Learn about African food, history and culture

Africa is home to more unknown history than known. A map of Africa does not begin to show the vastness of people, culture, food, living and ancient history. Established 2008 Chic African Culture and The African Gourmet are learning tools to meet the demand for better education about the entire continent of Africa.

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A lion that is caged will hate the one that is free. - with love from your ancestors

Friday, June 30, 2017

Kente Cloth Color Meanings

African people are creative creating fabrics with color and meaning. Kente cloth has a long history of unique cultural elegance valued around the world over. 


Kente Cloth Color Meanings
Kente Cloth Color Meanings 

Kente Cloth Color Meanings Explained


The making and trading of cloth have been vital elements in African culture. The first colorful kente cloth was worn by Otumfuo Nana Prempeh I, a former Ashanti king.

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.

Traditional Kente Cloth was black and white, however, the colors of black, red, gold and green modern kente cloth symbolize:


⚞ Black represents Africa

⚞ Red represents the blood of ancestors

⚞ Gold represents wealth

⚞ Green represents the land


Folklore Origins of Kente Cloth


Origins of kente cloth told by Bonwire villagers is the story of a man named Ota Karaban, friend, Kwaku from Bonwire had their weaving lessons from a spider that was weaving its web, and from the spiders lessons they weaved beautiful raffia fabric for the village.
Modern Kente cloth
According to legend, Kurugu and Ameyaw, two brothers from the Bonwire 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, friend, Kwaku from Bonwire had their weaving lessons from a spider that was weaving its web, and from the spider's lessons they weaved beautiful raffia fabric for the village. 

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.

Kente Cloth did you know?

Traditional Kente Cloth is black and white, adding color to Kente cloth is a modern aesthetic creation.


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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

West Africa Côte d’Ivoire 28 Facts

West Africa Côte d’Ivoire 28 Facts

As the world’s top exporter of cocoa and raw cashew nuts, Côte d’Ivoire is the largest economy in the West African economic and currency union.


28 facts about Africa’s Côte d’Ivoire, her name, people and cocoa industry.


Cote d'Ivoire is the world's largest producer and exporter of cocoa beans and a significant producer and exporter of coffee and palm oil.
Cote d'Ivoire is the world's largest producer and exporter
of cocoa beans and a significant producer
and exporter of coffee and palm oil.
1. Cote d'Ivoire pronounced coat-div-whar.

2. Ivory Coast name changed in 1986 to Cote d'Ivoire.

3. Cote d'Ivoire former name Ivory Coast reflects the intense ivory trade that took place in the region from the 15th to 17th centuries.

4. The French name Côte d'Ivoire literally means Ivory Coast. Côte d'Ivoire was unofficially known as Costa do Marfim by the Portuguese, côte des dents or the teeth coast and the Ivory Coast reflecting the trade in ivory.

5. Despite the official name change by the government, the African country of Côte d'Ivoire is still incorrectly referred to as Ivory Coast.

6. In December 1999, a military coup - the first ever in Cote d'Ivoire's history - overthrew the government.

7. Cote d'Ivoire is located in Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Ghana and Liberia.

8. Cote d'Ivoire covers an area of 322,463 km² or 79,682,342 acres, compared it is slightly larger than the U.S. state of New Mexico.

9. Cote d'Ivoire population is around 23.7 million people.

Cote d’Ivoire’s population is likely to continue growing for the near future because almost 60% of the populace is younger than 25.
School Children
10. Nationality of Cote d'Ivoire is Ivorian.

11. Cote d’Ivoire’s population is likely to continue growing for the near future because almost 60% of the populace is younger than 25.

12. Ethnic groups in Cote d'Ivoire are Akan 28.8%, Voltaique or Gur 16.1%, Northern Mande 14.5%, Kru 8.5%, Southern Mande 6.9%, unspecified 0.9%, non-Ivorian 42.3%.

13. Foreigners from West Africa, Europe (mainly France), and Lebanon composed about 25% of the population by 1998.

14. Religions Muslim 42.9%, Catholic 17.2%, Evangelical 11.8%, Methodist 1.7%, other Christian 3.2%, animist 3.6%, other religion 0.5%, none 19.1%.

