Africa is the world's second largest and second most-populous continent, being behind Asia in both categories. At about 30.3 million km2 including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth's total surface area and 20% of its land area. With 1.2 billion people as of 2016, it accounts for about 16% of the world's human population. The continent is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Isthmus of Suez and the Red Sea to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast and the Atlantic Ocean to the west; the continent includes various archipelagos. It contains 54 recognised sovereign states, nine territories and two de facto independent states with limited or no recognition; the majority of the continent and its countries are in the Northern Hemisphere, with a substantial portion and number of countries in the Southern Hemisphere. Africa's average population is the youngest amongst all the continents. Algeria is Africa's largest country by area, Nigeria is its largest by population. Africa central Eastern Africa, is accepted as the place of origin of humans and the Hominidae clade, as evidenced by the discovery of the earliest hominids and their ancestors as well as ones that have been dated to around 7 million years ago, including Sahelanthropus tchadensis, Australopithecus africanus, A. afarensis, Homo erectus, H. habilis and H. ergaster—the earliest Homo sapiens, found in Ethiopia, date to circa 200,000 years ago.
Africa encompasses numerous climate areas. Africa hosts a large diversity of ethnicities and languages. In the late 19th century, European countries colonised all of Africa. African nations cooperate through the establishment of the African Union, headquartered in Addis Ababa. Afri was a Latin name used to refer to the inhabitants of then-known northern Africa to the west of the Nile river, in its widest sense referred to all lands south of the Mediterranean; this name seems to have referred to a native Libyan tribe, an ancestor of modern Berbers. The name had been connected with the Phoenician word ʿafar meaning "dust", but a 1981 hypothesis has asserted that it stems from the Berber word ifri meaning "cave", in reference to cave dwellers; the same word may be found in the name of the Banu Ifran from Algeria and Tripolitania, a Berber tribe from Yafran in northwestern Libya. Under Roman rule, Carthage became the capital of the province it named Africa Proconsularis, following its defeat of the Carthaginians in the Third Punic War in 146 BC, which included the coastal part of modern Libya.
The Latin suffix -ica can sometimes be used to denote a land. The Muslim region of Ifriqiya, following its conquest of the Byzantine Empire's Exarchatus Africae preserved a form of the name. According to the Romans, Africa lay to the west of Egypt, while "Asia" was used to refer to Anatolia and lands to the east. A definite line was drawn between the two continents by the geographer Ptolemy, indicating Alexandria along the Prime Meridian and making the isthmus of Suez and the Red Sea the boundary between Asia and Africa; as Europeans came to understand the real extent of the continent, the idea of "Africa" expanded with their knowledge. Other etymological hypotheses have been postulated for the ancient name "Africa": The 1st-century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus asserted that it was named for Epher, grandson of Abraham according to Gen. 25:4, whose descendants, he claimed, had invaded Libya. Isidore of Seville in his 7th-century Etymologiae XIV.5.2. Suggests "Africa comes from the Latin aprica, meaning "sunny".
Massey, in 1881, stated that Africa is derived from the Egyptian af-rui-ka, meaning "to turn toward the opening of the Ka." The Ka is the energetic double of every person and the "opening of the Ka" refers to a womb or birthplace. Africa would be, for the Egyptians, "the birthplace." Michèle Fruyt in 1976 proposed linking the Latin word with africus "south wind", which would be of Umbrian origin and mean "rainy wind". Robert R. Stieglitz of Rutgers University in 1984 proposed: "The name Africa, derived from the Latin *Aphir-ic-a, is cognate to Hebrew Ophir." Ibn Khallikan and some other historians claim that the name of Africa came from a Himyarite king called Afrikin ibn Kais ibn Saifi called "Afrikus son of Abrahah" who subdued Ifriqiya. Africa is considered by most paleoanthropologists to be the oldest inhabited territory on Earth, with the human species originating from the continent. During the mid-20th century, anthropologists discovered many fossils and evidence of human occupation as early as 7 million years ago.
Fossil remains of several species of early apelike humans thought to have evolved into modern man, such as Australopithecus afarensis (radiometrically dated to 3.9–3.0 million years BP, Paranthropus boisei and Homo ergaster have been discovered. After the evolution of Homo sapiens sapiens 150,000 to 100,000 years BP in Africa, the continent was populated by groups of hunter-gatherers; these first modern humans left Africa and populated the rest of the globe during the Out of Africa II migration dated to 50,000 years BP, exiting the continent eith
Luffa acutangula is commercially grown for its unripe fruits as a vegetable. Mature fruits are used as natural cleaning sponges, its fruit resembles a cucumber or zucchini with ridges. It ranges from eastern Asia to southeastern Asia, it is grown as a houseplant in places with colder climates. English common names include angled luffa, Chinese okra, dish cloth gourd, ridged gourd, sponge gourd, vegetable gourd, strainer vine, ribbed loofah, silky gourd, ridged gourd, silk gourd, sinkwa towelsponge; the young fruit of some cultivars are used as cooked vegetables or pickled or eaten raw, the shoots and flowers are sometimes used. Like Luffa aegyptiaca, the mature fruits are harvested when dry and processed to remove all but the fruit fibre, which can be used as a sponge or as fibre for making hats. Odia: ଜହ୍ନି janhi Assamese: জিকা Bengali as jhingge or jhinga Burmese: ဗြူးဒါး.
