Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Table of Contents
 Geography of Africa
 Africa and its vast kingdoms
 Africa through the senses
 Introduction to calligraphy
 Adire cloth : Yoruba art texti...
 Different types of instruments...
 Geometric design in Angolan...
 Kenyan folklore and art
 Government : understanding the...
 Back Cover

Title: Irohin
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00075548/00011
 Material Information
Title: Irohin
Physical Description: v. : ill. ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: University of Florida -- Center for African Studies
Publisher: Center for African Studies, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville FL
Publication Date: 1991-
Frequency: semiannual
Subject: Study and teaching -- Periodicals -- Africa   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
periodical   ( marcgt )
Dates or Sequential Designation: Began with Feb. 1991.
General Note: "Bringing Africa to the classroom."
General Note: Description based on: Feb. 1992; title from cover.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00075548
Volume ID: VID00011
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida
Resource Identifier: aleph - 001640153
oclc - 25762685
notis - AHR5232
lccn - sn 92022991


This item has the following downloads:


Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Front Matter
        Front Matter 1
        Front Matter 2
    Table of Contents
        Table of Contents
    Geography of Africa
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
    Africa and its vast kingdoms
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
    Africa through the senses
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
    Introduction to calligraphy
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
    Adire cloth : Yoruba art textile
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
    Different types of instruments in Africa
        Page 31
    Geometric design in Angolan pottery
        Page 32
    Kenyan folklore and art
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
    Government : understanding the African political situation
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
    Back Cover
        Page 41
Full Text

TakingAfrica to the Classroom


A Publication of
The Center for Afcane Studies
University ofFlonda


Taking Africa to the Classroom


A Publication of
The Center for African Studies
University of Florida

Editor/Outreach Director: Agnes Ngoma Leslie
Layout & Design: Pei Li Li

Assisted by Kylene Petrin

427 Grinter Hall
PO. Box 115560
Gainesville, FL. 32611
Fax: (352) 392-2435
Web: http://nersp.nerdc.ufl.edu/-out! c.. hi

0 0- s4q


Center for

--African Studies
Outreach Progr an at the University of Florida

The Cenieris lyfunded der the
federal Tile VI of te ghereducatonact
a a National o souce Cener on nca
As one of the major Pesuce Centes
Flonda's he onlycenterloc ate dmthe
Southeastern UmedStaes The Cente
duectdsel develop andcoordinatesinterdisi-
plinaynstlction researchandoufreachon

The O treachPogrammcludes avnetyof
achites whose object is to impove the
teaching ofAfnca schools fom K-12,
colleges, uaversites and the conunumoy
Beloware some ofthe regular actites
wlch fall under he OuteachProgra

Teacrs'Worksaops The Center offers
service worlshoE forK-12 teachers on the
teaching ofAfnca

Summer Insttutes Eachsm he Center
holds teaching mstues for K-12 teaches

I entepubIshes teaching
oh,, which is distiuted to
the Cente has also pub-
nttHedlesso Pat.nso.
geography A eachig
-layreques forfree cops of

Linary Teache smayboonow deo taps and
boos from thel Ctreach office

Comnun ty ad colPresentations Faculty
aduate students make presentations on
to the conunumt, and schools

Part of the CAnter msson is to promote
African culture an thisregart it tes
artsls such as Dally athe be, from South
Africa to perform and speak schools and

ResearcrhAh ateProgran The program
enablesAf Mncanspecialiss at istutions
wlchlackadequae e rurces to mcrease
the exeritse onAfnca though contact with
otherAfncasntis andbyaccesg Afincan-
related resourcesin the U ,ivetyofFlonda
libanes Two one-month apprmtments are
provided each s er

Geography of Africa ............................

Africa and Its Vast Kingdoms

Africa Through The Senses ....................

Introduction to Calligraphy ....

The Truth About African Cloth

Adire Cloth: Yoruba Art Textile .............

Types of Instruments in Africa ..............

Geometric Design in Angolan Pottery ...

Kenyan Folklore and Art ...................

Government: Understanding
the African Political Situation ...............

Every summer, the Center for Afican Studes at the University of Flonda hosts a
K-12 teachers' institute The objective of the institute is to help teachers broaden
their knowledge about Afnca and develop lesson plans to use i their classrooms
The creative lesson plans i this issue ofl rohm were written by participants in the
2000 mstitute Please feel free to use these matenals in your teaching and share
them with other teachers Wnte or call the Center for additional copies


Agnes Ngoma Leslie,
Editor/Outreach Director

Insert s
Beverly Fmley,
playing an
African drim,
who also
partncpated mn
the mstnute

K-12 teachers who wrote the articles for this Irohzn pose for the picture
dressed mn African clothing James Midler, Tamara Bako, Kelly Verner, John
Fuller, Sylva Me oClars, Robert W Wendt, Agnes Leslie (Instute Director),
Antoxnette D'Assompt on (presenter), Dorxan Thrailkvil, Ebony Young and
Kathy D Dyce

Geography of Africa

By John Fuller

Ob ectives
1) The studentswll gain an understandmg of
Afnca's diere gogapical makeup and the
role that geograhical features have played m
(2) They shouldgainanunderstandmg ofhe
ze of Afnca and lean of me lcaions of some
ofAfnca'searely empire

Inaclass discusson go over he differ-
ent geographical features ofAfnica unng a wall
map or overhead transparency ofAfnca Have
te students use a desk map or te Atlases
located m ter tex book Include m the dis-
cus son te follow deas and nformatlon

I The major phycal fealuires ofAfnican
including he major mo ain ranges deserts,
nvers and cdmatlc regions
2 The mpact hese geograpical feared
would hae had onhe development of sociene
3 The major early civlhzattons ofAfnca
including hana, Mal, Bongha and Zmbabw
Included n te dicusson the major trade routes
of these empres, the cultural aspects of them,
and the role the geography had on their cutura
4 The mpa these geogaphical featreshad
on he development of trade Pot out he
narrow coastal plans, shonr length of he navi-
gable pars of nvers from e coast If aval-
able show a vde of e geography ofAfnca
5 Have he students r complete te map of
6 Have student s te map and anAlas of
modernAfnca to anserquesnons to help them
gainanunderstandng ofe geography of
Afnca and of me areas occuped by he early

empires ofAfica The flowing are examples
ofthe type of question ou mig twan o use

* Notce the nanowcoastne ofAficaand the
lackofnatuialolabs Howwouldtisitmiact
the development of trade by te early emrpes

* Howwouldlack of ins andcoasal
island affectthe development of manme
teclmologyofthe people ofAfnca9

* Lookat the location ofthe eape of Songhai
Listfive pesent dayAfnc annations that ae
located there today

* Look at the Cltate Zone map ofAfnca m
vourAtlas Whaltae the founcimate zones

* Howwoyuldthe ty ofclimatesf undin
Afncaaffectwhere the differentemptesof

* Afncae ithe second largestc ont e n m the
world What is i stze in square niles

* Te Umted States ofA enca 3,615,123
squae miles Howmany times would the
UmtedStaes fit mo the cotment ofAfnca9

Follow- u Activiies
Have the students research m groups or
mdivdually differentcountnes Eachgroup
could then resen there mmfonnaton to the class
ueng a poster to show a map the flag and other
selected irfonnatlon
Student could create travel brochures
pomote one ofthe esent counties of Afnca
These couldbe diplayd on abulletmboad to
share e tifont iinn


2.a 10"

0" 10' 20'

Tropical lorusts

Tall grass savarna

Short grass savirna



Humid subtMropial


Temperate prairk
O giassiad

20' 10o"