15. Major urban areas are the capital Yamoussoukro, Abidjan seat of government and Bouake 762,000.

16. Cote d'Ivoire capital city moved from Abidjan to Yamoussoukro in 1983.

17. National symbols is the elephant.

18. Cote d'Ivoire national colors are orange, white, and green.

19. Military branches are Republican Forces of Cote d'Ivoire (Force Republiques de Cote d'Ivoire, FRCI): Army, Navy, Cote d'Ivoire Air Force (Force Aerienne de la Cote d'Ivoire).

20. Cocoa, oil, and coffee are the country's top export revenue earner.

21. Cote d'Ivoire is heavily dependent on agriculture and related activities, which engage roughly two-thirds of the population.

22. Cote d'Ivoire is the world's largest producer and exporter of cocoa beans and a significant producer and exporter of coffee and palm oil.

Cote d'Ivoire is the world's largest producer and exporter of cocoa beans and a significant producer and exporter of coffee and palm oil.
Planting chocolate
23. In West Africa, cocoa has been identified as a major driver of deforestation that has led to serious soil degradation, water insecurity and crop failures in the region.

24. More than 90% of production comes from smallholder farms that depend on cocoa for their livelihoods.

25. To address deforestation issues, Cote d'Ivoire and other West African governments including the private sector are becoming increasingly active on sustainability in the cocoa industry.
26. Population without electricity, 15 million.

27. Cote d'Ivoire has 27 airports seven of which are paved.

28. Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana have a long-standing disputed maritime border.


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Sunday, June 25, 2017

Which African countries border the Red Sea?

The Red Sea separates Africa from Asia; on the Western shore of the Red Sea are the African countries of Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea and Djibouti.



Learn about The Red Sea and the four African countries that border the Red Sea



Sharm el-Sheikh Egyptian resort town between the desert of the Sinai Peninsula and the Red Sea.
Red Sea Hotel in Egypt
Which African countries border the Red Sea? The Red Sea separates Africa from Asia; on the Western shore of the Red Sea are the African countries of Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea and Djibouti. The first people known to explore the Red Sea were the Ancient Egyptians, who explored the area around 2500 BC while looking for commercial routes southward.

Red Sea Facts



More than 1200 species of fish have been found in the coral reef ecosystem of the Red Sea; more than 100 of these have not been located in any other body of water.
Fishing in the Red Sea

The Red Sea is an inlet of the Indian Ocean, located between Africa and Asia. This salty sea is just over 190 miles (300 km) across at its widest point, and about 1,200 miles (1,900 km) in length with an estimated average depth of 1,640 feet (500 m).

With the Red Sea’s connection to the Mediterranean Sea via the Suez Canal, it is one of the most heavily traveled waterways in the world, carrying maritime traffic between Europe and Asia.


More than 1200 species of fish have been found in the coral reef ecosystem of the Red Sea; more than 100 of these have not been located in any other body of water.


No water enters the Red Sea from rivers and with hot sunny days, and the lack of any significant rainfall, desert dust storms are known to sweep across the sea. High heat combined with the lack of precipitation facilitates high levels of evaporation hence the sea's high salinity.


Most of the islands of the Red Sea are merely exposed reefs. There is, however, a group of active volcanoes just south of the Dahlak Archipelago as well as a recently extinct volcano on the island of Jabal Al-āʾir.


The greatest historical event connected with the Red Sea is it was the miraculous passageway of the children of Israel, escaping from the Egyptians. 

The Red Sea separates Africa from Asia; on the Western shore of the Red Sea are the African countries of Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea and Djibouti.
Red Sea map

Why is the Red Sea called the Red Sea


So how did the Red Sea get its name? Theories are plentiful, but no one knows for sure how the Red Sea got its name. Some historians believe the Red Sea is named for the imyarite Kingdom or imyar, an African kingdom of Arabia who once lived along its shores.  


In ancient languages, the colors black, red, green, and white referred to North, South, East, and west, therefore, the red in Red Sea is actually a designator of the Sea's location in the ancient world.


Other theories on how the Red Sea got its name are the Red Sea name derived from the red color of the mountains on the western shore; others from the red coral found in the sea, or the red appearance sometimes given to the water by invertebrate animals which resemble plants floating on its surface.


About the four African countries that border the Red Sea; Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea and Djibouti.





