Served with Rice Ingredients 2 cassava roots peeled and chopped 2 handfuls cassava leaves 2 medium onions chopped 2 medium tomatoes diced 5 cups water or vegetable broth Salt and pepper to taste Directions Add all ingredients into a large pot and simmer 30 minutes. Serve with rice.

Zulu People African Basket Weaving Art

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African Basket Weaving. Zulu people Ilala Palm basket weaving is an ancient, exacting, time-consuming process. Traditional Zulu Ilala Palm basket weaving technique styles are Imbenge, Isichumo, Isiquabetho and Ukhamba.   Zulu People African Basket Weaving Art All About Original Zulu People African Basket Weaving Art Ukhamba African Zulu basket As with most aspects of African culture , the specifics of basket weaving and the woven baskets themselves embody spiritual as well as aesthetic and practical qualities. Although basketry materials, techniques, and uses have varied among tribal cultures and have changed over time, baskets are the oldest handmade vessels used by African peoples and one of the most ancient of art forms.  Although basket making has become obsolete in some tribes with the passage of time, nearly every indigenous group throughout Africa has utilized basketry at some point: whether for food preparation and

Good Will Grow From Good

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Good Will Grow From Good Good will grow from good. Thinking good thoughts creates good outcomes; this is a basic law of attraction: positive thoughts create positive results. "If good is sown, then good will grow; if bad is sown, then bad will grow, good or bad in the end will show." More good will grow from good proverbs. Without sleep, there is no dream; without discourse, there is no proverb. Proverbs are children of experience. Proverbs are the wisdom of the home. A wise man who knows proverbs reconciles difficulties. He who does not listen to the proverb remains begging for help. Proverbs are like butterflies, some are caught, some fly away.

Veggie Stew Recipe and Home Veggie Garden Ideas

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Veggie Stew Recipe and Home Veggie Garden Ideas Growing your own fresh organic vegetables is gratifying and easy because you do not need a green thumb to start, grow and maintain your soil and garden plants. If you are ready to grow your first vegetable garden start with this article to show you the steps to take when starting a vegetable garden and how to cook and naturally dry your fresh veggies. Home vegetable gardens come in all shapes and sizes in Africa where there is a great deal of diversity in vegetables on the African continent. For many internally displaced Africans with access to land and water in internally displaced camps, planting a garden means growing vegetables and supplementing what is often an insufficient wage.  An internally displaced person (IDP) is someone who is forced to flee his or her home due to armed conflict, generalized violence, violations of human rights, natural or human-made disasters but remain within his or her country's borders. Home gardeni

Akh Personality of the Soul in Egyptian Mythology

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The Akh is the character of the spirit of a deceased person or the personality of the soul. Following the death of the Khat or physical body, the Ba and Ka were reunited to reanimate the Akh. Akh Personality of the Soul in Egyptian Mythology The Ancient Egyptians believed the Akh was part of a person’s vital force, and when a person died, it was believed that their Akh acquired mystic power. The Egyptians thought the Akh was a radiant light, something like a star. When a person died, their Akh made a seat in heaven, among the stars of heaven. The nature of the Akh changed over time; in Egyptian Mythology, the Akh is represented by the ibis bird. The Ancient Egyptians believed the soul had three principal parts, the ka, the ba, and the Akh. Ancient Egyptians believed that death occurs when a person's ka leaves the body. Ceremonies conducted by priests after death, including opening the mouth of the deceased to release a Ba's attachment to the body. Opening the mouth allowe

No child can be born in safety where it is hung

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Ubuntu is a centuries old African philosophy meaning community. Ubuntu has no party lines. When Ubuntu African community organizations come together they could accomplish great things such as solving the black mass incarceration problems and its effects on children left behind without familial role models and love and support of both parents. These children are left to fend for themselves becoming fader for crime organizations and thus repeating the cycle of jail, lease to the streets and back to jail again. Ubuntu's meaning and philosophy is I am what I am because of who we are has to be put into action or no child can safely live in this world. Ubuntu is an African humanism model meaning the group is above that of the individual. What is Ubuntu Nelson Mandela’s philosophy of Ubuntu was expressed as a parable; A traveler through a country would stop at a village and he did not have to ask for food or for water. Once he stops, the people give him food and attend him. T

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Africa is surrounded by water but is not an island, here are a few African Island facts.

Madagascar is the 4th large island in the world and is located in the Indian Ocean supporting a unique biology, about 90% of its plants and animals are found nowhere else on earth.

Composed of 155 islands, Seychelles is Africa's smallest country. By far the largest island is Mahe, home to about 90% of the population and the site of its capital city of Victoria.

Cabo Verde has a strategic location 310 miles or 500 km from the west coast of Africa near major north-south sea routes; important communications station; important sea and air refueling site.

Africa is surrounded by water but by definition Africa is not an island because Africa is a continent. Continents can not be considered islands because of their size and also by historic definition since many people who study geography define islands and continents as two different things.

African cultures express, encourage, and communicate energy

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Being African in America I have grown up learning about different ethnic cultures. My father and mother are historians of African culture and history and their influence expanded my activities to several best-selling cookbooks, magazine columns, self-branded products, and a popular African culture and food blog.

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Be better than average and support African history and culture. Since 2008 Chic African Culture and The African Gourmet highlight Africa through her food and culture. Contact us culture1africangourmet@gmail.com