0 400 0 mi

S400 1200 km

40" oD* sr5

40" 50' 60*


2 -I

3G'F 3

O. 10*


Africa and Its Vast Kingdoms

By Beverly T Filey

It is imr n ant when te aching hstoyt
slop reew and reflect onthe GreatAfncan
Empes, is people and their enoous conbu-
tonsbefore contmumg with the stoyof slary
m Amenca It is imeateve as teacherstat w
leave oustuidents withhe ole s'oiyofthe
people ofAfncaand there desendens The
store ofAmenca is and alwaswllbe con-
necied toAfnca
This lesson is specificalydesigned for
8thgradeAmencanhistoiystudents The
lessons are geared to the block schedule with
appoximately0 minute s for class ane (one
week) Get yo ur claoomin asate ofleadi-
ness Collect ctuesofthe content, artwork
osies, andplay music fomdifTeentAfncan

* Students will gain owledge about the ast
content ofAfca and is Geat Empes
* Students wilbe able to ame the egio of
Afnca andhs at least35 counmnes in Afica,
* Students wil be able to compme the Afca
beforethe 1600's wthAfnca today
* Students will gain owledge about the
different regionsofAfica

Gear-Up Activites
* Havestudents name as manycounes in
Afnca as they w m one mute

* Have students complete a potcal map of

* Have students complete apuzle of Gnca
(re eviewactivty) Use analreadymade
map cutbyolical boundaes and lami-
nate, or use an optque poectorto ednlage

* Selling sereotypes and myhs, have
studentsY b orinso hattheymave learned
aboutAfnca though the media

* Go oerlst ofohtcallyconect rims
(negatv s and posimfts)

* Askstudenis io make a st ofcontbuios
made byAfica such as music, dance, nt-
mens, language, science, mat1h fok tales,
boos, etc

* Have sudenis make achartof foods they
behe iobe from Afnc a

* Have sudenis make a chart ofresources
from Afnca including mneras, and natural
products, etc

Have udens create a concept map on
the West Afncan Empresand the East fan
Empe sin order o organe the ideas Stu-
denis may use the facts below tme line, and
map You might also wanto pulbools fom
the me diacene randallow students Inemet
Studentsmay workmas Havethem
name atleast fourmajor citesand cite at as
eight faces on each concepmap Ptures canbe
usedto e enh anceth oneptma Allowabout
ten minutes for each group ent Inaddi-
tiomndeosonthe Great Empres ofAfina can
be shown

Costructon paper
Color markers
Colorng crayns




Through the 1800s

West African Empires and Kingdoms
* Arab conquerors intent on spreading the
Islamic religion swept into North Africa in
the 600's.

One Arab wrote...
"There is a country where gold grows
like plants in the sand in the same way
as carrots do, and is plucked at sun-

* People in the "land of gold" called their
home Wagdu, their capital.

* Kimbu, and the Soninke (soh-NIGN-kah)
lived in an area that included parts of mod-
em Mauritania, Senegal and Mali. Ghana
rose to power between AD 300 and 500. It
was the first of three empires to take advan-
tage of a location that lay at the crossroads of
trade". The heart of the trade was salt, gold
and ivory.

* Ghana had a strong central government and
used their taxes to protect their people and
surrounding areas. Taxes enriched the king
and enabled him to build bigger armies, pay
more officials and maintain the beautiful
course that led the Soninke to give their
kings a new title Kaya Maghan, which
means "master of gold."

* By the late Middle Ages, most European
gold came out of West Africa-a place little
known to Europeans.

* Trade included a number of Africans. The
system of owning people had existed for
hundreds of years and in most parts of the
world, including Greece and Rome. In
addition, Africans enslaved other Africans
they captured during wars. This type of
slavery was much different from the slavery
which later came to the Americas.

* The slavery practiced by Africans allowed
enslaved people to earn or purchase their
freedom. Sometimes slaves became part of
the household.

* At first, trade with the Muslims across the
Sahara enriched Ghana. The King of Ghana
allowed the practice of Islam within the
empire, some towns had as many as 12

* In the 1000's, Muslims, Berbers from North
Africa launched a war against Ghana. The
battles exhausted Ghana's power, and in its
place, two empires rose Mali and Songhai.
Both empires flourished from about 1240-


300s-500 600s

Rise of Ghana

Islam sweeps
North Africa
North Africa

1000 1076

Hausa city-states

Almoravid inv;


Mali builds emp

1400 1464-1591 1

)ire Songhai builds
its empire

Rise of Benin Morocc;
invade S



* Mansa Musa, leader of Mali, after his pil-
grimage to Mecca, persuaded some of
Islam's finest architects, scholars and other
professionals to return with him to Mali.
There they constructed buildings and schools
in the famous Timbuktu. Mali was later
taken over by Summi Ali leader of neighbor-
ing Songhai.

* In 1591, an army from Morocco marched
into West Africa in search of gold. The
Moroccan army defeated the Army of

Kingdoms of the Grassland and Forest
* The Hausa people lived mainly in present
day Nigeria. They formed city-states, which
were self ruling states made of a city and its
surrounding territory. By the 1100's some
towns were encircled by walls.

* Lots of trading took place with surrounding
areas, cotton, iron and animal skins. Trading
of leather and other items reached as far as
Morocco and Europe. Katsina and Kano
became major centers of commerce and

* Benin was one of the best known of the
kingdoms in the rain forest area. People
such as the Yoruba and Bini and many others
lived in this area in states such as Ife and

Oyo from 1400's and 1500's. The Oba, or
ruler, named Ewuare greatly expanded the
size of Benin. He set up a strong govern-

* The Kongo consisted of a number of small
kingdoms ruled by a powerful leader called
Manikongo. The people of Kongo knew
how to melt copper and iron. The Kongo
became another area for trade.

East Africa
* Small trading communities grew along the
coast. The main trading partners were
Arabs. These states became very powerful
in trading for gold, copper, ivory and slaves.

* By 1100 Kilwa had become the center of the
East African gold trade. Kilwa was a walled
city with wide streets, impressive palaces,
and beautiful mosques.

* Zimbawe built up a large trade with the
coastal regions of east Africa

* The Bantu speaking people began a second
wave of migration that continued from
roughly AD 100 to 1000. They carried with
them skills learned in their original West
African homeland: mining, iron making,
goldsmith and pottery.


1000 -500 B.C. 200 900

Bantu migration out of
West Africa begins

Bantu-speakers move into on the East Coast.
Zimbabwe becomes a powerful Kingdom

Swahili harbor towns
reach their peak

1450- 1480

Matope builds one
of the largest
African empires
south of the equator
south of the equator


Enslaved Africans revolt
in present-day Iraq

in present-day Iraq

c, 1080-146S

1 *


!o- B pje 1000a
--- ee Zimbaew 1 s 3, ,
-MUt E 1I Q l

I I Oa .J

r rm .. 7 s^_.+
'* i l *^

I BopaiiE Kopje I

li---MUTes 14 5 7_t
0 mm iM |

Above: Map of Great Zimbabwe.
Below: An aerial view of the Great Zimbabwe Ruins.

What's In A Region?
Divide students into five groups. Each group
will represent a Region of Africa: North Africa,
West Africa, East Africa, Central Africa and
Southern Africa. Students will need time in the
media center and access to the Internet. Each
group is responsible for a visual and oral presen-
tation. Explain to the groups that they are on a
fact-finding mission.

Terms to review: imperialism, capitalism,
nationalism, economics, exploitation, ethnic

Suggested questions:
* What is the region like geographically?
Natural resources, climate and physical

* What major countries does your region

* What ethnic groups make up your region?