Sudan, the pyramid capital of the world

Sudan has more than 350 pyramids, double the number found in Egypt. They were constructed in Nubia over a period of a few hundred years to serve as tombs for the kings and queens and wealthy citizens. Nubian pyramids differ from the Egyptian because they were built tall and narrow with offering temples. The area of the Nile valley known as Nubia lies within present-day Sudan. They were constructed in Nubia to serve as tombs for royal families and wealthy citizens. In a desert in eastern Sudan, along the banks of the Nile River, lies a collection of nearly 200 ancient pyramids. The Nile river is Sudan's primary water source; its major tributaries, the White Nile and the Blue Nile, meet at Khartoum to form the River Nile which flows northward through Egypt to the Mediterranean Sea. With the exception of a ribbon of settlement that corresponds to the banks of the Nile, northern Sudan, which extends into the dry Sahara, is sparsely populated. Sudanese pyramids are far less well known nevertheless, Sudan pyramids older than Egypt.

Djibouti

Djibouti is in the Horn of Africa south of the Sahara but is considered part of the MENA region. Also, there are four countries that make up the Horn of Africa, the eastern part of the continent that sticks out into the Indian Ocean? They are Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Djibouti (the initials spell SEED). The Horn designation is derived from its shape being reminiscent of a rhinoceros horn. The French Territory of the Afars and the Issas became Djibouti in 1977. The largest ethnic group in Djibouti is Somali recorded at just over 60 percent. Khat (pronounced cot) is an evergreen shrub that grows in areas bordering the Red Sea, including countries in the horn of East Africa. The Khat leaves are chewed by men, women, and children.



Egypt

Egypt is more than 96% desert yet supports a population of over 100 million people. The Sahara desert is not only the largest African desert but also the largest hot desert in the world occupying 3.3 million sq. miles and still growing larger. It extends over 25% of the continent and occupies many countries including Chad, Algeria, Sudan, Niger, Morocco, Mali, Libya, Egypt, Mauritania, and Tunisia. Most citrus groves in Egypt are located the North of the country producing the Egyptian, Eureka, Rough, Lisbon, and Villafranca lemon variety. Seven largest African cities populations are Lagos Nigeria, Cairo Egypt, Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo, Luanda Angola, Nairobi Kenya, Mogadishu Somalia, and Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire.



Eritrea

The country name derives from the ancient Greek appellation Erythra Thalassa meaning Red Sea, which is the major water body bordering the country. After independence from Italian colonial control in 1941 and 10 years of British administrative control, the UN established Eritrea as an autonomous region within the Ethiopian federation in 1952. Eritrea has a 73 percent literacy rate.


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Saturday, June 24, 2017

Green Banana Coconut Curry Recipe

How to make Green Banana Coconut Curry. Cooking with unripe or green bananas, not plantains, is a quick delicious recipe mix of green bananas, coconut milk, curry and healthy vegetables.

Green Banana Coconut Curry Recipe

Green Banana Coconut Curry Recipe. Green bananas are easily found at most farmer's markets and supermarkets.
Green Banana Coconut Curry Recipe
African Food Recipes by The 

Green bananas are delicious; they are starchy similar to potatoes. Green bananas are easily found at most farmer's markets and supermarkets. 

Prep time: Cook time: Total time:

Green Banana Coconut Curry Recipe


Ingredients

3 green bananas cut in half
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large red tomato, diced
1 large green tomato, diced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons ground curry powder
2 cups coconut milk
Water for boiling

Directions

Cut off both ends of the unpeeled bananas and place in boiling salted water for 20 minutes. Remove the bananas and discard skins and drain water from the pot. Add lemon juice to water and add remaining ingredients to a large pot. Simmer for 15 minutes or until bananas are tender. Serve with soft bread.


Green Banana Coconut Curry Recipe. Green bananas are easily found at most farmer's markets and supermarkets.
Green Banana Coconut Curry Recipe











Did you know?

Green bananas contain short chain fatty acids, according to Food Health Nutrition. The cells that line your intestines love to eat these acids, and keeping these cells healthy means that your body will be able to absorb nutrients such as calcium more easily.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Senegal Culture History of Her People

20 interesting facts about one of West Africa's countries in which more than 60% of the population is under the age of 25, Senegal her culture, history and people. 


