BY Michael Mitchell | May 31, 2009
Africa is the oldest inhabited place on earth...
More than 1,000 indigenouslanguages are spoken in Africa.
It was recently discovered that around 70,000 years ago early humans in what is now South Africa began making their tools and weapons beautiful and, in some cases, began using marks that are thought to be symbolic. Until these artifacts came to light, archeologists thought that such steps towards modernity had happened 30,000 years later in Europe.
Beads of a vast range of materials and styles have been used as body adornments and sometimes currency since before 30,000BC.
The world’s oldest extant garment, a pleated dress from Egypt’s First Dynasty period, is approximately 5000 years old.
An intricately formed terracotta head found in the Nok region of Nigeria in 1943, is believed to be the oldest known figurative sculpture south of the
Sahara. Its sophistication has led some scholars to believe that Nok figurines were produced by an early and still undiscovered culture
No one knows when the art of lost wax casting was introduced or developed in Western Africa, but it is clear that it had been practiced for several hundred years before the arrival of Portuguese explorers in the late 1400’s.
The flags of Ghana’s asafo groups are rich with imagery that describes parables, history, or other important events in the life of the group. Asafo flag style migrated to the New World in the form of Haitian voodoo flags and textiles made for carnival celebrations. It is also thought to have influenced quilts made by African Americans.
Africa is home to the Blue Dwarf Butterfly –the smallest in the world ata wingspan of only half an inch. It is also home to the largest land mammal – the elephant.
The population of Cairo is 18 million, more than the populations of New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston combined.
The cost of malaria control and lost work days due to the disease absorbsup to 5% of Africa’s GDP.
With approximately one billion people, Africa has almost 15% of the world’s population.