* Can any of the ethnic groups in your region
be traced to the Americas?

* What are some of the customs, languages
and traditions of at least two groups within
your region?

* How did imperialism affect your region?
What European countries controlled your

* What are the major economic resources of
your region?

* What are some major problems facing your
region today?

* What is happening currently in at least two
of the countries in your region? Internet
suggestions: African News On-line

* Have students research art, music, and food
from their area. With the excitement of the
project, I'm sure they will want to share
some of the art, music and foods from their

Suggestions for Presentation
* Use PowerPoint slides.

* Role play Have students pretend they are
investigators who are reporting on the
different regions and complete an interview
with people of the past and the present.

* Use art or drawing to answer the mission

* Discussion groups present the information
orally and visually.

* Students may show parts of African Videos
in their presentations. (20 minutes)

* Have students brain storm questions to
answer in their group research topic. Stu-
dents will have other suggestions, make sure
each person in the group has at least two
questions to research and share with their
group and later to the class.

Homework Assignment
Have students write a four-paragraph essay on
one of the following topics:

a) What effect did imperialism have on Africa?
b) Explain the contributions of a specific region
or ethnic group to the world.

Culminating Experience
Bring guest speakers from the different regions.
Have speakers come out to your school and
discuss the history, art, music and literature of
Africa. Contact the Center of African Studies in
your area.

Africa Through the Senses
...... ....... By KathyDyce ..

Afnca is a huge. dversecomt It is
ahe second largest connent in world Afnca
issovastti hattle landassofthe Umted
States, Euoe Inda and Jan could fit into i
andthee would still be plentyofempty ce
Itisthe diverstyof the land the eopleof
Afnca ihe stude nswill leam aboul tough the
use of the i senses

Each student will
1 Deelopcore inowledge about tlem counties
that make up te conen of M nca
2 Selecta countyto esearch tough th use
ofthe tiseses and observation skills
3 Cleae a 3-D puzzle map of the county
4 Develop a bnc for evluaton

Objective #1
Devlop a core knowledge about tle countries
that make up tlee continentofAfnca

XWekOne Beginmaclassandmdividual
KWLchaat Complee tl "wiatwe mow"'and
"what we wantto leam" sectosons a large chat
lo show al lesronss
* All students are given a3-nng notebook and
ac omositon booldet for notes, poumans and
* Explaa goalsandexecttons for tle ut
"Afnca ThoughTh Senses"

Allclassmooms should have a "WORD
WALL" whel e newvocabulayforthe umt
being studied is diplad Studenis ie words
onpaerstns tobe hung on the wall
Besides the KWLchat students mayuse
te fie questionwods as a bases for cquinng

WheIre What9Why9Whn, Who9and How
Where locatonl compnson
What continen Iobe lead
Why contbutons I mptance
When penodof tmelhistoy
Who people
How to put itall together

Week Two Durng this tame the teacher will
give anoveriw ofAfca's fie egios- Noth
Afnca, West Anca, Central Afnca. East Anca
and SouthAfica
North lAflcaencompasssthe Saha
Desert and stetches fom te Atlantc coast to
theRedSea Countiesinclude AlgenaEgypt,
LiMomcco. Tumsa andWe stemSahara
WestAfr includes the manycountes
clusteredaroundte wesem curve ofthe
contnen adacento the GulfofGunea and te
Atlantc Ocean Bemn, Burklna Faso Cote
d'Ivole Gambia, Ghana, Guinea. iunmana,
Gumiea-Bisseau, Liena, Ihel, Nigena, Nige
Senegal Siena Leone and Cameon
CentralAfraincludeste counties to
thewestof he GreatRfl Valleyof AMnca,
locatedust north of southemAfnca Chad,
CentfalAcncan epubhc. Congo. Equatonal
Guine, Gabon and the democrat Republic of
the Congo
EastAfia includes counties between
noithemnAfncasoutlem Afnca and east of tle
Great Ptf Bunand, Djibout. Etiuopa, Kenya
Rwanda. Somalia Taaa. Ugandaand Sudan
SoutherrnAfia consists of counties m
the soutem pairtof the continent plus the
neabyislandof dagascar Angola,
Botswana, Lesotto. Madagascar, ihawi,
Mozambique Nambia, Swaland South
Afnc, IZimbabwe and Zmbia





-" 0

:4 f

^ :3
^ ^3



u I C
O ;ic


sEvceA L

---------------------------------------- --------


JG5fH u ^


Objective #2
Select a country to research through the use of
the senses and observation skills.

Using Senses in Research. Our senses
help us to compare and contrast things in our
environment; they help us to distinguish fact
from opinion. By using our senses, we are able
to question things in our environment in order to
be a good observer. When we use the senses to
observe something in our environment, we relate
our perception to something tangible to better
understand it. For example, "It's as light as a

Emphasize to the student...

To Be A Good Observer,
One Must Ask Many Questions!

The Sense of Sight Students will use de-
scriptive words / drawing to identify how some-
thing looks.
Color. Use samples from a paint store and
crayon samples.
Size. Drawing and measurement with standard
and metric system.
Shapes. 3-D words, ie. teardrop, egg, pear,
cone, cylinder. Look for a pattern.
Sights ofAfrica. Most of the information about
Africa will come through the printed word and
visual arts (Geography, People, Arts/Creativity).

"However privileged the ear in verbal
cultures, it has always been true that
man has lived by his eyes."

-Robert F. Thompson,
Black Gods and Kings

The Sense of Taste. Students will use their
sense to describe something that can be tasted or
eaten. Not everything should be put in one's
mouth. Our taste buds comprise of four tastes:
sweet, sour, bitter and salty. The description
must be familiar to one's environment. For
example, "Gross, this tastes like medicine."

The Sense of Touch. Students will use their
sense of touch to describe how something feels
when touched with the hands.
Texture. Contrast or connect something else
with object. For example, smooth vs. rough,
coarse vs. fine or hard vs. soft.
Weight. Heavy or light.
Moisture. Wet or dry.
Temperature. Hot or cold

Many African artifacts, such as this "stand-
ing man, can be seen in museums in the US.

:A duuliga violin made
with a calabash
container snake skin,
leather, a piece of
horsetail and a twig.

The Sense of Smell. Students will use their The Sense of Sound. Students will use their
sense of smell to describe scents within the sense of hearing to describe sounds in the
environment. This sense as it relates to observ- environment. The class can make a list of sound
ing is limited. Some things do not smell. When words to refer to when describing the sound that
students are describing a smell, they need to is heard. The description must be familiar to
relate it to something that is familiar to most. one's environment.
For example, "It smells like baby powder." Sounds ofAfrica. music, languages, history,
Smells ofAfrica: foods, spices and things literatures and story telling.
within the environment.

MIl l'lnll nt Mihllhl II
iN.I..l Il I, rlli h I I 1.1111

Ii..ii ti iI 1. l 11
I ..I (_I I Il *I |I1I II I I III

lhI i .I .I ' .hI I ll I1..II h
..I Ilh.. Llihih gIllI**..

Objective #3
Students will create a 3-D puzzle map of the
country selected.

Creating a 3-D Puzzle Map.
1. Get a current and accurate map of Africa.
2. Determine the size of the puzzle and place-
ment in classroom.
3. List of materials needed.
4. Resources: people and businesses.
5. Time line for project.
6. The puzzle piece and what should be on it.
7. After completion determine who to share
final product with. Ask question, "Who
might be interested in learning more about
my project?" P.T.A., parents, friends, neigh-
bors, clubs, teachers, classes, art center,
university, senior citizens, general public.

