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In Terms Of Physical Appearance, What Is The Difference Between East Africans And West Africans? (Explained)

In Terms Of Physical Appearance, What Is The Difference Between East Africans And West Africans? (Explained)

The culture shared with learned beliefs, practices, and symbols allows us to understand people and context everywhere. These contexts are extremely diverse, including the human cultural diversity that led many of us to become culture anthropologists in the first place.

Our culture defines people’s expectations of us. To fulfill them, we shape our behaviors and personalities to suit our culture. Our religion, traditions, and customs are all part of our culture and play major roles in shaping our character.

Indeed, how we perceive and react to a situation depends largely on what we have learned from the environment and how we have been raised.

There isn’t a single “East African” appearance that can be applied to all of East Africa. Additionally, not all West Africans have the same distinctive “West African” appearance. Both regions are actually incredibly diverse.

Even within a single nation, there is diversity in terms of looks and ethnicity. Consequently, the characteristics of two persons from the same African country could differ greatly.

Read more to distinguish the differences between them.

What Is A Culture?

Culture is fundamental to making us humans. We still have natural needs and urges that we share with other animals, such as hunger, thirst, warmth, and elimination.

Culture refers to beliefs, practices, and symbols that are learned and shared. Together, these beliefs, practices, and symbols bind people and shape their worldviews and lives.

To say that a group shares a culture does not necessarily mean all individuals think or act in identical ways. It is because a person’s beliefs and practices can differ within a culture depending on age, gender, social status, physical appearance, and other characteristics.

But members of a culture share many things in a communal way. Though we are not born with a specific culture, we are natives and are able to absorb it. Through socialization, we learn to become members of our group directly, through training from our parents and aristocrats and observing around us.

A culture continuously varies in response to both internal and external aspects. Culture changes more quickly; for instance, technology changes rapidly in the dominant American culture, though deep-rooted ethics such as distinctiveness, self-determination, and freedom change very little over time.

Yet invertible, when one part of culture changes, so do other parts. Because nearly all parts of culture are integrated and interrelated, culture uniquely frequencies these impulses in specific ways, and cultural observations can impact our biology, growth, and development.

Indeed, humans are one of the most dynamic species on earth. Our ability to change ethnically and biologically has enabled us to continue for millions of years and thrive in diverse environments.

African Culture

Why Does Culture Important To Us?

Culture is important because it plays an important role in the production of social order. It means that the permanence of society is based on the collective understanding of rules and standards that permit us to cooperate, behave, or work as a society and live together in peace and harmony.

Material and non-material aspects of culture are significant in holding society together.

Durkheim (a sociologist) discovered over his research that when people become organized to contribute in sacraments or formalities, they endorse the culture they hold in common and strengthen the social ties that bind them. The important social phenomenon happens in religious rituals and celebrations like weddings or festivals, as well as secular ones.

The famous German social theorist and activist Karl Marx introduced the critical approach to culture in the social sciences. In the current period, Marx’s theory is in action in the way that people and communities have faith that success derives from hard work and devotion.

Culture can be a strength for coercion and dominance, but it can also be a power for inspiration, liberation, and resistance. It is also an extremely imperative aspect of human social life and social organization.

Without these features, we would not have relationships or society. In addition, culture is important because it is a reflection of a community or nation.

Culture can give us a sense of belonging, especially when everyone speaks the same language. They also provide stability, which gives us a sense of security and protection.

For most people, culture provides them with their emotional response to their family. Oftentimes, strangers instantly connect when they learn they are part of the same culture. And last but not least, culture help shapes personality.

Physical Appearance

In this article, I will briefly describe the culture and its importance.

Physical appearances are also part of the culture. Physical features include height, weight, body type, and facial features, as well as body modification.

In this world, there are seven regions, and every region has its own culture, values, traditions, and appearances. In this article, I’ll define Africa, the world’s largest region, by its culture and appearance.

East Africa

East African Baby
East African Baby

Africa is the world’s second-largest continent, and East Africa is a part of Sub-Sharan-Africa. Geographically, this area of Africa lies in the Sharan Desert. This region comprises sixteen countries: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia, Djibouti, Eritrea, Mauritius, Zambia, Zimbabwe, DR Congo, Somali land, Comoros, Madagascar, and Sudan.