A caxixi is a percussion instrument consisting of a closed basket with a flat bottom filled with seeds or other small particles. The round bottom is traditionally cut from a dried gourd; the caxixi is an indirectly struck idiophone. Like the maraca, it is sounded by shaking. Variations in sound are produced by varying the angle at which the caxixi is shaken, determining whether the contents strike the reed basket or the hard bottom, it is found across Africa and South America, but in Brazil. In Brazil, the smaller-sized caxixi began to be played alongside the berimbau; the larger sized caxixi were first used on recordings by Airto Moreira, but it was Naná Vasconcelos who furthered the use of caxixi for rhythmic accompaniment and colors. In West Africa, it is used by singers and alongside drummers. Natives believed the caxixi to ward off evil ones. More modern caxixis have a more cutting sound as a result. Caxirola, a derivative of the caxixi
Maraca, sometimes called rumba shaker, chac-chac, various other names, is a rattle which appears in many genres of Caribbean and Latin music. It is shaken by a handle, played as part of a pair. Maracas known as tamaracas, were rattles of divination, an oracle of the Brazilian Tupinamba Indians, found with other Indian tribes, on the Orinoco and in Florida. Rattles made from gourds are being shaken by the natural grip, while the round calabash fruits are fitted to a handle. Human hair is sometimes fastened on the top, a slit is cut in it to represent a mouth, through which their shamans made it utter its responses. A few pebbles are inserted to make it rattle, it is crowned with the red feathers of the Goaraz; every man had his maraca. It was used at their dances, to heal the sick. Andean curanderos use maracas in their healing rites. Modern maraca balls are made of leather, wood, or plastic
Crescentia cujete known as the Calabash Tree, is species of flowering plant, native to Central, South America, West Indies and southern Florida. It is the national tree of St. Lucia, it is a dicotyledonous plant with simple leaves, which are alternate or in fascicles on short shoots. It is naturalized in India, it is known as Calabacero, Cuité Totumo, Taparo, Huinga, Cuyabra, Jícaro, Morro, Güira, Miracle Fruit, Higuera, Rum tree Ugba and Igba, Đào Tiên. In Cuba, this tree is known to grow in areas of poor drainage, it can grow up to 10 meters tall. The fruit, called Jícara, Tecomate, Morro or Huacal in Mexico, is used to make small vessels for serving or drinking. In Cuba, the dried fruit is used as a coffee cup by rural farmers. In Western and Southern Africa it is used for decoration and musical instruments; the tree shares its common name with that of the vine calabash, or bottle gourd, Lagenaria siceraria). Media related to Crescentia cujete at Wikimedia Commons Plant of the Week 31 January 2005: Calabash Tree Philippine Medicinal Plants: Cujete "Crescentia cujete".
Plants for a Future. Http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2014/02/10/planet-calabash/ https://www.vanguardngr.com/2012/08/the-art-of-calabash-decoration-in-nigeria/
The sitar is a plucked stringed instrument, originating from the Indian subcontinent, used in Hindustani classical music. The instrument flourished under the Mughals, it is named after a Persian instrument called the setar; the sitar flourished in the 16th and 17th centuries and arrived at its present form in 18th-century India. It derives its distinctive timbre and resonance from sympathetic strings, bridge design, a long hollow neck and a gourd-shaped resonance chamber. In appearance, the sitar is similar to the tanpura. Used throughout the Indian subcontinent, the sitar became popularly known in the wider world through the works of Ravi Shankar, beginning in the late 1950s and early 1960s. In the 1960s, a short-lived trend arose for the use of the sitar in Western popular music, with the instrument appearing on tracks by bands such as The Beatles, The Doors, The Rolling Stones and others. Sitar originates from the Persian seh + tar meaning "three strings." There are multiple theories surrounding the origin of the sitar.
Delhi Sultanate origin According to various sources the sitar was invented by Amir Khusrow, a famous Sufi inventor and pioneer of Khyal and Qawwali, in the Delhi Sultanate. Others say that the instrument was brought from Iran and modified for the tastes of the rulers of the Delhi Sultanate and Mughal Empire. Veena origin Another theory is that the instrument is thought to have been derived from the veena, another prominent instrument in Carnatic and Hindustani music, altered in order to conform with Mughal tastes; the sitar flourished in the 16th and 17th centuries and arrived at its present form in 18th-century India, gaining prominence in the royal court of the Mughal Empire based in Northern India. A sitar can have 19, 20, or 21 strings. Six or seven of these are played strings which run over curved, raised frets, the remainder are sympathetic strings which run underneath the frets and resonate in sympathy with the played strings; the frets, which are known as pardā or thaat, are movable.