Objective #4
Develop a rubric for evaluation.

Development. Here are things to consider
when developing a rubric for the African report.
Other ideas may be added, but try to keep it
simple. Determine specific things that should be
in the written report. Score each of those areas
and additional information can be a bonus for
Titlepage. Title, name, school, grade and year.
Neatness. Written report's focus, organization,
support, details and conventions.
Map ofAfrica. Oral presentation of project,
student creativity and audience participation.

Evaluation of the Unit.
1. The class will complete the KWL chart
Section "what we learned" in groups during
class. Students may do their own chart later at
2. The final evaluation will be a question the
students will answer for themselves.

* "How can I do something creative with my
knowledge about the subject that I have stud-

* "What type of goals may I have now?" For
example, to change something for the better or
to explain something.

Selecting a Country for Research.
1. Students will select an African country to
study. The class determines the selection
process for selecting a country.
2. Brainstorm what research information should
be in the report. Here is a list of things to be
considered: official name, capital, flag,
currency, map, language, food, population,
people, customs, education, land, climate,
vegetation, natural resources, news, events,
traditions, animals/ insects, children, religion,
clothing, weather, sports, recreation, art,
music, dance.
3. Brainstorm what resources may help in the
research of information. Here is a list of
sources. books, maps, travel agency,
businesses, university, library, almanac,
friends, neighbors, newspapers, games,
How-To Books, films, museum, teachers,
internet, catalogs, dictionary, field trips,
biographies, famous people, farm, perfor-

4. Brainstorm ways to share research informa-
tion through a product.

Written Format
Interview Community Resources
Collage of Words and Pictures
Booklet/Four Guide
Video Tape/Cassette
Slide Show
Scrap book

5. Create time line for completion
6. After the brainstorming, the teacher will
develop handouts for the students with
specific information regarding #2, 3, 4, and 5.

Size of Continental Africa Compared
to the United States

-~ I.


Introduction to Calligraphy

by Sylvia McCuliars

Marhng andwnting canbe tracedback to early Evizations Cavemenmarkedlines to indi-
cate victoryfor hlhmngbeasts Astime passed, makngletters and alphabets became an at We how
that illswere usedminColoal tim e andlater reed pens Reedpenswere usedinEngandprior to
that Thei story of reed pensmAfhca seems very scarce, bt we kow reedpens were usedto make
Islamic letters of alphabets asitisknownMohamedwasskilledinCalhgaphy
The term calligraphy derives from the Greek wcrd"good' or beautiful and refers to what
masters calledthe art of fair writing Further, Britaica says it implies a sre owledge of the
correct form ofletters, for example, the convey final sigs by which language can be commur-
cated Caligraphyisthe sklltoinscribe them withsuch deng of the various parts andharmoy
ofproportions that the cultivated, knowing eye will recogrze the compositions as a work of art
InAsia, cahgaphyisconsidered amajr art, equal to paying InAfricanart lettermigand
words are mixedtlrougout textiles andare prevaet in some clothing styles, and of corse intheir
literature, wntngs and books

TheArt ofAfrican Calligraphy

1 To recogze Cagaphy asanAfican artform thatded
backtoihe ea times
2 To showthe technegofmahngareedpenthatwasused
Afican calgraphy especallyslamic caigraphy
3 Observationof alphabetlefters of atfrc Africa

Ctting bamboo pen(esso pla andillustrationbyWardDmD-
ham) InGneslle, bamboo canbe purchasedfrom Kaapaba

Follow- upartacttycanbetheuse of thepenandmaing
strokes andletters or desis

1 Calhgaphypensavalablem arstoes iU S
2 Reedpensif available
3 Black bamboo andknife for demonstration
4 Maps ofAfca ad a obe
5 Examples of Afican or Islamic calligraphy
6 Visitww~w c logcom/mplerlechiramlfor more iforma-
hon abothowtomake bamboo pen

The Truth About African Cloth

by Tamara Bako

Ever since I was a child, I have been
interested in clothes, especially clothes from
faraway places. The great variety of colors,
patterns, and textures fascinated me. Afew years
ago, I wrote to a person in Ghana so I could learn
more about his country. However, as do many
Americans, I thought Ghana was a state, like
Florida, and Africa was the country. I did not
realize Africa was a continent. After writing and
receiving a few letters, I sent him a camera with
film so I could see photographs from Africa. His
mother was a head seamstress in Sunyani and
made me a traditional type outfit in Kente cloth,
which I treasured. He also sent me some tradi-
tional sandals, which were pretty, but not as
comfortable to walk in.
Initially, I thought Kente-type cloth was
the only traditional African cloth, but have
discovered through seminars and research that
there are countless types of "traditional" African
cloths, depending on the region, religion and
ethnic group of the person as well as many other

Variety in Traditional African Dress
I have also realized that African traditions
are just as varied as any other continent's coun-
tries. In addition, two African country's tradi-
tional dress and clothes styles can be as different
as Great Britain's are from France's or even
Some people in the same country may
dress entirely different depending on the climate,
their social status, societal role, religious prefer-
ence, or the occasion. By the way, borders in Ashanti man from Ghal
African countries are arbitrary invisible barriers the popular kente cloth
that have nothing to do with ethnic grouping or
anything African, but were, rather, determined by
Europeans. Therefore, some people across the
borders of one country may dress alike while
those in the same country do not.

na wearing

Some Common African Clothes- their names, descriptions, and areas worn
Clothes Description Ethnic Group Gender
dashiki loose fitting shirt and pants Yoruba male
busuuti long dress with sleeves Uganda female
sauka long sleeveless dress Uganda female
buba shirt with loose sleeves Yoruba female
gele hat that is wrapped from cloth Yoruba female
iro wrapped skirt Yoruba female
kanzu long white robe Uganda male
agbada robe-like with huge sleeves Yoruba male
lapa wrapper type skirt female

Modem African Dress
In the large cities, western clothes are
regularly worn. However, with the concept of
negritudee", many Africans are returning to their gele
roots by wearing their traditional cloths and
dress. Often traditional African and modem
western styles are combined to create a new
multi-cultural style.
In rural areas, a traveler is much more
likely to see traditional clothes with less western
influence, but western clothes are seen there as buba
well. However, if a person wants to see the
"real" Africa, he or she should avoid the large -f
cities and visit the rural areas because it is in
those areas where Africans follow more of their
particular group's traditional way of life.
As mentioned previously, the style of
dress depends a great deal on what part of Africa
a person comes from. For example, much of
Northern Africa is Islamic, which has a definite iro
effect on their dress. Married Muslim women
in the Middle East and many of their counter-
parts in Northern Africa often have their face
veiled and wear loose, long conservative robes,
whereas in other parts of Africa, the body is
accentuated by dress.

Adinkra Symbols:







Clohs for Speca Occasons
Admkna Cloth from Ghana Admha
means good-byeinAshanti Adma cloth is
norrallly oly rnat funerals orpenodof
personal ornation mouranig Adma cloth is
stamped wth special symbols wth astat
made of caabash The dye is xed wth mud
so the cloth carotbe shed for a year
MIenV arthe cloth thfwiteback-
ground and womewear the one thcolored
backgrounds They bothwearthecloth a
traditial d raped fashion


An excellent resource book for the
meanings of Adinkra symbolism is African
Accents Fabrics and Crafts to Decorate Your
Home by Lisa Shepard, published by Krause
Publications in 1999. She also gives great
instructions for making African arts and crafts.
Another book for those interested in
Adinkra is by Jane Kerina called African Crafts
published by the Lion Press in 1970.

