Tribe in Africa where the birth date of a child is counted not from when they were born

[adspro group=2]
Tribe in Africa where the birth date of a child is counted not from when they were born

Here is a tribe in Africa where the birth date of a child is counted not from when they were born, nor from when they are conceived but from the day that the child was a thought in its mother’s mind. And when a woman decides that she will have a child, she goes off and sits under a tree, by herself, and she listens until she can hear the song of the child that wants to come. And after she’s heard the song of this child, she comes back to the man who will be the child’s father, and teaches it to him. And then, when they make love to physically conceive the child, some of that time they sing the song of the child, as a way to invite it.

Tribe in Africa where the birth date of a child is counted not from when they were born

And then, when the mother is pregnant, the mother teaches that child’s song to the midwives and the old women of the village, so that when the child is born, the old women and the people around her sing the child’s song to welcome it. And then, as the child grows up, the other villagers are taught the child’s song. If the child falls, or hurts its knee, someone picks it up and sings its song to it. Or perhaps the child does something wonderful, or goes through the rites of puberty, then as a way of honoring this person, the people of the village sing his or her song.

In the African tribe there is one other occasion upon which the villagers sing to the child. If at any time during his or her life, the person commits a crime or aberrant social act, the individual is called to the center of the village and the people in the community form a circle around them. Then they sing their song to them.

tumblr_mwp0ny0Tuo1rb2p37o1_1280

The tribe recognizes that the correction for antisocial behavior is not punishment; it is love and the remembrance of identity. When you recognize your own song, you have no desire or need to do anything that would hurt another.

And it goes this way through their life. In marriage, the songs are sung, together. And finally, when this child is lying in bed, ready to die, all the villagers know his or her song, and they sing—for the last time—the song to that person.

You may not have grown up in an African tribe that sings your song to you at crucial life transitions, but life is always reminding you when you are in tune with yourself and when you are not. When you feel good, what you are doing matches your song, and when you feel awful, it doesn’t. In the end, we shall all recognize our song and sing it well. You may feel a little warbly at the moment, but so have all the great singers. Just keep singing and you’ll find your way home.

Click Here to Browse Featured Articles in Banoosh.com

Source:

Banoosh

Comments

  1. Jay Wall says

    Really interesting and beautiful. But I wish you would provide the name/location of this community. "Tribe in Africa" is pretty vague, especially given the diversity of the entire continent. This article seems to be exoticizing these people.

  2. Tony Wichowski says

    Well that's stupid. I mean, no more stupid than the Sarah Palin crowd's insistence on calling fetusses the pre-born, but yeah. It's what you'd expect from scientifically ignorant bush people and Christofascist Wingnuts in Kansas.

  3. says

    Tony wasn't nursed or sang to as a child and now has an issue with others because he fears the world and being different. He also speaks of himself in his tone and words. Tony will figure it out when some one thinks he's a fool one day and he believes them. It's coming soon don't worry. :) He seems to be the kind of person that never leaves his home town too. So he's got a lot of learning and exploring to do still.. or just inbreeding. The future is bright either way! Well for everyone else that is. I'm sure he's going to have a few more problems in his life, then have like 3 or 4 kids to help him learn about others. Maybe he'll start writing tunes in his spare parenting time! There is always hope I guess.

  4. Tony Wichowski says

    Dan Langevin Oh Dan, you've misinterpreted what I've said. All I meant to say is that scientifically ignorant people (the African poor, Palin voters), faced with questions beyond their ability to understand, will always come up with nonsense to explain away the gaps in their knowledge. Nonsense like a song being the date of birth for a child that has yet to be conceived, or screeching about personal liberty, but demanding that rape victims be held down and forced by the US Governemnt to give birth to their rape fruit because their version of God hates sluts, and women should be punished for tempting men to rape them – or something like that. I'm sure the songs are nice, unlike the wailing ignorance and hatred of the American Christofascist Anti-abortion nutjobs. Oh, and, you;re way off. I got out of my shithole Christian town the minute I graduated hig school, went to a great college, and now live a life of comfort and happiness in a great city. I do not fear the world, in fact I;ve travelled extensively. I've even been protested by the Westboro Baptist Church! So believe me, I know ignorance and bigotry when I see it!

  5. SoSo Senosier says

    This nothing to do with scientifically ignorant people. This is simply a tradition practice in a tribe. Mixing this with the US government is completely twisted. You may have left your town and have travelled but it has done nothing to open your mind.

