East African Vs West African Features

East Africa and West Africa are regions of the African continent that have a rich and diverse cultural heritage. Historically, the two regions have been characterized by different cultural, social, and economic dynamics, leading to some differences in their physical features. In this article, we will explore the features that distinguish East African and West African people.

East African Features

East Africa is comprised of countries such as Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Rwanda. These countries are located near the Indian Ocean, which means that the climate is mainly tropical, and the people living here are predominantly black. The dominant physical features that distinguish East Africans from their West African counterparts are skin color and facial features.

East Africans tend to have a lighter complexion, ranging from light brown to dark brown. Their hair is generally soft and curly, sometimes thick, but usually, they have less body hair. East Africans have elongated faces with sharp features, including high cheekbones, long noses, and a prominent jawline. The eyes of East Africans are generally almond-shaped, with brown or black irises.

Besides, East African women have a reputation for their slender and graceful figures. Although this stereotype might not apply to all East African women, it’s fair to say that they tend to have a longer and leaner silhouette than their West African counterparts.

West African Features

West Africa is located on the Atlantic coast of Africa, with countries such as Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, and Mali. The region is characterized by a tropical climate and diverse cultural groups. West Africans are predominantly black, but there is also a significant minority of mixed-race individuals in the region.

West Africans have a darker complexion than their East African counterparts, ranging from very dark brown to almost black. Their hair is usually thick and tightly curled, with a woolly texture. West Africans tend to have more body hair than East Africans.

The facial features of West Africans are also distinct. They have rounder faces, with fuller cheeks and a broader nose bridge than their East African counterparts. West African eyes are usually large, round, and with a vivid shining contrasted against their dark skin.

West African women have always been known for their curves – often full breasts, hips, thighs, and buttocks. Many media outlets and pop culture references stereotype West African women as having curvaceous shapes. It’s more often true than not, and ladies from West Africa tend to accentuate these natural features with carefully selected outfits.

Genetic Variations

The physical differences between East African and West Africans can be attributed to a combination of genetics, environmental factors, and cultural history.

Studies have shown that East Africans have a higher percentage of European and Caucasian genes, which could explain their lighter skin color and facial features. The peoples of East Africa have also historically been more influenced by Arabic and Indian traders, and it’s possible that this cultural exchange has influenced their external features.

West Africans, on the other hand, have more distinct sub-Saharan African features. Genetic studies have shown that they have a higher percentage of African genes, which could explain their darker skin and curvier figures.

Cultural Differences

Besides the physical differences, East African and West African people have different cultural aspects that distinguish them. For instance, East Africa is known for its Maasai tribe, who are known for their colorful and intricate beadwork jewelry and their jumping dance.

In contrast, West Africa is known for its diverse tradition of rhythm and dance, from the high-energy acrobatic movements of the Hausa people to the melodic and graceful movements of the Yoruba people.

West Africans have also been historically influenced by Islamic and Christian religions, which have contributed to their cultural and linguistic diversity. In contrast, East Africans have generally been more influenced by traditional African religions, as well as Islam and Christianity.


East Africa and West Africa have physical, cultural, and genetic differences that distinguish them from each other. While East Africans tend to have a lighter complexion, elongated facial features, and less body hair, West Africans generally have a darker complexion, rounder facial features and more pronounced curves. These differences can be attributed to a combination of environment, genetics, and cultural history.

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