African History and Cultural Significance of Yoruba and Akan Groups Name University Course Date African History and Cultural Significance of Yoruba and Akan Groups Africa is a continent of incomparable history and rich culture. There are documented histories after it was “discovered” by Europe in the 15th…
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In 1927, slaves were defined by the United Nations as someone “over whom any or all of the powers attached to the right of ownership are exercised” (“The Transatlantic”). Slavery was passed onto Africa by its European colonizers. In Rome, slaves were generally those who got caught in battle, abandoned children, or older children sold by their fathers because of dire need of money. Age was also a selling point for slaves. The older the male slave, the higher his cost. Slavery continued to exist in Europe from classical times and throughout the early medieval period, and other forms of slavery continued in the early modern period (Hampshire, 2007). Definition of Terms For definition of terms in relation to Yoruba, Akan and the African culture in general, this paper will discuss about Trans- Atlantic Slave Trade, Bight of Benin, Santeria and Lukumi, together with its interrelationship and contributions to the rich cultures of the aforementioned ethnic groups. The Trans- Atlantic Slave Trade is one of the largest forced movements of people in the world. It is defined as the European states’ forced transport of almost 10 million Africans to its colonies in the early seventeenth century. This is a systemized form of slavery with high racism pro the white race and degrading the blacks (“The Transatlantic”). It began in 1444, when the Portuguese began shipping slaves from West Africa to Europe. The Americas discovered the creation of new colonies with demand for cheap labor in 1942. With this, European ships carried increased numbers of African slaves to Brazil, the Caribbean and North America in the1550s, and by the 1700s Britain was the number one slave-trading power in Europe (Hampshire, 2007). Trades happened in different shores such as that of the Bight of Benin. The Bight of Benin is a rich part of African culture. It was formerly a part of West Africa, and then it became a French colony, and now part of Nigeria. It was formerly known as Dahomey before 1975. The area extending to Lagos was called Slave Coast. Dahomey was the name of the most powerful kingdom during that pre-colonial period. The Bight of Benin became part of an emerging trans-Atlantic trading system, where slaves were the most important commodity and Dahomey was on top of the market, making female warriors their highest selling point. Today, factors rooted from geography and history caused the non- homogeneous culture of the nation. The divisions in its people draw lines for occupation, language and religion, as well. People of Benin lack national identity and are wealthy with their ethnic identities (Advameg Inc., 2013). In Benin also lives 10- 20 million Yoruba. Yoruba is one of more than two hundred ethnic groups in Nigeria which live with a rich set of customs and traditions for it has been the most dominant group in this region of Africa during the prehistoric times. But as a result of civil war and slave trade, there was a downfall in Yoruba society; most especially when they were colonize by the British in 1901 and the customs and traditions got robbed. Many political disputes have come and gone, war and violence have been present in the nation. Today, Yoruba is also present not only in Africa but also in the Americas especially in the Caribbean, South America and North America. Today, Yoruba culture is very much alive in Cuba and Brazil (The Big Myth, 2011). As mentioned, there is an overwhelming amount of ethnicity in the lands of Africa. The cultural
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