African Tribes – Guide to Africa’s Famous Tribes

With more than 3 000 African tribes that speak more than 2 000 different languages it is well worth visiting some of the famous African tribes to see how they still maintain most of the traditions and cultures that were passed on to them by their ancestors. We have put together some of the famous African tribes in no particular order.

Zulu, South Africa

The Zulu or also known as Amazulu mainly live in KwaZulu – Natal South Africa. The word Zulu means sky This is one of Africa’s iconic tribes whose famous chief was Shaka Zulu who established one of the strongest empires in Africa. The Zulu tribe is also the largest tribal groups in South Africa.  In terms of dressing Zulu people wear a wide variety of clothing, both in traditional ceremonial use and for cultural celebrations. For everyday use, modern and westernized clothing is worn, and women dress differently to indicate their marital status.

African tribes

San (Bushmen), Botswana

The San or Bushmen are the indigenous people of Southern Africa that are spread over Botswana, Namibia, Angola and South Africa. Although the living conditions of the San or Bushmen people has changed over the years the traditional way of living of this hunters and gatherers people still can be found among elderly people. The San people usually wear little clothing including some sort of animal hide. The clothing usually covers no more than the waist leaving the rest of the body exposed.

African tribes

 

Yoruba, Nigeria

The Yoruba tribe can primarily be found in Southwest Nigeria and then smaller groups in Benin and also Togo. The Yoruba people are best known for their excellent craftsmanship, considered to be one of the best in Africa. The areas they are good at include blacksmithing, leather working, weaving, glass making, and ivory and wood carving. In terms of dressing the Yoruba like to dress up very well in hand woven cloth. Marriage is one of the most important things for the Yoruba people and the wedding ceremony is celebrated in style dressed in traditional clothing, food, drinking and dancing.

African tribes

Himba, Ethiopia

The Himba tribe can be found in the northern part of Namibia and they still follow their culture and traditions like herding cows on the fringes of the desert and they seem to be very much fine with upholding their old traditional ways of life like surviving on natural food. The Himba people practice polygamy. In terms of clothing they wear few clothes apart from a loin cloth or goat skinned mini-skirt, they rub their bodies with red ochre and fat to protect themselves from the sun and also gives their appearance a rich red colour.

African tribes

Maasai, Kenya

The Maasai tribe is famous for its traditional dressing and culture. The Maasai can be found in Southern Kenya and Northern Tanzania. Like the other tribes above the Maasai have also managed to keep their culture and traditions. The Maasai are semi-nomadic and pastoral: they live by herding cattle and goats. The main garment worn by the Maasai is the shuka, which is a basic piece of fabric that can be worn in a variety of ways, depending on the personal style of the wearer.

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