Popular African Tribes and Culture
The famous maasai jumping dance 'adumu' - By-Michael

Popular African Tribes and Culture

Africa is known for many things. Of all these things, the most outstanding is it’s culture. This is because some African life-style and peculiar piece have come to be recognized, accepted, and even adopted by other cultures of the world. Thus growing the African culture to become popular and accepted.

Research show that Africa is home to over 3000 native African tribes with over 2000 African languages and dialects. Notwithstanding, Africa has over 3000 separate cultures. These cultures mean more than a way of life. They are inheritances or identities. Whatever the case, the culture of a people, mirrors them to the society. However, there are some cultures in Africa that has made the African continent popular. Thereby showcasing the people, food, language and lifestyle to the world.

Let me walk you through the 3 most popular African tribes and their culture;

1. The Zulu Tribe of South Africa

Zulu has about 12million people and is the largest ethnic group in South Africa. As descendant from East Africa, Zulu retains strong connections with its ancestral and historical roots. The tribe rose into formidable empire under the leadership of Shaka in the 19th century.

For their culture, they are known for pottery craft, traditional houses, dresses for dancing, bright patterns and colour beadwork. The colours, however, have both negative and positive connotation.

They are a proud tribe with opened cultural villages such as Shakaland in KwaZulu Natal. This allows you to experience their culture. Zulu has a concept called Ubuntu, which emphasize the importance of relationship by virtue of their connections to others.

2. The Samburu Tribe of Kenya


The Samburu tribe from north-central Kenya are closely related to the Maasai people of Kenya. Samburu people are said to have traveled south from the Nile region of North Africa. They speak the Maa language.

Their primarily occupation is livestock. This is as a result of the environment they inhabit. As the Samburu people constantly travel in search of pastures for their cattle.

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The tribe is known for their colourful clothing and social structure. Their men dress in pink or black cloth and adorn themselves with bracelets, anklets and necklaces. While the warrior age-group wear their hair in long braids.

The women keep their heads shaven and wear two cloths, one around their waist and the other around their chests. The cloth is usually blue or purple and they adorn themselves by applying ochre to their bodies in a fashion similar to the Himba of Namibia.

The Samburu tribe is govern by the gerontocracy social structure. This structure is made up of the oldest members of the society and they have the final say in all matters.

3. The Maasai Tribe Of Kenya And Tanzania

The famous maasai jumping dance ‘adumu’ – By-Michael

The Maasai tribe of Kenya and Tanzania are renowned fighters and travelers with hundreds of years of roaming East Africa. They are known for their famous parks which includes; Ngorongoro, Amboseli, Serengeti, the Masai Mara and Tsavo.  The tribe have preserved their culture despite pressure from modern world. Their preserved culture include colorful Maasai, herding cattle and dancing the adumu. Also, some of their popular traditions are the jumping dance, wearing of colourful shuka, spitting and the drinking of blood. These vibrant African tradition has made Maasai popular.



Culture is a way of life of a people. This is because cultures are found in everyday activities and life style. It is expressed in arts and crafts, folklore and religion, clothing, cuisine, music and languages. Hence, peoples way of life portrays their beliefs, habit, traditions, rites and rituals which makes their culture.

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