22. Women Have No Tribe: Gender in African Tradition

Posted on 17 February 2019

What archeology, ethnography, and philosophical interpretation tell us about the diverse and often ambiguous roles of men and women in traditional African societies.

Further Reading

• I. Amadiume, Male Daughters, Female Husbands: Gender and Sex in an African Society (London: 1987).

• I. Amadiume, Reinventing Africa: Matriarchy, Religion and Culture (New York: 1997).

• A. Cornwall (ed.), Readings in Gender in Africa (Bloomington: 2005).

• C.A. Diop, The Cultural Unity of Black Africa: the Domains of Patriarchy and of Matriarchy in Classical Antiquity (London: 1989, orig. pub. Paris: 1963).

• S. Kent, Gender in African Prehistory (Walnut Creek: 1998).

• O. Oyewumi, The Invention of Women: Making an African Sense of Western Gender Discourses (Minneapolis: 1997).

• J.D.Y. Peel, “Gender in Yoruba Religious Change,” Journal of Religion in Africa 32 (2002), 136-66.

• J.B. Shetler (ed.), Gendering Ethnicity in African Women’s Lives (Madison: 2015).

• B. Wambui, “Conversations: Women, Children, Goats, Land,” in C. Jeffers (ed.), Listening to Ourselves: A Multilingual Anthology of African Philosophy (Albany: 2013).


Thomas Mirus 18 February 2019

Cheikh Anta Diop rang a bell. It's the name of one of the tracks of a CD I have by the Senegalese master drummer Doudou N'Diaye Rose.

Thomas Mirus 2 March 2019

In reply to by Peter Adamson

True story: I had a Senegalese Uber driver in NYC a couple years ago who told me she grew up next door to Rose in Dakar and had a few drum lessons with him. Small world these days.

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