Art and the Fulani/Fulbe People

Fulani ArtBecause Fulani nomads do not change their fashion as frequently as other sedentary groups, traces of past aesthetic traditions tend to be perceptible in contemporary times. Fulani often entrust members of specialized castes or foreigners with the fabrication...

The Age of Iron in West Africa

Department of Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas, The Metropolitan Museum of Art October 2002 Iron smelting and forging technologies may have existed in West Africa among the Nok culture of Nigeria as early as the sixth century B.C. In the period from 1400 to...

Arts of Power Associations in West Africa

West African power associations are responsible for an array of arts, including masks, sculptures, and performances. The arts of kòmò and kònò, two predominantly male institutions, have captured the attention of museum audiences in Europe and...

Africans in Ancient Greek Art

Tales of Ethiopia as a mythical land at the farthest edges of the earth are recorded in some of the earliest Greek literature of the eighth century B.C., including the epic poems of Homer. Greek gods and heroes, like Menelaos, were believed to have visited this place...

Egypt in the Old Kingdom (ca. 2649–2130 B.C.)

The Old Kingdom (ca. 2649–2130 B.C.) was an incredibly dynamic period of Egyptian history. While the origin of many concepts, practices, and monuments can be traced to earlier periods, it was during the Old Kingdom that they developed into the forms that would...

Egypt in the Middle Kingdom (ca. 2030–1650 B.C.)

The Middle Kingdom designates a period of ancient Egyptian civilization stretching from approximately 2030 to 1650 B.C. (Dynasty 11 through Dynasty 13). During this era, the cultural principles set out at the beginning of Egyptian civilization and codified during...

Ghana Empire

The Ghana Empire flourished in West Africa from at least the 6th to 13th century CE. Not connected geographically to the modern state of Ghana, the Ghana Empire was located in the western Sudan savannah region (modern southern Mauritania...

KABAKA OF BUGANDA KINGDOM, UGANDA

Kabaka is a title for the king of the Buganda kingdom in Uganda. Uganda has about 6 famous kingdoms and the Buganda kingdom is one of them that have dominated with powerful kings from pre-colonialism periods to date yet preserving their traditions and practices as...

The Portuguese in Africa, 1415–1600

Access to commodities such as fabrics, spices, and gold motivated a European quest for a faster means to reach South Asia. It was this search that led the Portuguese down the coast of West Africa to Sierra Leone in 1460. Due to several technological and cultural...

African Christianity in Ethiopia

The adoption of Christianity in Ethiopia dates to the fourth-century reign of the Aksumite emperor Ezana. Aksum's geographic location, at the southernmost edge of the Hellenized Near East, was critical to its conversion and development. The kingdom was located along...

OUR HISTORIES

Art and the Fulani/Fulbe People

Art and the Fulani/Fulbe People

Fulani ArtBecause Fulani nomads do not change their fashion as frequently as other sedentary groups, traces of past aesthetic traditions tend to be perceptible in contemporary times. Fulani often entrust members of specialized castes or foreigners with the fabrication...

The Age of Iron in West Africa

The Age of Iron in West Africa

Department of Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas, The Metropolitan Museum of Art October 2002 Iron smelting and forging technologies may have existed in West Africa among the Nok culture of Nigeria as early as the sixth century B.C. In the period from 1400 to...

Africans in Ancient Greek Art

Africans in Ancient Greek Art

Tales of Ethiopia as a mythical land at the farthest edges of the earth are recorded in some of the earliest Greek literature of the eighth century B.C., including the epic poems of Homer. Greek gods and heroes, like Menelaos, were believed to have visited this place...

Ghana Empire

Ghana Empire

The Ghana Empire flourished in West Africa from at least the 6th to 13th century CE. Not connected geographically to the modern state of Ghana, the Ghana Empire was located in the western Sudan savannah region (modern southern Mauritania...

KABAKA OF BUGANDA KINGDOM, UGANDA

KABAKA OF BUGANDA KINGDOM, UGANDA

Kabaka is a title for the king of the Buganda kingdom in Uganda. Uganda has about 6 famous kingdoms and the Buganda kingdom is one of them that have dominated with powerful kings from pre-colonialism periods to date yet preserving their traditions and practices as...

African Christianity in Ethiopia

African Christianity in Ethiopia

The adoption of Christianity in Ethiopia dates to the fourth-century reign of the Aksumite emperor Ezana. Aksum's geographic location, at the southernmost edge of the Hellenized Near East, was critical to its conversion and development. The kingdom was located along...

Portraits of African Leadership

Portraits of African Leadership

In Africa, sculptural depictions of rulers and ancestral heroes have served a variety of political, spiritual, and commemorative functions. Passed down along dynastic lines or commissioned by current rulers, such images were often displayed as evidence of pedigree to...

THE KENTE DRESS IN GHANA

THE KENTE DRESS IN GHANA

In our series of letters from African journalists, Ghanaian writer Elizabeth Ohene considers the global popularity of her country's fabric in the wake of it appearing in a Louis Vuitton fashion show. We in Ghana have absolute confidence in our fashion sense. We also...

Why Frederick Douglass Matters

Why Frederick Douglass Matters

Frederick Douglass sits in the pantheon of Black history figures: Born into slavery, he made a daring escape north, wrote best-selling autobiographies and went on to become one of the nation’s most powerful voices against human bondage. He stands as the most...

Martin Luther King, Jr. Assassination

Martin Luther King, Jr. Assassination

Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4, 1968, an event that sent shock waves reverberating around the world. A Baptist minister and founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), King had led the civil rights...

Black History Facts

Black History Facts

Black History Month honors the contributions of African Americans to U.S. history. Among prominent figures are Madam C.J. Walker, who was the first U.S. woman to become a self-made millionaire; George Washington Carver, who derived nearly 300 products from the peanut;...

