A Vignette That Reflects on Life: Day-Setting in Ancient African Culture

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1118 Words
Date:  2022-04-04

This essay aims at analyzing a day-setting in ancient African culture, considering the social, gender roles, standards, and culture of the area at the old times.

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It's early in the morning, on the first day of the fourth month, and the people of Makonde community, at Ghana, Africa, arise early in the morning at around 4 a.m. Another, a father of 6 girls and seven boys, leads his two wives and the children towards their shrine, where they get to worship their god before they begin their daily activities. Another goes into worship first, with the other men of their community. His wives follow, praying at the feet of their husband as a sign of submission. The children are the last to worship and give thanks. Finally, the women raise joyous voices in thanksgiving for the gift of another day. They offer burnt sacrifices of their well-fed animals, to appease the gods for blessing in the days ahead. Akothee drinks some milk, and splashes it over his family, as a way of blessing them and wishing them well.

By 6 a.m, Akothee and his family head back to their Manyatta home. The first wife takes the duty to milk the cows and goats while the other one makes a fire to boil some yams and sweet potatoes for the whole family. The firstborn daughters take care of the younger sisters and brothers, while the older brothers prepare for the duties that await them in the day. The family enjoys a heavy meal of yams, sweet potatoes, and milk, along with their grandparents.

The first wife, Angelina, rolls a piece of cloth on her hair, picks up her youngest two-year-old baby and carries her on her back. She heads towards the firm farm to tend to some crops that they had recently planted, pertaining the ongoing rainy season. The other wife takes the girls through sewing lessons, which was an essential skill for girls at the time. The girls wear some leather made garment around their breasts, and another other cover their private areas from the waist level to somewhere above the knees. They also have sandals, which they wear mostly during special occasions like marriage and special social holidays.

Akothee takes the boys, and together they lead a large heard of cattle. They carry with them aiming stones, catapult, bows, and arrows. They bid their family goodbye as they have a long day ahead of them. Akothee and the first four sons take food supplies and some fruits along with them. They lead the cattle along the vast plains of the countryside for feeding. As the cattle feed, Akothee offers teaching lessons to each of the boys on how to hold, aim and shoot an arrow with a bow. Akothee tells them how important it is to learn Defense mechanism, to protect themselves and their families against cattle theft and other dangers like an animal attack. The boys have also gained continuous lessons on using a catapult. Akothee also gives the boys essential techniques and moral lessons they need as maturing men about to begin their own families. Akothee identifies some antelopes grazing at some distance from their destination. He challenges the boys to aim at them, and pull their bows with enough strength to reach the antelopes. Akothee teaches the boys to hunt, silently and carefully not to scare away the target.

Back at home, the girls prepare to head to the nearest water points, a lake 3 kilometers away from their home. They carry guards fastened with sisal ropes to facilitate efficient carrying of the guards on their backs. On the way, the 4 girls sings some African songs, taught by their grandmother, to help them cope with the scorching sun and the long distance. They walk close together, avoiding getting into trouble with strangers, but remaining respectful to the older people that come their way. Down at the lake, the girls have to be very keen due to the huge hippos and crocodiles that live within the lake. They watch out for each other as they fill their guards. A hungry crocodile watches them from a distance as they fetch water, and decides to attack them. Luckily, some young men watering their animals manage to protect the girls from the now angry crocodile, tearing it into pieces with their defensive skills. The oldest girl, 16 years old, knows that she is to get married to the man who helped them. She is happy.

Akothee and the boys get back from the grazing fields at around 3 pm. They gather up the farm produce and some cattle and head to the trade center nearby. Women have no authority of conducting business and hence the market is full of male merchants and traders. They exchanger their produce for clothing and other foreign food staff. He picks some beautiful woolen garments for the two wives and smiles because he knows that they will be pleased. Wearing such a garment was a sign of prestige and respect. They finally head back home, with new goods piled on donkeys. They are happy for having had success during the trade. Sometimes they encounter bad traders who deprive them of their goods, leaving them with nothing.

In the evening, the girls are back from fetching water and tell their father about their experience in the lake. Akothee tells them to bring the boys that saved them to their home for a reward, which mostly would be to give up their first born gird for marriage. They created strong relationships through marriage ties to empower their family line. After receiving the beautiful garments, the wives feel happy and walk around singing. The community relied on songs to express their feelings, either in good or bad times. The second wife has to serve Akothee some dinner, while the girls serve the rest of the family members.

After the meals, the children hurry and gather around a fireplace near the hut of their grandfather. They are eagerly waiting for another breathtaking tale. The grandfather never dries of olden stories that always have moral teaching, make the children laugh, question life and engage in critical thinking about the ideas their grandfather talks about in his stories.

Eventually, the children bid their grandparents good night, and retire to their sleeping grounds, with the boys in one hut and the girls in another separate hut. Akothee is happy for another successful day and prepares to get to bed with his second wife. The first wife retires to her hut and waits for the following day when her turn comes up to spend the night with the husband. Akothee goes through all huts, switching off the kerosene lamps as he ensures everyone is comfortable.

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A Vignette That Reflects on Life: Day-Setting in Ancient African Culture. (2022, Apr 04). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/a-vignette-that-reflects-on-life-day-setting-in-ancient-african-culture

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