  6. Lisa Royalty Redford says

    I think it is a lovely thing to have a child born with their own special song which is sung to them when they have good things happening and also sung to them to comfort them when they are hurting.

  7. says

    What!!!!!! It goes to show you that a man will put up with anything to get laid. Waiting for a woman to come back from the deadly jungle and teach him a song??????? It is more likley he will make love to her and send her off to make him a SAMMICH!!!!!!

  8. says

    you are obviously speaking from experience. Not all cultures are dirty minded, disrespectful, ignorant pricks. Dont be confusing an uncorrupted culture with the westernised bigotry. Pleeeeeze

  9. says

    Tony Wichowski Where in that article do you see any of the crap you've espoused in your post? No where. I am truly sorry you carry so much bottled, confused, festering anger inside you.

  10. Hayden McGowan says

    This is wonderful! Each person's song is symbolic of their identity and by singing another's song to them they are acknowledging their identity. I think these sorts of rituals of respect and acknowledgment would be great for cultures like ours, where people expend so much effort to not have to acknowledge other people, making sure to not even meet eyes because then we would have to nod or say hello and smile to not be awkward or rude. How can you love your fellow people like this? Our more modern civilizations could use some warmth and mutual respect. In a perfect world, though.

  11. says

    I thought it couldn't have been done. But Tony… Tony did it guys. Tony made a great article about birth date turned to religion hate and politics. Who hurt you? It's okay :'( yo mama must've sang you "if it weren't for the lord I'd have swallowed instead of having yo bitch ass"

  12. Andrea Natacha Soppi says

    Tony Wichowski, Dear Tony just to clarify.. Money doesn't make you any wiser than a poor individual. I have met some rich people who are just as ignorant as "poor African people" as you would say it!! In this case they wee ignorant because of their pre conceived ideas of what life is or should be like in third world countries; categorizing people the way you just did and these are the same people who are failing to understand the beauty of other cultures because their uncultured minds. I am half African myself and so I am speaking out of experience! And know that Jesus loves you no matter how far away you think you are. Have a good one.

  13. Ozioma Egwuonwu says

    "African Tribe" While an interesting read, I find the treatment of the subject matter disrespectful. Honor Africa by being specific. WHICH tribe? WHERE are they located? By publishing pieces like this it keeps the beauty of this diverse continent shrouded in mystery.

  14. Peg Crilly says

    And what is the name of the tribe? Indigenous people need not remain nameless, unless they want to. THey are human beings too.

  15. says

    Lee Henry, they are bush people – or bushmen if you prefer. Which includes Namibia where these bush folks are from. Learn something of the people from which you derive, and get the stick out go your ass.

  16. says

    The Himba tribe based mostly in Namibia. I spent a couple of weeks amongst them when travelling across Africa. They only ever use water for drinking and cooking and never for anything else. Very nice people but didn't smell too good to our Western noses because they cover their entire body in red ochre

  17. Jay Wall says

    Peter, thanks for the info. During your short time among the Himba, did you learn about the "birth song"? Can you confirm that aspect of this article?

  18. Oya Shango says

    Nice article. I am still stunk on why we refer to the diversity of Africans as "tribes?", and the diversity of Europe and Asia as "ethnic group?" The word "tribe" connotes an anglo-colonial, imperialists' definition of a people who are "wild and uncivilized," which this wonderful African ethnic group clearly is not.

  19. says

    Seems like this story originated from a book "Welcoming Spirit Home: Ancient African Teachings to Celebrate Children and Community" by Sobonfu Somé. She's of the Dagaaba people. Sobonfu, whose name means keeper of rituals, grew up a village in Burkina Faso, West Africa, and while she ended up in America after her marriage, she continued to return to her village and wrote several books about her culture in reference to the west… See the second link for an article by her about her culture and the third link for the 2003 first post of this story by sofagirl

    http://www.sobonfu.com/bookstore/

    http://www.culturalsurvival.org/…/seen-and-unseen…

    http://campariandsofa.com/…/the-obvious-child-dreaming…/

  20. Sharon Dennis says

    I guess you did not watch the Video…. For it specifies in the very beginning about which tribe Himba and where they are from Namibia. I hope you take the time to look at the whole article and get the specifics you seek. Blessing and Peace to all!