The played strings run to tuning pegs on or near the head of the instrument, while the sympathetic strings, which are a variety of different lengths, pass through small holes in the fretboard to engage with the smaller tuning pegs that run down the instrument's neck. The Gandhaar-pancham sitar has six playable strings, whereas the Kharaj-pancham sitar, invented by legendary Sitar Ratna Ustad Rahimat Khan, founder of Dharwad Gharana of Sitar was used in the Maihar gharana, to which Ravi Shankar belonged, other gharanas such as Bishnupur, has seven. Three of these, called the chikaari provide a drone; the instrument has two bridges: the large bridge for the playing and drone strings and the small bridge for the sympathetic strings. Its timbre results from the way the strings interact with the sloping bridge; as a string reverberates its length changes as its edge touches the bridge, promoting the creation of overtones and giving the sound its distinctive tone. The maintenance of this specific tone by shaping the bridge is called jawari.
Many musicians rely on instrument makers to adjust this. The bridges are fixed to kaddu, at the base of the instrument; some sitars have the tumbaa, near the top of the hollow neck. Materials used in construction include teak wood or tun wood, a variation of mahogany, for the neck and faceplate, calabash gourds for the resonating chambers; the instrument's bridges are made of deer horn, ebony, or occasionally from camel bone. Synthetic material is now common as well. There are two popular modern styles of sitar offered in a variety of sub-styles and decorative patterns; the two popular styles are the "gayaki style" sitars and the full decorated "instrumental style" sitars. The gayaki style sitar is of seasoned toon wood, with few or no carved decorations, it has a dark polish. The inlay decorations are of mother of pearl; the number of sympathetic strings is limited to eleven but may extend to thirteen. Jawari grinding styles are different, as is the thickness of the "tabli"; the other type of sitar, the instrumental style, is most made of seasoned toon wood, but sometimes made of teak.
It is fitted with a second resonator, a small tumba on the neck. This style is fully decorated, with floral or grape carvings and celluloid inlays with colored and black floral or arabesque patterns, it has thirteen sympathetic strings. It is said that the best Burma teak sitars are made from teak, seasoned for generations. Therefore, instrument builders look for old Burma teak, used in old colonial-style villas as whole trunk columns for their special sitar constructions; the sources of old seasoned wood are a guarded trade secret and sometimes a mystery. There are various additional sub styles and cross mixes of styles in sitars, according to customer preferences. Most there are some differences in preferences for the positioning of sympathetic string pegs. Amongst all sitar styles there are student styles, beginner models, semi-pro styles, pro-models, master mo
The güiro is a Latin American percussion instrument consisting of an open-ended, hollow gourd with parallel notches cut in one side. It is played by rubbing a stick or tines along the notches to produce a ratchet sound; the güiro is used in Puerto Rican and other forms of Latin American music, plays a key role in the typical rhythm section of important genres like son and salsa. Playing the güiro requires both long and short sounds, made by scraping up and down in long or short strokes; the güiro, like the maracas, is played by a singer. It is related to the Cuban guayo and the Dominican güira, which are made of metal. Other instruments similar to the güiro are the Colombian guacharaca, the Brazilian reco-reco, the quijada and the frottoir. In the Arawakan language, a language of the indigenous people of Latin America and spread throughout the Caribbean spoken by groups such as the Taíno, güiro referred to fruit of the güira and an instrument made from fruit of the güira; the güiro is a hollowed-out gourd.
The calabash gourd is used. The güiro is made by carving parallel circular stripes along the shorter section of the elongated gourd. Today, many güiros are made of wood or fiberglass; the güiro was adapted from an instrument which might have originated in either South America or Africa. The Aztecs produced an early cousin to the güiro, called the omitzicahuastli, created from a small bone with serrated notches and was played in the same manner as the güiro; the Taíno people of the Caribbean have been credited with the origins of the güiro. The Taínos of Puerto Rico developed the güajey, a long gourd or animal bones with notches, was an antecedent of the modern day güiro; the güiro is believed to have origins in Africa and brought over to Latin American and the Caribbean by African slaves. Across Latin American and the Caribbean, the güiro can be found in a variety of traditional, folk dance music and used in dance ensembles and religious festivals. In the Yucatan Peninsula, the güiro is used in the mayapax and the jarana.
In Cuba, the güiro is used in the genre danzón. In Puerto Rico, the güiro associated with the music of the jíbaro and is used in the musical genres of the plena, the seis, the danza. In the Caribbean coast, the güiro was used in traditional, folk dance cumbia music and is still used in modern cumbia music. In Panama, the güiro can be found in folk dances such as cumbia; the güiro is used in classical music both to add Latin American flavor, purely for its instrumental qualities. Examples of compositions including a güiro are Uirapuru by Heitor Villa-Lobos, Latin-American Symphonette by Morton Gould and The Rite of Spring by Stravinsky. Güira Guayo Guacharaca Reco-reco Scratcher Latin American music Picture and description of a güiro made by the Taínos Video demonstrating how to play the güiro by Bobby Sanabria affiliated with Jazz at Lincoln Center