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African Valley

The Amazigh people of the High Atlas Mountains practice agropastroalism with transhumant migration. Their summer pastures are managed through a common pool resource system called Agdals (Ilahiane 1999, Dominguez et al. 2012). They are an example of successful common pool resource management described by Elinor Ostrom in her work to disprove the Tragedy of the Commons. This is one of the topics that might be discussed in AFR 105: African Environments. Agdals and other wild areas around the villages are also places where wild vegetables are collected, as described by Dr. Powell (Powell et al 2014). Pictured here, villages in Ait Inzal valley, High Atlas Mountains, Morocco with the Agdal system behind (above) it. Photo by Bronwen Powell. 

Ilahiane, H. (1999). The Berber Agdal Institution: Indigenous Range Management in the Atlas Mountains. Ethnology, 38(1), 21-45.

Dominguez, P., Bourbouze, A., Demay, S., Genin, D., & Kosoy, N. (2012). Diverse Ecological, Economic and Socio-Cultural Values of a Traditional Common Natural Resource Management System in the Moroccan High Atlas: The Aït Ikiss Tagdalts. Environmental Values, 21(3), 277-296.

Powell, B., Ouarghidi, A., Johns, T., Ibn Tattou, M., & Eyzaguirre, P. (2014). Wild leafy vegetable use and knowledge across multiple sites in Morocco: a case study for transmission of local knowledge? Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine, 10(1), 34.


Late in the 19th century Afrikaner settlers brutally repressed the Ndebele people of South Africa’s fight to keep their own land. Their leader Paul Kruger vowed to never let them have power again, and scattered them to work as indentured servants in white farms as punishment. Many say the distinctive beadwork and colorful murals made by Ndebele women in part developed out of this history, and functioned as a subtle but powerful way to express that they were still proud to be Ndebele and could not be suppressed. In the 1970s and 80s when the Apartheid regime forced the Ndebele people into the KwaNdebele homeland, it was again the Ndebele women who led the opposition to these policies.

For more information see Peter Magubane AmaNdebele, and the children’s book by Angelou, Maya My Painted House, my Friendly Chicken, and Me 

African Union


African Union Headquarter and Conference Center, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. For more information please click here:

Skyline view of Plateau District buildings

Skyline view of Plateau District buildings and the Ébrié Lagoon, in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. Author: Zenman stitched by Marku1988.

For more information click here:


Penn State African Studies Program’s Kente Cloth Ceremony for Graduating Seniors, Spring 2014.

Pictured left to right: Tygh Kane, Faye Poon, Jariatou Jobarteh, Leslie Sotomayor, Akeem Adekanmbi, Barblin Essien, Obaid Alzaabi




kente cloth students, group photo

Penn State African Studies Program’s Kente Cloth Ceremony for Graduating Seniors, Spring 2016

Oyunolu Osagie

Iyunolu Osagie asking a question at the Decolonizing Feminisms conference in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Wedding Picture

Friends and the bride (center) dancing at the home of the groom. Couples in southern Africa often choose to have a church or a “white” wedding (named for the white wedding dress worn), or alternatively a “traditional’ wedding (such as this), and sometimes they have both! Photo by William Dewey, Swaziland 2009.

Gabeba Baderoon

Professor Pumla Gqola (Wits University), a keynote speaker at the Decolonizing Feminism conference hosted by the University of Witwatersrand, Mr Angelo Fick of ENCA Television, and Gabeba Baderoon, Associate Professor of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and African Studies, Penn State University. 

Clemente Abrokwaa

Clemente Abrokwaa, Director of Undergraduate Studies in the African Studies Program, speaking with a student.