Tiebele to Timbuktu: West Africa’s Tribal Cultures

The European conquest remains the most destructive event inflicted on Africa’s native people. However, the sudden departure of these same colonial powers was nearly as devastating. Artificially created nations replaced weakened tribal cultures, often combining traditional enemies. Toting camera and notebook, Dr. Douglas Butler traveled 700 miles through West Africa where indigenous societies have survived. Complemented by award-winning photography, he discusses this region’s diverse cultures: desert nomads, shepherds, and farming communities protected by fortified villages, each led by chiefs with little accountability to national authorities. Despite a paucity of material possessions and a social structure that defies western notions of nationhood, these people were happy and welcoming. With its vibrant art, colorful dances, and elaborate ceremonies, West Africa remains one of our planet’s most diverse human landscapes.

Lectern, microphone for large room, carousel slide projector with remote control, screen