- from Africa
A mother gives birth to a child who inhabits the world. In a similar way, Africa is the birthplace of human beings.
It is sometimes called the “Mother Continent.” Humans and their ancestors have been living in Africa for over 5 million years. No other continent can make such a claim.
Throughout history, African society has been organized around the extended family. Tribes, or groups of families, controlled different areas – some smaller, some larger. In the 17th century, there were more than 800 ethnic, or tribal, regions on the continent. By that time, iron technology was used to clear dense forests and plough fields for planting. That made everyday life easier. (Iron technology is making tools and weapons from iron.) In part, iron made the growth of large African kingdoms possible. Over time, tribal areas grew to become kingdoms and empires.