  21. Ozioma Egwuonwu says

    Sharon Dennis Thanks for your reply. Video or not. It should be stated in the article as from the thread it is quite apparent that many are not reading all of it. In a digital environment where people are starved for free time, some will watch and some will read. It's best to do due diligence and cover BOTH bases. Especially, IF a written piece is meant to inform the masses. #imjustsayin

  22. Sharon Dennis says

    Ozioma Egwuonwu I agree with you completely… The author should have put the information in the written context. Great point! Nowadays people are happy to forward information without checking the facts. good catch!

  23. Omega Kush says

    this is very interesting and completely a different approach from here in the west. What is the name of this tribe and where in Africa and I have to agree with Ozioma Egwuonwu you are being disrespectful to the tribe,the culture, and the participants.

  24. says

    dose it really matter about where and what tribe, this is so lovely to read i nearly cried, it has inspired me for when i choose to have children, there will be a song :} ps not looking for a answer back from this comment just putting it out therex

  25. says

    Ethnic group ” Each 'group' of these has its own history, language, and home region. Each ethnic group has produced its own leaders, some of whom are described as “warlord” by outsiders and as “champions” by group members.

    “Tribe” refers – should properly refer – to a ethnic sub-set within which all or most human activities are organized on the basis of kinship. Tribal peoples interact with each other primarily in term of family relationships, both by descent and by marriage.

  26. Pamela Mirghani says

    This is a beautiful tradition, a wonderful approach to community, family, correction and identity – all things I think many first world nations struggle with and we can learn from their culture. However let's not insult these people by romanticizing and idealising them. They also circumcise young girls and have issues with gender equality (yeah, I realise western culture also has gender issues.)
    I point this out because I know part too many people who characterise non-western or third-world people groups as wise, insightful and beautiful and holding all the answers. It smacks of post-colonial condescension. Let’s acknowledge the wise, insightful and beautiful aspects of this culture without putting them on a pedestal or ‘Otherising’ them. :)

  27. says

    i love Africans and Africa, & they need to repent for witchcraft and black magic and receive Jesús Christ. that is where real love is. This too will break the curses that holds these ppl captive.

  28. Durrock J Knox says

    Kurt Pollett captive to what??? They are a tribal civilization just like countless others still existing around the world that are happy and free but usually fall victim to murders and rapists who force them to convert to mainstream religion. Would you rather that happen to them…or let them live happily in solitude amongst their own???? because the damage that this method brought still hurts america and other colonized nations HORRIBLY to this day……Also Black Magic and Witchcraft have existed in American ethnicities also…..even in asian…and omg…even in EUROPEAN….*gasp*……

  29. says

    Seems like this story originated from a book "Welcoming Spirit Home: Ancient African Teachings to Celebrate Children and Community" by Sobonfu Somé. She's of the Dagaaba people. Sobonfu, whose name means keeper of rituals, grew up in a village in Burkina Faso, West Africa, and while she ended up in America after her marriage, she continued to return to her village and wrote several books about her culture in reference to the west… See the second link for an article by her about her culture and the third link for the 2003 first post of this story by sofagirl

    http://www.sobonfu.com/bookstore/

    http://www.culturalsurvival.org/publications/cultural-survival-quarterly/burkina-faso/seen-and-unseen-spirituality-among-dagara-peop

    http://campariandsofa.com/…/the-obvious-child-dreaming…/

  30. Ozioma Egwuonwu says

    Oh Suzanne Renee you amuse me. If you believe this is about '"finding something to bitch about" then you obviously have missed the point of all of the statements being made. In any case, I applaud you for speaking your truth.

  31. Ozioma Egwuonwu says

    Suzanne Renee You amuse me. If you believe this conversation is "bitching about something" you obviously have missed the point. However, I applaud for showing just how much you DON'T get it. :)

  32. Ben Robertson says

    Agreed. There is this bad habit people have of thinking if they make up these charming stories it will help us but I am like no just tell me the truth. Thank you.

  33. Sophie Ringlets says

    "Here is a tribe in Africa", I mean, exactly which tribe, where and when?!
    The story of a very beautiful but is true?

  34. Sophie Ringlets says

    "Here is a tribe in Africa", I mean, exactly which tribe, where and when?!
    The story of a very beautiful but is true?