Ancient Egyptians Were Blacks – Kemet History

Ancient Egyptians Were Blacks – Kemet History

Ancient Black Egyptians? They were African? Were they? This was a topic that was raised and discussed. It is true that other studies have been carried out which suggest the opposite. But the answer is there if you look closely at the enormous array. Here are the facts...

3,300-Year-Old Sandals of King Tutankhamun

3,300-Year-Old Sandals of King Tutankhamun

Tutankhamun was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh who, in the New Kingdom of Egyptian history, was the last of his royal family to rule at the end of the 18th Dynasty. His father was Pharaoh Akhenaten, who was believed to be the mummy found in the KV55 tomb. In ancient...

Did Skin Cream Kill Egypt’s Queen Hatshepsut?

Did Skin Cream Kill Egypt’s Queen Hatshepsut?

The female pharaoh Hatshepsut might have accidentally poisoned herself with a carcinogenic skin treatment, according to a new study. A flask of lotion believed to have belonged to the female pharaoh Hatshepsut contains a carcinogenic substance that might ultimately...

A New Female Pharaoh for Ancient Egypt?

A New Female Pharaoh for Ancient Egypt?

Queen Arsinoë II ruled Egypt as a female pharaoh long before her more famous descendant, Cleopatra VII, according to a new study. Cleopatra VII has long been considered the only female pharaoh of the Ptolemaic dynasty, a Greek royal family that ruled Egypt from 305...

Unknown Pharaoh’s Remains Identified in Egypt

Unknown Pharaoh’s Remains Identified in Egypt

The remains of a previously unidentified pharaoh dating back some 3,600 years provides valuable new evidence of a forgotten Egyptian dynasty. Working in cooperation with Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, lead archeologist Josef Wegner and his team from the...

Has Queen Nefertiti’s Tomb Been Found?

Has Queen Nefertiti’s Tomb Been Found?

A British archaeologist believes ancient Egypt’s Queen Nefertiti may be buried behind a secret door inside of King Tut’s tomb. Howard Carter’s discovery of King Tutankhamen’s nearly intact tomb in the Valley of Kings outside Luxor not only stunned the world, it...

Tomb of Ancient Egyptian Princess Unearthed

Tomb of Ancient Egyptian Princess Unearthed

Archaeologists have discovered the court and tomb of a previously unknown ancient Egyptian princess who lived some 4,500 years ago. Archaeologists have unearthed the court and tomb of a previously unknown ancient Egyptian princess who lived some 4,500 years ago. Led...

3,500-year-old Mummy Surprise Found in Egypt

3,500-year-old Mummy Surprise Found in Egypt

Egyptian archaeologists have made a remarkable discovery near the famed Valley of the Kings. Lead by Mostafa Waziri, the team discovered the tomb on the west bank of the Nile River in Luxor. The tomb was likely built during the 18th Dynasty (1550–1298 B.C.), but the...

How old is the Great Sphinx?

How old is the Great Sphinx?

The Great Sphinx of Giza, a giant limestone figure with the body of a lion and the head of a man wearing a pharaoh’s headdress, is the national symbol of Egypt—both ancient and modern—and one of the world’s most famous monuments. Despite its iconic status, geologists,...

Sevens Wonders of the Ancient World

Sevens Wonders of the Ancient World

The amazing works of art and architecture known as the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World serve as a testament to the ingenuity, imagination and sheer hard work of which human beings are capable. They are also, however, reminders of the human capacity for...

Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egypt

For almost 30 centuries—from its unification around 3100 B.C. to its conquest by Alexander the Great in 332 B.C.—ancient Egypt was the preeminent civilization in the Mediterranean world. From the great pyramids of the Old Kingdom through the military conquests of the...

Egyptian Pyramids

Egyptian Pyramids

Built during a time when Egypt was one of the richest and most powerful civilizations in the world, the pyramids—especially the Great Pyramids of Giza—are some of the most magnificent man-made structures in history. Their massive scale reflects the unique role that...

Pyramids in Latin America

Pyramids in Latin America

Despite the towering reputation of Egypt’s Great Pyramids at Giza, the Americas actually contain more pyramid structures than the rest of the planet combined. Civilizations like the Olmec, Maya, Aztec and Inca all built pyramids to house their deities, as well as to...

Slave Rebellions

Slave Rebellions

Slave rebellions were a continuous source of fear in the American South, especially since black slaves accounted for more than one-third of the region’s population in the 18th century. Laws dictating when, where and how slaves could congregate were enacted to prevent...

The Most Damaging Myths About Slavery, Debunked

The Most Damaging Myths About Slavery, Debunked

Why couldn't the slaves have resisted—or pulled themselves up from their bootstraps after emancipation? Were U.S. slaves in any way responsible for their own misery? Were there any silver linings to forced bondage? These questions surface from time to time in the...

5 Myths About Slavery

5 Myths About Slavery

Find out the truth behind five common myths or misunderstandings about slavery in the United States. 1. Myth #1: There were enslaved Irish people in the American colonies. As historian and public librarian Liam Hogan has written: “There is unanimous agreement,...

7 Influential African Empires

7 Influential African Empires

From ancient Sudan to medieval Zimbabwe, get the facts on seven African kingdoms that made their mark on history. 1. The Kingdom of Kush Meroë is an ancient city on the east bank of the Nile app. 200 km north-east of Khartoum, Sudan. (Credit: Yannick Tylle/Getty...

100 things that you did not know about Africa

100 things that you did not know about Africa

1. The human race is of African origin. The oldest known skeletal remains of anatomically modern humans (or homo sapiens sapiens) were excavated at sites in East Africa. Human remains were discovered at Omo in Ethiopia that were dated at 195,000 years old, the oldest...

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