Senegal


Languages of Senegal may not surprise you since Senegal was once a French colony, the official language is French, and the other major languages are Wolof, Pulaar, Jola, and Mandinka.
Children of Senegal
1. Senegal has a population of over 14.3 million ranking 73rd on the world’s most populous countries.
2. Senegal's nationality is Senegalese using both the singular and plural form.
3. Languages of Senegal may not surprise you since Senegal was once a French colony, the official language is French, and the other major languages are Wolof, Pulaar, Jola, and Mandinka.
4. Wolof is a language spoken in Senegal, The Gambia, and Mauritania, and it is the indigenous language of the ethnic grouping of the Wolof people.
5. Wolof is the most widely spoken language in Senegal even though the official language is French, by most Senegalese.
6. Senegal Motto is "Un Peuple, Un But, Une Foi” "One People, One Goal, One Faith"

Senegal Culture History and People
The French colonies of Senegal and French Sudan were merged in 1959 and granted independence in 1960 as the Mali Federation.
7. Population without electricity is around 55% or 6.4 million, urban areas 90% of people have access to reliable electricity, however in rural areas of Senegal the number drops to 28%.
8. Major religion in Senegal is Islam.
9. Senegal is located in Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea-Bissau and Mauritania.
10. It is slightly smaller than the US State of South Dakota.
Senegal fishing boats
Senegal fishing boats
11. Senegal's capital is Dakar that was home to the Dakar Off-Road Rally until 2009 when the race moved to South Africa.
12. There are 11 regions in Senegal comparable in function to county seats, Dakar, Diourbel, Fatick, Kaolack, Kolda, Louga, Matam, Saint-Louis, Tambacounda, Thies, and Ziguinchor.
13. The Dutch established a slave port on island of Goree in 1588 and years later in 1659 it became a key slave trading port.
14. During the Seven Years War 1756–1763, Britain took over French posts in Senegal forming the colony of Senegambia.
15. Slaves, ivory and gold were exported from the coast during the 17th and 18th centuries.
16. The French colonies of Senegal and French Sudan were merged in 1959 and granted independence in 1960 as the Mali Federation.
Senegal Culture History and People
Senegal Culture History and People
17. The 40-year reign of Senegal's Socialist Party came to a diplomatic end in the 2000 elections.
18. Senegal’s Patriotic Symbol the African Renaissance Monument is to symbolize the achievement of Africa but some have serious issues with the nudity and symbolism of the 164-foot statue.
19. Climbing the 216 steps to the African Renaissance Monument you would not immediately discern that local African artists feel unfairly denied the chance to work on a project of national pride.

20. Located in the Senegalese capital of Dakar the African Renaissance Monument cost millions to create, $27 million dollars to be exact. The Senegalese Ex-President, unable to pay the $27 million price tag on the work, gave real estate to North Korea’s Mansudae Overseas Project, which later sold the land at profit in exchange for the statue.

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Saturday, June 17, 2017

How to Wrap a Gele African Head Wrap Step by Step Directions

How to Wrap a Gele African Head Wrap Step by Step Directions


African Head Wrap

In Africa, the head wrap worn by women for special occasions, weddings, ceremonies, burials, church services, and special celebrations or for everyday wear.




There are a variety of ways to wear a scarf.


How to Wrap a Gele African Head Wrap Step by Step Directions



Wrapping a head wrap is easy, just follow the steps below. There are countless styles of African head wrapping, it may take a couple of tries but you will be an expert in no time.


How to wrap an African head wrap


1. Open the fabric, using an oblong piece of fabric at least 48 inches long and 24 inches wide works best. A large rectangular scarf also works well with this style of head wrapping.

2. Center the scarf at the nape of your neck making sure that both sides are of equal length.
How to wrap an African head wrap step by step directions
How to wrap an African head wrap
step by step directions

3. Bring the ends forward and twist one side of the length of the fabric, pull over and across the front of your head, tuck in the end. Repeat on the other end.


The African head wrap draws the eye up, rather than down. African women wear head wraps as a queen wears a crown. The African head wrap represents far more than a piece of fabric on the head of a female.  


African head wraps are a common site throughout Southern and Western Africa. In West Africa, Nigeria, head wraps are called gele, in Malawi Duku and in Zimbabwe dhuku. 


More information on African culture


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Getting Your Goat

Easy Goat-Meat-Recipes Cookbook
cover art: serving dishes, cooking goat
Getting Your Goat: The Ultimate Guide to Cooking Goat Meat with Original Recipes and Classic Stories -
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Price: $12.99 In Stock
Product details 224 pages Publisher: Amazon Company - July 1, 2012 Language: English ISBN-10: 1492995630

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