  35. Jackson Samuels says

    So in the time that it took you to write this post AND respond to everyone, you could have EASILY watched the video for the answer to your question AND done some iterate searches. I understand your frustration over missing info but is it really the writers problem or the reader? Humans have become so accustomed to everything given all at once.. Western culture that is. I'm not here to argue just shed REAL light on why you are getting mixed responses. And "unabashedly showing her breasts"? So would it be appropriate for someone to ask these women to cover up? No because that is how they live. That woman isn't ashamed to have her body photographed. Only person who mentions her breasts is you! Why should we be ashamed or embarrassed or feel shocked by human bodies? Bott line is, you already know now everyone is gonna care. So of YOU care that much, take that time you took to respond to strangers that had no hand in this article, write your response to the actual author. It's a more effective use of that energy of feeling compelled to flag someone for something you think is wrong. People on here responding don't really matter in the course of your life except that they aid you in the learning of continuous life lessons. You may think you have nothing to learn and if that is true then you should be passing on any day now. This is the reality of the situation. I took the time to respond in this manner to you because your passion is wonderful but the energy misplaced. Have a great day. <3

  36. Ozioma Egwuonwu says

    The online space is a game of percentages. The truth of the matter is that while YES Himba is mentioned in the video, that is not enough when upwards of potentially 50% will NOT have time in their busy schedules to read it all. My point is that if we are truly seeking to educate it is incumbent upon us to cover our bases as much as possible. If people find fault in my sentiment I am OK with that. If someone pointed out to me how a piece of content could be stronger, I WOULDN'T take offense, I would say well: hmmm is there truth there not get on the defensive and start attacking the person who issued the statement. The onus is on us to do our best to educate on all fronts. By NOT mentioning it in the body of the article, even though it was in the video propagates Africa as a place enshrouded in mystery. Let's bring specificity by mentioning it in the video AND the written piece. AGAIN, we ALL know some will read and some will watch. Let's do our best. AND with that I will NOT be responding to anymore comments on this matter. Thank you for the dynamic debate. Be well!

  37. says

    the statement ' when the Germans first met the Herero naked women, they forced them to put clothes on' led me to believe this tribe was known as Herero, or African Himba women, but then I don't know African so Himba might just be a word that means tribe lol

  38. says

    I learned a lot of things but not that. I think they would have mentioned it. They only drink two glasses of water a day when walking across the desert so I did the same. After four weeks the water just tastes so boring. One of us had to volunteer to slaughter and chop up a goat because it was a special occasion and it was me that ended up doing it. It had to be done a certain way and took about two hours in forty degrees heat and covered in blood. It was for a TV series called Beyond Boundaries by Diverse TV based in Bristol

  39. Zainob Fashola says

    What tribe? What country within Africa? You Africa is a continent right? Hard to follow an article that leaves important details out…this might as well be a made up posting.

  40. Veronica De La Peña says

    @ozioma-its not a pride article, it does point out the himba tribe-read carefully and thoroughly-I find the article inspirational. Wish you could see beyond your hurt

  41. Chuck Cogliandro says

    Agreed, that is the first place I heard of this practice when I read the book many years ago. It is the Dagara people from which she and her former husband Malidoma Some are descended. Both are great healers and teachers sharing the wisdom of their traditions to a worldwide audience. And yes being specific and accurate is essential. I don't remember the part about "remembering the age of the child from the mother's first thought of having a baby" being in the book at all. I don't have a copy here to reference, as I often give them away to friends who are having a baby. My friends from Guinea, Mali, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Burkina Faso have expressed in various ways that their birthday is not a very big deal to them- that it is much more important to celebrate and honor their mother every day.

  42. Julie Jarrett says

    Honestly sweetie I am impressed that it was published at all – after all it is a positive, beautiful way of life that if adopted by people here would solve a lot of problems in this country. The old ways have so much going for them.

  43. Natalie Brown says

    I wholeheartedly agree with you Ozioma! While I'm sure the intent of the article was good, it ends up coming off disrespectfully. There are so many tribes, so many people, so many customs. Africa is a Continent for goodness sake! To call this basically… "Insert Random General African Tribe Here" makes this article trivial and ooze of ignorance and takes away from the power of what they were trying to convey. Such a shame!

  44. Natalie Brown says

    Ozioma Egwuonwu I read it but did not watch the video. Did they say the name in the video? I will have to watch it when I can access video.