The Importance of the Obete (apron)
In order for an okpella male to gain title
status, he must go through important rituals
involving the wearing of the obete. The first
title status gained is manhood, the second is
Okpella-hood and the third is Oghalo
The obete is made of red trade cloth
appliqued with angular designs. Edo traditions
associate the color red with protective powers to
ward off evil and protect its wearer.

Okpella Terminology
Omada is a indigo-dyed cover cloth or
shawl worn by women whose husbands' hold
title positions. It is the most complicated cloth
work done by northern Edo women.
Older women also wear the omada
draped over their left shoulder during festivals or
ceremonies when they want to emphasize their
title status. Titled women also wear omada after
they die.

Ogbo this world
Ega a senior titled female elder
illmi the beyond
ugbakpi spin and woven country cloth

The Importance of the Weaver
In many parts of Africa, weavers are
looked upon with awe and wonder. Men are
usually the professional weavers while women
weave for themselves and their family. Women
use an upright loom while men use a horizontal
type. The type of loom determines the width of
the strips of cloth, which in turn determines what
type of cloth they will make.

Weavers are sometimes considered to
be endowed with special powers and some use
divination in their creation. Because cloth is
such an integral part of life-it is there when a
person is bor, for special ceremonies and
rituals, and when he/she dies. The weaver is an
essential part of African culture whose cloth
cannot be compared to factory-made materials
which do not have the spiritual essence.

Above: A traditional African loom used to
create Kente cloth. Below: Strips ofKente cloth
are combined to produce a larger cloth; however
a strips can also be worn as scarf

A Yoruba Ifa Poem
This poem compares a weaver to a spider. It reaffirms the idea of the supernatural involvement in
the weaving of cloth, thus indicating the importance of the substance of the cloth being in harmony
with the cloth designer the weaver. It seems to suggest that the weaver must be able to dwell
peacefully with the earth and the other "worlds" and the supernatural in order for the creation to turn
out all right.


When the farmer looks at cotton wool on the other side of
the river,
It seems to open its white teeth smiling joyfully.
Ifa divination was performed for the Spider,
Offspring of those who do all things
In a wonderful way.
Ifa, in your own wonderful way.
Bring all good things to me.
When the farmer looks at cotton wool on the other side of
the river,
It seems to open its white teeth smiling joyfully.
-Abimbola 1977:56


The Study of African Cloth in the Classroom

(1) Show and Tell.
There are many places a teacher can order
traditional and modem African cloth to share
with the class. There is nothing like the experi-
ence of actually being able to see, touch and
wear African cloth. Order cloth from many
different areas to illustrate the great variety in
African dress. If the teacher cannot get the actual
cloths, at least show illustrations photographs
and/or drawing of them and how they are worn.

(2) Discuss the Cloths.
Where each cloth was from, its function, and
who would wear it male, female, child, etc.

(3) Art Project.
Use some of the methods described.
ample, do an Adinkra stamp project,
T-shirts, or weave a simple shawl.

For ex-
tye and die

Yoruba words for different cloth and cloth
decoration methods:

adire eleko
adire eleso
adire eleko

cloth dyed in ir
cloth painted w
tie and dye
brush boutique
cloth dyeing

pith cassava starch


Useful References Regarding African Textile
Sieber, Roy. African Textiles and Decorative
Arts. The Museum of Modern Art, New
York, 1972.
Borgatti, Jean. Cloth as a Metaphor: Nigerian
Textiles from the Museum of Cultural
Spring, Christopher & Julie Hudson. North
African Textiles, Smithsonian Press,
Washington D.C. 1995.
Stoltz Gilfoy, Peggy Patterns ofLife West
African Strip- Weaving Traditions.
National Museum of African Art.
Picton, John & John Mack. African Textiles,
The Art ofAfrican Fashion. Prince Claus Fund/
African World Press. 1998.
Spring, Christopher. The Treasury ofDecorative
Art -African Textiles. Moyer Press. 1997.

Sources of African Fabric
350 7th Avenue, Suite 1701
New York, NY 10001
e-mail: info@afritex.com

As-Hro Fabrics
2748 Wisconsin Street
Downers Grove, IL 60515

G Street Fabrics
Mail Order Service
12240 Wilkins Avenue
Rockville, MD 20852

Harlem Market
116 Street
New York, NY 10035

Homeland Authentics
122 West 27th Street
New York, NY 10001

Tunde Dada House of Africa
356 Main Street
Orange, NJ 07050-2703

African Internet and Catalogue Resources
Adire African Textiles Gallery
e-mail: duncan@adire.clara.net

African Crafts On-line

African American Shopping Mall

African Fabrics.com

Gold Coast Africa

Kente Cloth Festival

Tunde Dada House of Africa

Bandele Publications
PO. box 21540
Washington, DC 20009
e-mail: bandele@erols.com

Stemmer House Publisher, Inc.
Harlem Textile Works 2627 Caves Road
186 East 122 Street Owings Mills, MD 21117
New York, NY 10035

Adire Cloth: Yoruba Art Textile
.............. By James ..Miller ......

TheYouba ople of West Afnca are
people tiat have maintained a nch atstc
tradition and creative gemusfor centines
Wood sculptbe, basket weaving, ceramics
wor, are
just some of
fons the
produce m
the society
the values

cloths an Tradtional Aire cloth comes
i form for eah cc loth It s sow. togeth
the womenof Yroba Cloth isanimpitant
asec t of Yrba andWest Afnc an cultue
Diferent CloTs conveymessages, express
feelings andconveyprestige andwealth The
Yorba eltnic group canbe found m Ngena
Togo and Ben soAire canbe found mif
ent counties m West Afrca
The re aie two tes ofAie cloth Adire
A< is a esist tch ue using cassava ste
wih flower andd water Feather qill or har
wooden stcs ae used to create ie dferent
motifs and patterns seen on fi shed ioducts

Sometimes metal sencls ae also used to
create design One can also s hadsencils
such asleather or carboad iftts easier for
tihe students

twol andls 2 l/2 yards ong Eachcloth
ci to mako one cloth design or moti
has a name
The same wyWestem atis gi titles to
convey meaning or emotions r Y ba asts do
the same forheirai The namesake expected
sta a pleasant ainoftought in he mnd of
he beholder Names of popular cloths

Life is Slve
Athe Birds are Here
Carefuly Done by Hand
Four Friends o Shou Kno What to Do
Three Corw n ar ScrStred Around the Reoo




Ask your class to think of some things that make
them feel good and turn them into titles.

Art Criticism
Show a cloth you have produced or an authentic
cloth made by the Yoruba.
Discuss the patters/motifs and their meaning
and message the artist was trying to express.
Perhaps there is a story behind the cloth?
Can you identify the shapes?
How many squares are there on this cloth?
Are certain numbers important to the Yoruba

Art Aesthetics
Indicate to the students the art principles
utilized in the cloth. Balance, for example, is an
important principle in Yoruba art. Squares are
used so often because it promotes balance for the
framework of the piece.

The Yoruba say...

"The pot that is as wide as it is high
does not fall and spill the soup."

In general, patterns are an important
aspect of African art. Thought or concept is
symbolized by the shapes in the artwork. Ask
your students how they see shapes function in
American society. Shapes repeated over again
not only become decorative but also represent
the importance of tradition in Yoruba society.
Sometimes the cloths can tell a story in
history or commemorate an event in someone's
life or in the society; for example, the birth of a
child, the creation of the world or the crowning
of a king. Ask your students about some impor-
tant times in their life they could express on their
Crisscross designs in Yoruba art repre-
sent the coming together of all things. All things
are not the same, but in life they will meet.

