Africa Kids Book Club

Innovation and Culture.

Humans are creative, we are always coming up with new ideas, different ways to do things and even new stuff to make our lives easier. We come up with all these creative new things because we want to make our way of life easier, more fun and beautiful.

There are many amazing things that have come about because of our cultures and cultural practices such as fireworks. Fireworks were invented by the Chinese who believed that loud noises and bright colours could scare away evil spirits. Traditionally, they used to wear bright colours and bang on drums and metal plates to make noise as they marched around. Eventually they invented the fireworks that were colourful, very loud and didn’t make them walk so much.

In music, many musical instruments we use today have developed over time from simple sticks, stones and plants to bigger instruments like the drums and pianos we use today. In Africa in particular, there were and still are many instruments used by different tribes. This is because there has been vivid story telling culture for centuries. Key information from water sources to taboos, food cultivation, hunting practices and many more is passed down from one generation to the next in the form of story, song and dance.

Other basic innovations like language came about because of the need to record history and people’s cultural practices and beliefs. In Egypt for example when hieroglyphs were first developed, they were only used by priests to write down their prayers and practices and by historians. Eventually, the language spread to more and more people and eventually most Egyptians could write.

We can see many of the innovations that take place take place because of culture. Our cultures are our way of life and we come up with innovations to make that way of life better.