This region is popularly known for great tourist and vacation destinations such as Mt. Kilimanjaro, Maasai, the River Nile, and many other places to visit. Eastern Africa is populated by 160 different ethical groups or more. They are commonly known as Oromo and Cushitic speakers.

East Africa is also known for its various cultures and traditions; it expresses its traditions through art and craft, music, dance, sculpture, religion, clothing, cuisine, languages, and beadwork.

These include the dignity, individuality, and personal responsibility of every person, as well as the intrinsic values of consideration, worth, and respect for himself and any other person.

They are inflexible and rigid in their beliefs and ideologies. They must often be more enthusiastic about challenges and questions about their long-standing traditions and customs.

Music And Dance

In East Africa, music, songs, and art play a functional role in their society. Music and dance are forms of communication and expression.

Traditional African cultures often use compositions such as music to ward off evil spirits and pay respect to good spirits, the dead, and their ancestors.

Even musical elegance and instruments differ from area to area, but some musical expressions are common. The exceedingly significant gadget in East African music is the African drum. The famous beat of the African drum is the heartbeat of the public.

Dance is also an important part of their culture and utilizes symbolic gestures, masks, costumes, and body painting. Their cultural dance expresses emotion, whether pleased or unhappy.


Music, arts, and dance are extremely important parts of a culture. Many African people also convey their thoughts and emotions in the form of Art.

Traditional Mask

The mask that is used while dancing has religious and functional value.

An artist who shapes the mask will ritualistically clean himself and offer prayer to their ancestors for guidance before carving the mask. East African mask epitomizes a spirit, and they whisper that the soul possesses the performer as they wear it.

The preferred dancer receives guidance and wisdom from the ancestors. The dancer will utter and moan the messages received, and a wise man accompanying the dancer will translate the message.

West Africa

West Africa is a sub-region of the continent of Africa; it is located on the continent’s west side and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean. West African countries include Ivory Coast, Togo, Benin, Sierra Leone, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, Liberia, Mali, Guinea, Niger, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, and Burkina Faso.

The region has a range of climates, from tropical to subtropical, humid to desert. West Africans are incredibly cordial, pleasant, and warm. Family ties and personal friendships are most important to Western Africans.


The customs, traditions, festivals, and ceremonies in this region of the world are influenced by West African characteristics.

American culture has been greatly affected by West Africans in various ways. Many American songs use their music as a background.

Popular American musical genres like jazz and blues are greatly influenced by people from West Africa. The textiles, paintings, prints, and lithographs of West Africans have become collector items in Western society.

Following the abolition of slavery in 1838, this practice of enslavement came to an end in Western nations. The colonization of West African nations by Western nations also hurt the people who lived there.

West African Girl
West African Girl

Tradition And Culture

Oral traditions are the most popular traditions in Western Africa. It includes folktales, proverbs, and storytelling. The moral lessons and entertainment provided by oral traditions were important.

A griot, a storyteller who is well-versed in historical knowledge about customs, cultures, and events and conveys them via stories, is an example of a West African culture.

Artistic works, especially visual arts with quality textiles such as story and stamped fabrics, appliques, and Kante cloths, are also an example of the culture.

Proverbs are also a typical cultural practice in that society. The cultural diversity makes it unique.

Difference Between East African And West African Physical Appearances

Characteristics East Africans West Africans
FeaturesThey tend to be bendier and tall, with small noses, and usually have high foreheads.They are comparatively shorter, with thicker lips and broad body stature.
Height and WeightThey are lean and often the tallest people on earth.They are muscular bodies and broad facial features.
WomenEast African women are skinny and have less fat.Western African women are different in body composition. They have more upper body weight.
Hairs They have curly black hair.They have mostly silky black hair.
East African vs. West African


  • There is a huge diversity of ethnic groups in North and South Africa. Hundreds of ethnic groups are present. The average age is rather young, and female fertility is very high.
  • East African people are tall and lean, but on the other hand, West Africans are muscular bodies.
  • The West Africans have broad facial features, but the East Africans have small noses and broad foreheads.
  • East Africans have curly hair, and west Africans have silk-black hair.

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