Some cloths tell a story in African societies.

Create a procedure board so your students can
follow along with each step. Ask them ques-
tions to help them understand the process.

* 2 cloths of 2 1/2 yards each.
* Corn starch resist: Corn starch, flour, alum.
* Rubber bands, string, or raffia.
* Hand tools: feather quills, wooden sticks, or
popsicle sticks.
* Indigo dye or any dark blue dye.

1. Spread cloth out on even surface.
2. Create a stencil or do a free hand
3. Let paste dry completely.
4. Dip in dye. Traditionally they dip in the dye
3 times and use cold water.
5. When the dye is dry, wash off starch. For a
traditional look re-dip one more time to
soften the contrasts. Put salt in the dye or in
the vinegar.
6. Once they are dry, sew the two cloths to-
gether. Ashe! Your cloth is ready to wear or
simply display.


Afrtca Daspora Anypae t ofthe
worlddwhere fncs or descen-
dsits ofAfncans live
,Coalash AnAfrican gourd
Csaro A starchy Afncantube
Moif Areclrringprcntmeit
elet nlmat in a work of t
Presaw goods Objects, wch
represent wealth ,s mobo ically a
literally The ownrshp ofthese
isrestnctcedto very wealthy aneol
powerful people
I Rest-dAng Any cemgtech
nictueinmwhchthe clcthispre-
pacedmsomewaysothat the
dye reaches some pas ofthe
fabnc andnot others This canbe
dcre thougi knotting or cect
application f awax ao paste
Are Oakoe o Aire cloth stitched
with Raffia
SA&dr Eleho Paintmg a stencil-
ing designs onthe clothwlth
AleZlit Small nccles with a
Olosup-Eleo. Large circles m
shape of moons and fits
SA&re Totakeotoitie
Rfia The leaffibers ofthe
palm teeYoubawomenuse the
999 2001 laffiaas threadfor the A e cloth
vwwwbarysclipat cor

AfricanFabrn c Crh byDendel
lash of she Srtby Rob et FarnsThcmpson
The Yruba rstbyDrewal Abiodun andPimborton

Videos, slides ofAre, a map ofAfica, Ancaan cloths
Inaite guest speakerl ytllo cr e a so to e eak about Afican Art

Different Types of Instruments in Africa

By Ebony Young

There are manytypes
ofiiistinenis usedinAfncan
music including atles. bow
haip druis, flute, talbou-
nine thumb pyano and the xy-
Many types of dru
covered in leader skin are
found DifferenIt wnd mstu-
menis used include flutes
made from bamboo and am-
mal horns Body perussion
s veiyopular e specallyhand
clappin and foot stomping
Gourds are played with dned
roots and shells attached to
make noie when shaken
Traditional mac and
dance is still rated but it
s decrease because of ur
banimation Presemtwonoftia-
ditional music s gwenspecal
attentioninmanyof tle cou-
tles because ofl s hstoncal
polit caalandculturalmp iance

Childenwillbe able to recogmze different tys
ofiinstnents in tfadionalAfnca m music

Pmr edue
1 Askeachstudentltoclap te hands and
stomp tieir feet Explm to the students that
nAfnca the clapng of the handsandthe
stomp feet s averyppuawayof
making muic Also explain to them that
msic a language, just lke soken woids
fom a language
2 Lstento different tts ofAfncan
3 Have them name te instruments that
theyhadjust heard
4 Have the students make theirowAfn
canm stumen sand make the irow
musc Sg tlus song with them at te
begnuing aindth emndofthe day

iode, harps areju one ofthe many
stlnagai mintsfound in Ac

Q: Howda o u spelAfnca
A: A-F-R-I--A
Q: What's the secondlargest connentin
the world the whole wide world9
A: Afca is the second largest content
m the world the whole wide world
Q: Howmanypats to Afnca
A: TherearefourpatstoMAfca Norbe
Afnica Southelm Anca WestAfica
and fst Affncr

Geometric Design in Angolan Pottery

By Kelly Verner

Angola and It Arts
* ngola is located m the soutmesemp it
* Itgamed independence fom Ptugal in
* Manydifferet languages ae aspkembut
he officiallanguage isPortguese
STaditional Afncan elgions ae p actlced
as well as Clnsaty
* Angolan aitisis work wihwoode bn
voiy stone, and ceramics
* Eitac glrous have tlmeir uque act
* Before tme lae 1980' tme selling of aits and
clafs was scon.oledby "Aitan" which
was anarm of me lMistlyoff ulCtue TIs
monopoly as ended. and tme art world of
Angolahas blossomed
* The catalcity Luanda, has appulaton of
2 milhon and has an eatsts' market every

1 The student wll create a decoamed pot m te
style f, n mou Soutwest Angola
2 The student ll gainbackgmound knowledge
about tmhe people ofAgola
3 Thestudent ill delmonstale anunderitand-
g of dial isymetlymtme ok i-alekl

clay potiers tools andw eel, pencilsbrshess,
paint k or glaze

I Go over te facts about Agola and is people
Visit wwwaneolar o It is mamamledby te
embassyof tle Repubhc ofAngolaintlI Umed
Statesandcontain a vwde vanetyofmformaton
about i s aind culture as wull as mayo naewsa-

pers, stamps
andmuch more
2 Showstu-
dents the five
shapes of
Southlem Afn
can earthen-
ware Discuss
possible uses
for the vanou
3 sk the st
densi tho mose Toeo cia y dae osrbd

tempt to foor it use g thee whel Ifn o eeel i
available ti coll metlodis assility
,4 Once the pieces Iha been fired Ihae thl
students close one oftle sx patterns up d by
the Nyleka -Hmw e women m southweste
5 Explau that these desigs are called, "o

me designs
ta7 Fle m e> design ibeas, ated dingshave

Fue asnecessary

he studenlovwllbe able to demonsomtle anablllty
lookedatle or geonet hseatlems on demostate
6 Have the studentslightlydraw(carefullyand
slowlO the designontheeneckorupre tof
thee p bsiswhc lar g ewomeninAngolad wely
7 PFmileelm designwatitlemtior glaze

Refserene Gcessal yPls m nd
The student wilbe able to demorstate an ability
io create thee geoneeac rttens onthee ware and
have abasic understanding ofAngolantteiey

Reference Gerdes, Paulus $lfmen, Ar and
Geomety ia nSouthern Aic a Afica World
Press, nc TrentoNJ 199

Kenyan Folklore and Art

By Dorian ThraiIlkil

1 The c laden willbe able to fnd Kenyi m
Afrca on e world map
2 Cldren wll leamtlat oalliteratbs pe e-
cededwntten lhtlaie ad is a beautiful pit
ofKenya'sandAnca's nch tradition
3 Childrenwi be able to identfyte seven
contmenist adtndundeand that A ca is the
second largest content wth 54 countnes
4 Read Brngig the R,, to apilt Plain

1 Bringing the Rain to Kpi Pla byVe ma
Aardema DialBooks for Youg leaders
NewYork, 1981
2 Aworldmap ad a globe
3 Overhead ranspiencydepacting other
countnes tlat would fit mto Afnca and tans-
pencyshowing Afnca's mdiidualcomn-

Pmr edur s
Dicuss with clhldiren te fact tt
Kenya'smanyetlc groups hav a wel devel-
oped and si4usticated folklore wiach embodies
tiheuistoiy traditons and wisdom Thei
legends lecount te movemnwtof people to and
fiom he nfi valleymto te hglagnds, te grass
lands and e lake regions
Famous lutorncal figures ae represented
mmytl sandlegends Iv rhsinclude account of
howcattle w reg en acertameoplebyGod
Folktales tiyto aswer etaological question,
suchas why hehnahasa lmp Inmany
Kenyancultus. xe he message tt enrwouldnot
die wasgivento a chmeleonbuthe was so slow
thatabrdgotto manbefolre i and gave them
he message
Fol tales also recount the advent tues of
ticklsters InKenyt lncstersare usuallytl
hae or tle tortoie Th ogre s another popular

el character in anyKenn folk les
Ask tihe clldren fwe have snilar
folklioe Theymaybe fahar wihPaul
Bunnandcaandcaecounti andcomare some of
ourfolklore Asktle clhildeniftheyfluik
Neop le in e olraits of he worldacthke dress
like, eatlike, ortalklike theydo Whentheysay
"No", asktlhem ifhee knowwheie Afncais

Teachers should also emphasize that Afrca has
a welldeveloped urbalfe This is the onal
BankofKenya in Kairob

Make a chart stating what we already
know about Africa, what we want to learn and
then a blank column for what we have learned to
be used last. Have children point to a world map
and or the globe to show where Africa is. If they
don't know where it is, show them and tell them
that they are going to learn about a man who
lives in Kenya, Africa (Locate Kenya on the
map), and they're going to learn about the way
he lives, and how it might be different or the
same from the way they live.
Read and discuss Bringing the Rain to
Kapitz Plain. Discuss the book with the chil-
dren, asking them questions about Kenya and
the Nandi people so they'll have a better under-
standing of Ki-pat and his way of life.

Information and Suggested Questions
* Why do you think the book is called Bringing
the Rain to Kapitz To Plain?

* What do you think the man is doing?

* Now he made a bow, let's predict what he is
going to do with the bow and arrow.

* Do you think these animals (giraffes, antelope)
are afraid of the man?

* What kind of a place do you think they are in?
Do they have little rain or abundant rain? Why
do you think this? There could be varied an-
swers, but it is hot for part of the year and wet
the other part.

* Kenya is located on the East coast of Africa
and the equator runs through the middle of it.
Kenya is considered a tropical area because it is
hot and humid. There are sand beaches, la-
goons, rain forests, and swamps. The average
temperature is 80 degrees all year long. Most
(3/4) of Kenya consists of plains. It's very dry
and the soil isn't very good for farming. The
plains receive about ten to thirty inches of
rainfall each year.

* There aren't any major cities there, but nomads
travel throughout the land tending their flocks.
There is a highland area in the Southwest that
receives enough rainfall (40 to 50 inches a year)
and has enough good soil to support farming.
The majority of the people live here. There are
forests and grasslands. Nairobi, the capital city,
is located in the highland area.

* Have one or two children show where Kenya is
on the map, and have the other children tell them
if they are correct.

* Tell the children that they have learned about
the plains in Kenya and the people who raise
animals. Have them draw what they think the
plains look like and what the people look like
watching their animals.

* Ask the children if they think it is important to
learn about other people. Yes! So that we can
know that we are different but also have things
in common.

Q. What is an acacia tree?
A. The tree on the cover of the book; any of a
genus of trees or shrubs of the pea family,
having finely divided leaves and growing in
tropical or warm regions. (Scott, Foresman
Advanced Dictionary, 1988).

Q. Which animal in the picture is an ani-
mal that might eat the others?
A. The leopard.

Q. Is this similar to where we live?
A. Discuss the plains and the highlands of
Kenya, and discuss that not all places in Kenya
look like this picture because there are beaches,
swamps, etc.

Q. What is it called when it rains and rains
and rains?
A. The Monsoon season.

Q. What are these animals?
A. The wildlife in Kenya is diverse. There are
elephants, giraffes, lions, rhinoceroses, zebras,
antelopes, buffalos, cheetahs, leopards, croco-
diles, eagles, land ostriches, storks.

Q. In this picture it is very dry, what is it
called when an area doesn't have water and it
is very dry?
A. Drought. Most of the people in Kenya live
in rural areas, but many people go to the cities
every year. The people in rural areas farm and
raise livestock. Some people live as nomads,
and they travel the land with their herds to find
food and water. The Nandi people are an ex-
ample of a nomad group. They live in Western
Kenya, in the plains, and they keep cattle, sheep,
and goats as their way of life.

Q. What types of clothes do people in Kenya
A. Most of the men in Kenya wear cotton
shirts and pants or shorts, but many wear busi-
ness suits. Most women wear cotton dresses or
skirts and blouses and business suits. Some
people that live in rural areas wear cloth that
they wrap around their bodies. The nomads are
especially known for this.

Q. What do you think Ki-pat will do with
the arrow he made?
A. The children could give any answer, but
according to the folk tale, he is going to shoot
the cloud to make it rain.

Q. Is it really possible to shoot an arrow at
a cloud to make it rain?
A. No.

Q. Is it okay to pretend in this story?
A. Yes!

Q. Look at the houses they live in. What do
you think they're made of?
A. Most rural people live in small houses made
of mud and wood. Cities have modern houses
and buildings made of stone and cement.

Q. Do you think this a real story, why or
why not?
A. No, because you can't shoot a cloud to
make it rain.

Q. Why do people tell these stories, what is
their purpose?
A. To explain things that occur around them.

Q. Do we do this?
A. Yes, we do sometimes. Even though Ki-pat
lived far away from where we live now, and we
are very different, we also have some things that
are the same.

* Ask one or two children to point to the map
and show where Kenya is. Have the other
children correct or agree with the helpers.
* Assess the accuracy of the children's drawings.
* Finish chart stating the things they have
learned about Africa.

Follow-up Activity
Divide students into four groups. Ask each
group to choose a country that interests them
from one of the major regions of Africa and
make a report on that country.

Culminating Activity
Have parents prepare a few simple African
dishes and help children dress in traditional
clothing. Invite parents to come and listen to
students present their group projects and serve
African food that has been prepared. Enjoy and
have fun!

Government: Understanding the

African Political Situation

SBy Robert W Wendt

Africa has seenmanymagficent
cinvhations m its long pAst Ancient Egyp
Ethiop, iavh and So nghai are sme of fle
righty ingdoms that have existed on its
content Afrcans have aslong hentage and
diverse cultures, but tIis dd not save them fiom
ihe Europeans Tecnologyo wuldbe teire
ndomg Afncans dd not have the weapons that
lhe Europeans pssessed The slavery
deopulated manyareas ofAfnice uprooting
milhons of Aicas who wre forced to go as
slaves to Northand SoutAienca

Colonial Powers Emerge
Though Euroeas had estabhshed ome
colomes m A icat wa at t he Berlin Coner-
ence where theydecided to setetlee sracmle
for Afican e mtory The 180's were vewedas
ie cntical enod during ie age of Im nam
(empre-build g, donmmation ofa people polit-
cally. economicallyand ilitanly) Once ac-
quired, he colo imes were tobe sources of raw
matenalsand markets for tm colorzers' manu-
facturedhcods Cashro h lke rubber and
cooa were tobe grown for te colonmal powerat
e expense offood crop needed for the Afcan
porula on'ssurvval The conuered people
and other cultures were looked upon as idenor
byhe colomal power whose minion itwas to
civoze and Chnslaamre lm
Tradetookplace between the coloral
power and its colomes The colomes were not
allowed to trade wilh fonner neighbors bol
were under tfi control ofanotr colormzng
power The boundarest these coloal prowrs
drewwereinnowaylogical The lines dvded
etin g roul mhalformcludedgroup, that

hands of the Europeans o prachced divide
andconuertachcs where the ywuldfavorone
group, usually mmonty over te others
Recently fis haIted played out Rwanda
between the Tui mand Hutus ethia group
resultedin genocide

