How did West Africans live?

How did West Africans live?

Early West African society Until about 600 CE, most Africans living in this area were hunter-gatherers. In the driest areas, herders maintained sheep, goats, cattle, or camels. In the more heavily wooded area near the equator, farmers raised yams, palm products, or plantains.

What was the West African society like?

Although primarily agricultural, West Africans held many occupations. Some were hunters and fishers. Merchants traded with other African communities, as well as with Europeans and Arabs. Some West Africans mined gold, salt, iron, copper or even diamonds.

What experiences did slaves have?

The vast majority of plantation slaves labored in the fields, while a select few worked at domestic and vocational duties in and around the owners’ houses. Each situation brought its own set of demands, hazards, and perks regarding not only labor, but also quality of food, clothing, and shelter received.

What was life like for African slaves How did they deal with it?

Life on the fields meant working sunup to sundown six days a week and having food sometimes not suitable for an animal to eat. Plantation slaves lived in small shacks with a dirt floor and little or no furniture. Life on large plantations with a cruel overseer was oftentimes the worst.

What was slavery like in West Africa?

In many African societies traditional lineage slavery became more like chattel slavery due to an increased work demand. This resulted in a general decrease in quality of life, working conditions, and status of slaves in West African societies. Assimilative slavery was increasingly replaced with chattel slavery.

What was important to the early history of West Africa?

Although the salt and gold trade continued to be important to the Mali Empire, agriculture and pastoralism was also critical. The growing of sorghum, millet, and rice was a vital function. On the northern borders of the Sahel, grazing cattle, sheep, goats, and camels were major activities.

What were conditions like for slaves in the Americas?

Unsanitary conditions, inadequate nutrition and unrelenting hard labor made slaves highly susceptible to disease. Illnesses were generally not treated adequately, and slaves were often forced to work even when sick. The rice plantations were the most deadly.

What is unique about West Africa?

West Africa is remarkable for its geological variety. Like most of Africa, the region is largely composed of ancient Precambrian rocks (at least 541 million years old; the oldest rocks may be about 3 billion years old), which have been folded and fractured over hundreds of millions of years.

What are some traditions in West Africa?

Folktales, proverbs, and storytelling were popular oral traditions of West Africa that have influenced writers of our culture. These traditions were practiced by griots, who were skilled poet-musicians that told stories as well as performed music, dances, and drama to help preserve West African history and its legacy.

What do we need to know about West Africa?

As a traveller, understanding even a little about the complicated issues that West Africans deal with on a daily basis – the role of traditional culture in modern life, the position of women in society and the complicated mosaic of multicultural relationships, for example – can go a long way towards gaining a foothold in the region.

What was life like for common people in ancient Africa?

Although we mostly hear about the vast riches of the kings of Ancient Africa, the daily life of the average person was much different. The commoners in Ancient Africa were typically very poor and had to work hard all their lives. Farmers – Most people in Ancient Africa were farmers.

What is family life like in West Africa?

Family life is the bedrock for most West Africans. In traditional society, especially in villages, homes are arranged around a family compound and life is a communal affair – family members eat, take important decisions, celebrate and mourn together in a space that is identifiably theirs and in a family group that spans generations.

How did West African culture influence African American culture?

West African culture had its most pronounced influence on the culture of enslaved African Americans in areas—namely the Gulf Coast, New Orleans, the Gullah Coast, and the islands off the coast of Georgia and South Carolina —where slaves had less interaction with white Americans and the desire to assimilate into white culture was minimal.