‘Ubuntu is a Nguni Bantu term … It is an idea from the Southern African region which means literally “human-ness,” and is often translated as “humanity toward others,” but is often used in a more philosophical sense to mean “the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity”‘.
“One of the sayings in our country is Ubuntu – the essence of being human. Ubuntu speaks particularly about the fact that you can’t exist as a human being in isolation. It speaks about our interconnectedness. You can’t be human all by yourself, and when you have this quality – Ubuntu – you are known for your generosity.
We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole world. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity”.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, 2008.
Dinka youth from a cattle camp near Akot, South Sudan sing and beat their sticks together in time to the music. Hair died orange with cow urine, the youth have also smeared cow dung ash (the white marks) on their faces, heads, and bodies as a beauty cosmetic. The cow dung ash has dual appeal, also actingas a mosquito repellent at night:
Mussiro is a thick white paste extracted from the roots of the ‘N’tunkuti’ tree, traditionally worn by Makua women of Mozambique and Tanzania.
Historically it was worn to signify virginity or to indicate menstruation or an absent husband or sexual availability. It was used in ceremonies to mark the beginning of womanhood or in funerals.
Mussiro is also valued as a beauty treatment and is used from the puberty onwards to protect the skin against acne and wrinkles:
One of our oldest bipedal hominin ancestors, Australopithecus arafensis, e.g. ‘Lucy’, lived in eastern Africa about 3.8 and 3.0 million years ago.
According to the ‘Recent African Origin model’ modern humans began to migrate from Africa between 125,000 and 60,000 years ago:
According to Shi et al. the first wave of human migration into Japan occurred more than 30,000 years ago, via Tibet: