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Palgrave Macmillan

Matriarchy and Power in Africa

Aneji Eko

ISBN 9781137382788
Publication Date December 2013
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

Capturing a dimension of the dominance and power of a Nigerian woman, Matriarchy and Power in Africa shows the diverse ways in which women controlled a variety of people in their society, asserted their power, and maintained their authority in spite of the hurdles erected by a patriarchal system that minimizes women's role. In exercising her matriarchal authority, Aneji Eko defined the manner of domestic relationships, influenced the statuses of individuals within and beyond her household, established the character of the relationship between men and women, adults and children, and facilitated the balance between the temporal and secular domains of members of her household. This book fuses the underlying importance of women in Nigeria with issues of social class relations, gender construction, child-raising ideology, and their implications for prestige both in the traditional past and in the contemporary present. Many readers will recognize the woman, Aneji Eko, on whose social philosophy this account is based, as her story mirrors what they may remember or have heard concerning a parent or a relative, and even non-Africans will be familiar with the pattern of relationships the story of Aneji recounts.

David Uru Iyam is an anthropologist and teaches at Whittier College, USA. He was a Fulbright Fellow, a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow, and served as the Associate Director of the African Studies Association. His previous books are The Broken Hoe and Nigeria (with Ruby A. Bell-Gam).

1. Amama Ugima Mashin
2. Okopedi-Itu
3. Malam
4. Signature
5. A Distant Journey
6. A Missing Bone
7. A Broken Treasure
8. The First School Leaving Certificate
9. When the Onun Slept
10. Then She Left

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'Iyam provides insights about the role of women in an area of Nigeria outside of those usually discussed. Matriarchy and Power in Africa is filled with beautifully written vignettes that illustrate life with Aneji Eko and will open readers' eyes to a way of life very different from their own.' - Elisha Renne, University of Michigan, USA
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