Amadiume, Ifi, 1947-. Male daughters, female husbands: gender and sex in an African society

Table of Contents

Publication Information

Part One: The 19th Century 1

1. Gender And The Economy

Myths Of Origin And Gender



Ecology, Production And Gender Ideology

Wealth And Gender

Land And ‘male Daughters’

Land And Wives

Redistribution Of Other Family Wealth

Women's Economic Activities

Palm Tree


Women, Marketing And Cash


2. Women, Wealth, Titles And Power

Ekwe 1 Title

Involuntary Male Titles

Two Prominent Obi (s) In 19th-century Nnobi Society

The ‘big Man’, Eze Okigbo

How Eze Okigbo Became Very Wealthy

How Eze Okigbo's Wives Became Wealthy

The Dominant Wife, Ifeyinwa ‘olinke’


3. Gender And Political Organization

Descent Structure

Political Administration

‘big Men’ And Ekwe Women Compared

Traditional Political Organizations: Gender Status, Interests And Rights

Organization Of Patrilineage Men

Organization Of Patrilineage Daughters

Kinship Morality And Gender

Daughter's Child, Nwadiana Category

Organization Of Patrilineage Wives

Organization Of Nnobi Women


4. The Politics Of Motherhood: Women And The Ideology-making Process


Marriage Songs And Gender Roles


The Post-natal Confinement: Ino Ngwuo

Maternity Songs And Gender Roles



Funeral Songs And Gender Roles

Folk-tales And Gender Roles


5. The Ideology Of Gender

Language And Gender

Gender Division Of Space

General Beliefs About Men And Women

How They Made Them ‘men’

Coming Into Womanhood, Igba Agboghobia


6. Ritual And Gender

The Goddess Idemili

The Hunter/deity, Aho

Ikpu Okwa Festival And Patriarchal Ideology

Patriarchy Versus Matriarchy?

Spirit Possession And Gender Ideals

Ritual Homage


Part Two: The Colonial Period

7. Colonialism And The Erosion Of Women's Power

Christianity: A New Gender Reality In The Religious Sphere

Changes In Marriage Practice And Gender Relations

Origin Of The Problem: The Indigenous Institution Of ‘female Husband’

The Problem: Reinterpretation Of The Institution Of ‘female Husband’


8. The Erosion Of Women's Power

Western Education And The Invisibility Of Women

The Exclusion Of Women From The Colonial Local Administrative System

Eze Okoli, The First Igwe Of Nnobi, 2 And The Birth Of A New Era Of Male Domination

Women And The New Cash Economy


Part Three: The Post-independence Period 1

9. The Marginalization Of Women's Position

Women And Local Politics

Local Government Bodies

Women And Local Political Issues: 1946–60

Women And Local Political Issues: 1960–82

Nnobi Home Welfare Organization: 1977

The Arrest Of Leaders Of The Women's Council: 1977

New Gender Realities Which Contributed To The Arrests

The Collapse Of Nwo: 1980

The Response Of The Women


10. Wealth, Titles And Motherhood

Women's New Poverty

Men's New Wealth

The Age-grade Associations And Local Politics

Contemporary Women's Associations And The Politics Of Motherhood


11. The Female Element In Other Igbo Societies


12. Gender, Class And Female Solidarity


13. Conclusion

The Implications Of A Rigid Gender System

Gender And Power In Other African Societies

The Implications Of This Study For Future Research On African Women

Some Practical Considerations

Publication Information

Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information The main body of the Publication Information page contains all the metadata that HRAF holds for that document.

Author: Author's name as listed in Library of Congress records

Title: Male daughters, female husbands: gender and sex in an African society

Published By: Original publisher London ; Atlantic Highlands, N.J.: Zed Books. 1987. 223 p., plates ill.

By line: Author's name as appearing in the actual publication Ifi Amadiume

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: Human Relations Area Files, 2003. Computer File

Culture: Culture name from the Outline of World Cultures (OWC) with the alphanumberic OWC identifier in parenthesis. Igbo (FF26)

Subjects: Document-level OCM identifiers given by the anthropology subject indexers at HRAF Gift giving (431); Status, role, and prestige (554); Accumulation of wealth (556); Gender status (562); Lineages (613); Spirits and gods (776); Sacred objects and places (778); Organized ceremonial (796); Gender roles and issues (890);

Abstract: Brief abstract written by HRAF anthropologists who have done the subject indexing for the document The fieldwork for this study, dealing primarily with women's roles in Igbo society, was conducted by the author in 1980-1982 in the town of Nnobi, Idemili division, Anambra State, Nigeria. The monograph is divided into three major periods: Pre-Colonial (pre-1900), when the traditional system operated; Colonial (1900-1960); and Post-Colonial (the Post-Independence period), following 1960, when Nigeria became an independent nation. Although the primary emphasis in this work is to describe women's role in traditional (pre-1900) Igbo society, the author also presents a wealth of information on what structures in the society allowed women to achieve power, and how the effects of colonial institutions on traditional society changed women's choices and situations. Amadiume concludes with a discussion on what has happened to women in the Post-Independence period, particularly in regard to local and national politics.

Document Number: HRAF's in-house numbering system derived from the processing order of documents 40

Document ID: HRAF's unique document identifier. The first part is the OWC identifier and the second part is the document number in three digits. ff26-040

Document Type: May include journal articles, essays, collections of essays, monographs or chapters/parts of monographs. Monograph

Language: Language that the document is written in English

Note: Includes bibliographical references (p. 211-216)

Field Date: The date the researcher conducted the fieldwork or archival research that produced the document 1980-1982

Evaluation: In this alphanumeric code, the first part designates the type of person writing the document, e.g. Ethnographer, Missionary, Archaeologist, Folklorist, Linguist, Indigene, and so on. The second part is a ranking done by HRAF anthropologists based on the strength of the source material on a scale of 1 to 5, as follows: 1 - poor; 2 - fair; 3 - good, useful data, but not uniformly excellent; 4 - excellent secondary data; 5 - excellent primary data Indigene, Ethnologist-4,5

Analyst: The HRAF anthropologist who subject indexed the document and prepared other materials for the eHRAF culture/tradition collection. John Beierle ; 2001

Coverage Date: The date or dates that the information in the document pertains to (often not the same as the field date). Pre-1900-1980s

Coverage Place: Location of the research culture or tradition (often a smaller unit such as a band, community, or archaeological site) Town of Nndobi, Idemili Division, Anambra State, Nigeria

LCSH: Library of Congress Subject Headings Igbo (African people)


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