  45. Curtis Grant says

    Wonderful little story… be more specific in your article… Africa is like 20 times the size of Europe (maybe?) Although this article seems to have been written by a ignorant tree hugging white man I appreciate that his intentions were good. The point being we are missing core social values in our big modern communities and we can learn a thing or two from so called "primitive" cultures. Point taken however the issue I have is the boob showing. I like to see a nice pair of boobs as much as the next guy but it's not right that African boobs are freely displayed like they are animals on a wildlife show! Don't get me wrong…. I'm not against displaying these beautiful aspects of the female anatomy but if I uploaded a photo of a white pair of tits the image would be blocked and protected from public viewing like its some sort of national treasure! Not fair… It should be all or nothing… I'm in favour of all… lol… Votes please :-)

  46. Curtis Grant says

    Wonderful little story… be more specific in your article… Africa is like 20 times the size of Europe (maybe?) Although this article seems to have been written by a ignorant tree hugging white man I appreciate that his intentions were good. The point being we are missing core social values in our big modern communities and we can learn a thing or two from so called "primitive" cultures. Point taken however the issue I have is the boob showing. I like to see a nice pair of boobs as much as the next guy but it's not right that African boobs are freely displayed like they are animals on a wildlife show! Don't get me wrong…. I'm not against displaying these beautiful aspects of the female anatomy but if I uploaded a photo of a white pair of tits the image would be blocked and protected from public viewing like its some sort of national treasure! Not fair… It should be all or nothing… I'm in favour of all… lol… Votes please :-)

  47. says

    Someone who has actually got the point of this article then! Not that I am in any disagreement with the valid points raised about being specific about a story's provenance and the respect this shows for those involved, but in the debate we lose sight of the importance here – that when we want to see people grow, take responsibility for their lives, and be the best they can, our role is not to punish when they fall over but instead to remind them that they are way too amazing to live that way… and then encourage them to get back up.

  48. Adeola Adeyemi says

    Oh gosh!! More "African tribe bullshit" in the media All cultures have their unique and traditional ways… Why make out like "Africa" is this story? Let's talk about the exploitation of "Africa's" natural resources to fund the way of life in the "developed" countries!! If you can be bothered, learn about a city in a country in Africa every week, you'll be surprised to discover that "Africa" is not so different from where you are from!!!

  49. says

    This ritual may be from a tribe from Namibia. I searched: "Africa, clay, hair" in Google Images and found an image of a woman with clay hair from Kaokoland in Namibia. This is just one clue, though, perhaps there are other tribes that do this ritual in other parts of Namibia or Africa?

  50. Adriana Cerundolo says

    Thank you for sharing this, Jon. I was not familiar with Sobonfu before reading your post and am looking forward to delving into her books.

  51. Conchobhar Mac Réamann says

    Kathryn MacNeill dismount your high horse there will you? i think we all got it… we just feel that it could have been delivered with a level of respect appropriate for such a wonderful tradition…

  52. Robin Einzig says

    Absolutely. This story has been circulated for years upon years. It originated, from what I can tell, as a fable in a book about Buddhism by David Kornfield. There has NEVER been a name or identification of the tribe…I think it's a story that David Kornfield either made up or heard from someone (who may have made it up).

  53. Robin Einzig says

    Yes. But there is no evidence that this is actually a feature of the Himba tribe. It's attributed to them, but only in endless versions of the same circulating story on the internet.

  54. Robin Einzig says

    Kathryn MacNeill , I don't think we're missing the point. I think people are troubled about white people co-opting a story, attributing it to "an African tribe" (which makes it sound exotic, distant, and ethnic), when there is no real evidence that it is true of the tribe, and it is a longstanding fable that has made its way around the internet for years. It's a beautiful story, a wonderful lesson, a great moral. We all get that. I, for one, would like to see it circulated as a story or lesson, without attributing it to some "African Tribe"

  55. says

    The one issue I have with this article is that they refer to the child as "it" instead of "they" or "he/she". It is incredibly disrespectful to refer to a HUMAN BEING as an "it". It is a defamation of character and an implication that the child you are referring to is less of a human being than you. Whether it was intentional or not it should be addressed.

  56. says

    Thanks Stevie, it was tough but well worth it. I pulled a wheelchair across Africa and across the Namib desert and up really massive sand dunes (others helped a bit too of course) and never moaned once. Lobved it and the Himba. Unfortuantely most of the others in the group just moaned and complained and kept looking at their wathces continually. I was sick for most of it and vomiting and had several infections but just got on with it and enjoyed the experience

  57. says

    This conversion make the human brain to stop sending hunger signals
    hence you do not wish to take it before you eat and not after!
    Oz and kep cambodia Cambogia? You need to not utilize this supplement if you
    suffer from Alzheimer’s illness or vqrious other similar cases of dementia, as it could make that condition worse.
    The pills are easy to swallow annd have no after taste.

    My homepage garcinia cambogia extract

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>