A Conqueror's Rule
The Bntishere fl most liberalofthe
Impenabss and rled bot directly or tough
traditional rulers ha were subject to tle crow
Although the Bnbsh temtoy asmuchncheinn
mineral and agricultural waltl, tfi French had
the largest empre m Afica T French fol-
lowed a pohyof assimlation m wch every-
one wasforced toadopt t renchculture
Bei rule followed te prnciple of
atemals where itwas the personal property
ofthelkug Theirrule as ellasthePortu-
ues rule, was to most harsh for e Africans
who were forced to labor for their conquerors or
suffer mutilabor Unlike fte Bntsh or Fi
the Bll did noting for educahon or ifra-
structure le roads and railroads When fthy
left after the Congo had gained its indeen-
dence, the ere ee less tn 50 college graduates
in teen re country and ordy 5 doctors
The Spn German d Itahans had
colonies inAfica as well Howveer, Gm
lost her colors bec aue of her defe at World
WarI OldytwAoAficancountns Libenaand
Ep escaped this age of colommation
Libena hadbeen settledbyexslaves from e
UmtedStates andEtlhp hch hadbeen a
Chnstian lkngdom since tle day of the Roman
Empire Howeverly did ty to conquer
Eo near the sa of World War II



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Fighting for Independence
Colonial rule in Africa ended in three
waves, the first being in the 1960's with the
British French and Belgians giving indepen-
dence to their possessions. Most countries
gained their independence without much blood-
shed; however, there were exceptions such as in
Algera where the French came to regard it as a
piece of France.
The second wave came in the 1970's
with the end of Portuguese rule in Angola.
Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau. South Africa,
Zimbabwe and Namibia round out the countries
that gained independence in the 1980's and
1990's. South Africa ended its policy of apart-
heid in 1994. This policy made Africans second
class citizens in the country where they were in
the majority. Nelson Mandela, who had been
detained for 27 years, was elected as the first
black president.
Colonial rule had been authoritarian and
most colonial powers left artificial institutions
such as a national constitution and a parliamen-
tary democracy which people were not ac-
quainted with. The new governments believed
they would eliminate overt, banish illiteracy
and reduce the population growth and disease.
In handing over the political institutions, the
former colonial powers maintained a controlling
interest in each country's economics. Without
this basis, the new governments were bound to
fail. Also, new countries were left with the
artificial colonial boundaries. These boundaries
were given meaning by the OAU or the Organi-
zation of African Unity in 1963 when its mem-
bers agreed not to interfere in the internal affairs
of another neighbor and to respect all colonial
Most multiparty systems gave way to
one party rule. In some countries, they were
overthrown by military coups. The new rulers
would do no better than their civilian counter-
parts they had replaced. In Nigeria, for example,
since its independence in 1960, there have been
28 years of military rule. In some cases, military
rule gave way to tyranny and reigns of terror as
under Idi Amin in Uganda. Some countries

survived this political trend, including Botswana
which maintained its parliamentary multiparty
structure since the time of its independence until
today. By the 1980's, 60 percent of African
countries had been under military rule.
The Cold War between the United States
and the Soviet Union did much to keep this
political trend toward dictators in place. As each
power sought to attract allies to their ideology, it
gave its strong men financial aid that reinforced
misgovernment instead of political and eco-
nomic reform. The United States was guilty of
keeping Zaire's dictator, Mobutu Seko, in power
under this practice. He looted the country of
money that should have gone into the societal
system of that country. The Congo, as it was
renamed, is today in danger of disintegrating as
a state just the way Somalia did on the Horn of
Africa, which the United States and the United
Nations tried to prevent before withdrawing in
failure in the 1990's.
Sometimes the African states played one
side against the other as Egypt did when the
Soviet Union built for it the Aswan Dam, and
later, after the Soviet Union had been kicked out,
the United States rewarded Egypt with millions
of dollars in aid for making peace with Israel.
Angola became a pawn in the 1970's where the
United States and the Soviet Union fought a
proxy war. The Popular Movement for the
Liberation of Angola (MPLA) was backed by
Cuban troops acting for the Soviet Union. The
National Union for the Total Independence of
Angola (UNITA) was backed by the United
States. This civil war is yet to be resolved.

Economic and Social Troubles
From the period of the 1960's to the
latter part of the 1980's, many African countries
slipped deeper into debt that robbed them of
needed capital of improvements in the infra-
structure, education and health services. The
dream that had accompanied independence had
not become reality for a number of reasons.
Sub-Sahara Africa had become the poorest
region on earth. Standards of living had fallen
nearly 25 percent since 1960. Things began to

change with the end of the Cold War.
In the 1990's, there has been some very
nasty conflicts: the 1994 genocide in Rwanda
involving the Tutsi and Hutus ethnic group; the
religious war between the Muslims and Chris-
tians in Sudan over the imposition of the Islamic
penal code; the continuing struggle in Angola
between the MPLA and the UNITA; and the
crisis in the Congo involving neighboring
African states.
Africa has made progress in both the
economic and political areas. The push for
change has come largely from the people who
are demanding better lives and an end to tyr-
anny, corruption and respect for human rights.

A Changing Political Arena
Political observers have been encourag-
ing with 34 African countries having held
multiparty elections since 1996. During this era,
the economic giant of Africa, South Africa
overthrew white minority rule establishing by
election Nelson Mandela as its first African
President. Already there has been a peaceful
transfer of power between Mandela and Mbeki
who became the next elected president Thabo.
In Nigeria after the military government
scrapped the results of the 1993 presidential
election, the military government stepped down
in 1999 allowing elections, which restored
civilian government to that country. The United
States hoped for this development because
Nigeria is its 2Ud largest supplier of oil.
Obasanjo. the newly elected leader, will have
much to do trying to keep its over 250 ethnic
groups from fighting and ensuring that all the
groups get a share of the oil revenues which has
been a source of conflict in the past. For this
huge country to try the democratic model is
indeed encouraging for all of Africa.
Democracy seems to be making a come-
back, though problems such as freedom of the
press, the development of opposition parties
access to the government media, voter fraud, and
respect for human rights must still be addressed.
The United States, under the Clinton
administration did a better job of talking about

Africa in terms of partnership rather than as the
superpower dictating to its client state; however,
it failed to address the genocide in Rwanda. Aid
to Africa actually fell from $826 million in 1991
to $689 million in 1997. This was partly due to
the Republican-dominated Congress that did not
share the administration's views on a number of
issues. One of its key pieces of legislation, the
African Growth and Opportunity Act, which will
allow African goods to enter the United States
duty free and replace aid with trade is still
bottled up in Congress as well as an initiative to
cancel all $4.5 billion in African debts to the
United States. Another Clinton initiative was
the African Crisis Response Initiative, which is a
force composed of several Africans being
trained and financed by the United States for the
purpose of intervening in conflicts when the
need arises. Once again the United States must
be aware of being labeled Imperialist if it goes
too far with any interventions, not that interven-
tions involving United States troops will occur
in light of the United States failure to restore
Somalia to a working government. For Africa,
the future is filled with much hope, but also
uncertainty. The United States was not consoli-
dated as a nation until after it had fought a civil

Activity 1
On a current map of Africa put the colonizing
power's name next to the country it occupied -
Britain, France, Belgium, Portugal, Germany,
Italy, and Spain. [Refer to Colonization map.]

Activity 2
How would you redraw the boundaries of these
countries to reflect political realities? [Refer to
current map of Africa in this issue.]

Activity 3
Find the hidden African countries on page 40.


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