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Myths about Africa: the hunter gatherers were not smart (200 BCE – 1950 CE)

Myths about Africa: the hunter gatherers were not smart Travellers, anthropologists and historians from 1500 CE to 1800 CE that wrote about Africa sometimes recounted that some African people lived as hunter gatherers, when Europeans came across them. It must be remembered that not all Africans lived this way; based on the eye-witness accounts of …

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African Pre-Colonial Democracies: The Gada System of the Oromo

Democracy literally means Rule by the people and is seen as a relatively recent Western phenomenon. However, democracy has been practiced in parts of Africa for many millenia. One such example is the Oromo Gada system practiced by the Oromo people in Ethiopia. It is an ancient system that is democratic in nature. Oromo Nation …

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(Architecture Series) Fasil Ghebbi: the 20-palace complex of 17th Century Ethiopia

BEFORE THE FASIL GHEBBI Up until the 17th century, notably between the 13th and 17th century, Ethiopian emperors did not have any permanent location or structure within their territory in which they resided. They were always on the move with their royal camps referred to as “Katama[1]” Living off the proceeds of their subjects where …

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(Architecture Series) Abu Yemata: The Church in the Sky

THE START OF CHRISTIANITY IN AFRICA Abu Yemata Guh is an ancient church located in Ethiopia, the only African country that was never colonised by the Europeans. The roots of the Ethiopian states date to as far back as the 10th century BC[1] with the rise of the D’mt Kingdom before the more popular Aksumite …

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Kingdom of Burundi: 11,000 year old invention, 5th most important crop in the world

The kingdom of Burundi is a landlocked historic kingdom located in the east of central Africa, in the south of the equator. It is bordered by Rwanda in the north, Tanzania to the south and east while the Democratic Republic of Congo to the west.  Only a few ethnic communities populate the country, most prominent …

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Kilwa Sultanate: Trading with Australia before England even became Independent of France

The word Kilwa translates loosely to Island. The full name of Kilwa Kisiwani, translates in Tanzanian to Isle of the Fish. The Kingdom of Kilwa is known as one of the great African empires in history. It existed from 960-1513 CE, and was based in Tanzania. In its heyday, its wealth and trading prowess was …

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