Life in traditional Africa was not static. There were changes that people underwent through. The major notable changes that the traditional Africans felt and to which they had to respond, came from three areas

People had to adapt to the environment they were living. This was because they could have developed different life styles and cultures depending on their places of origin and the fact that they used to migrate.

Discoveries and inventories were often accompanied by a lot of changes. For example, with the discovery of fire, the traditional Africans had to begin eating cooked food.

The traditional Africans experienced and responded to external contacts. These contacts were through trade, conquests and migrations. Such contacts made them have access to different ways of life.

How the traditional Africans prepared for and reacted to change.

In African traditional society, the elders in the community passed on their attitudes and values regarding change. The passage from one stage of life to another was marked with a given ceremony in what was called the rite of passage, below are some of the measures put in place to cope up with the changes in life.

1.     The traditional Africans put in place council of elders. This comprised of the chiefs and clan elders. They had the responsibility of reconciling conflicts among people.

2.  Children in traditional African societies were put under the care of relatives such as die uncles and aunts. This exposed children to different ways of administration. So, in the event of death of the parents or getting married, such children would not find difficulties in adjusting to their new status or being under the leadership of different people.

3.         The traditional Africans carried out puberty rites. This was done to prepare the young girls and boys for future marriage. For example, among the Bagisu, the boys are circumcised and in Busoga and the Buganda among others, the girls are "pulled".

4.         The traditional Africans practiced blood pacts. This involved exchange of blood after careful cutting of a selected part of the body. This marked the beginning of a strong relationship between the two parties. It was meant to prevent future hostility against one another.

5.         Child naming in traditional Africa reflected preparation for and reaction to changes in life.

6.         The names were given depending on the events surrounding the birth or the future expected result for the events.

7.         Children were given responsibility. Boys were assigned duties such as grazing animals and cleaning the compound among others. The girls had to cook food, fetch water, and sweep the house. This was done to prepare them for independent living at a later age.

8.         The traditional Africans instilled the idea of communal ownership of resources on the children through doing most activities together. This was intended to prevent future cases of selfishness and a security measure against poverty.

9.         Marriage rites were also conducted. This involved giving of gifts to the parents of the girl and feasting. This was done in recognizing the changed status of the two partners.

10.    Mock fighting or wrestling was conducted in-preparing for future changes. This was a way to train people to be able and ready to face any future external attack. It was therefore meant to prepare an individual for self-defense.

11.    The traditional Africans performed sacrifices. Foodstuffs were offered and animals, birds and even human beings were slaughtered. This was done either as a thanks giving or asking for forgiveness for an event that has already taken place or expected to take place. All these are meant to take precaution against future changes, which may be bad or good.

12.    Sex education was offered to the children. This was done in preparing them for the changes they could experience in a marriage relationship.

13.    Religious leaders such as diviners, medicine men, magicians, fortunetellers and rainmakers were trained. Each of these leaders had specific roles to play corresponding to particular changes. For example, the rainmakers were responsible for performing rituals that could bring back rain in case of drought.

14.    The traditional Africans organized funeral rites in response to death. Activities such as shaving off hair of both the dead and the living, slaughtering cows or goats or chicken, installing the heir, dancing and feasting among others were performed. They were intended to mark the end and the beginning of a new life without one family member.

15.    The children were taught names of trees and shrubs. This was in hopes of creating awareness of the types of trees necessary for building and medicine.

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