Chic African Culture Africa Factbook

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. The Republic of the Congo is one of the most urbanized countries in Africa.

Shadowland Mugumo Tree Legend Folktale

African Folktale from Kenya.

Shadowland Mugumo Tree Legend Folktale


A long, long time ago a poor farmer named Katimu lived in Kamoko Village Kenya. He borrowed a spear from a neighbor to kill an animal which was destroying his crops. 

He lay in wait in the field and eventually speared one, but it was only wounded and ran off with the spear in its body and disappeared down a hole near a scared Mugumo tree. 

Katimu went to the owner of the spear and told him that the spear was lost, but the owner insisted on having it back. He bought a new spear and offered it to the owner in place of the lost spear, but the owner refused it and again insisted on the return of the original spear. 

He then proceeded to crawl down the hole under the massive Mugumo tree, and having crawled a long, long way found himself eventually, to his surprise, in the mikeongoi shadowlands

Mikeongoi shadowland old woman
Mikeongoi shadowland old woman

The shadowland people asked him what he was doing here and Katimu told them of his errand. 

They then invited him to stay and eat with them; but Katimu was afraid and said he could not stay as he must go back with the spear which he saw lying there near the underground root of the tree. 

The shadowland people made no effort to keep him as it was not his time yet to join them and directed him to climb up the roots of the tree, and he would soon come out into the upper world. 

So he took the spear and climbed up the roots of the tree as he was told. With all his strength, Katimu climbed nearly four stories high and he at long last returned to the upper world.

He returned the spear to the owner and to his surprise could still hear the voice of one of the shadowland people, a old woman. As Katimu became mysteriously possessed; the medicine man could not account for it and dispossess him.

The spirit of the old woman who was said to have died mysteriously entered his body and the whole village rapidly became disturbed as she demanded to avenge her death, thirteen cows, two bulls, and fifty goats in the village be slaughtered; the order was implicitly obeyed, for anyone who refused was supposed to be killed. 

Gugoyo is danced under the scared Mugumo tree at night when there was no moon to honor the old shadowland woman's demand of the slaughter festival. 

If the Gugoyo ceremonies are not properly carried out, the spirit of the murdered old woman will go back to his village, cry out in the night like a child, and enter into a man, who will become as one possessed. 

The people will call out to him, “Who are you?” and he will reply, “I am the Mikeongoi shadowland old woman. “I have come because I have been abandoned.” 


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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.

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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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