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Author Semley, Lorelle D., 1969-

Title Mother is gold, father is glass : gender and colonialism in a Yoruba town / Lorelle D. Semley
Published Bloomington : Indiana University Press, [2011]
Online access available from:
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Description 1 online resource (xvi, 235 pages) : illustrations, map
Contents Prologue. "Mother is gold, father is glass": power and vulnerability in Atlantic Africa -- Founding fathers and metaphorical mothers: history, myth, and the making of a kingdom -- How kings lost their mothers: politics of the Atlantic slave trade -- Giving away Kétu's secret: wives on the eve of war -- "Where women really matter": the "queens" of Kétu and the challenge to French imperialism -- "Without family-- there is no true colonization": perspectives on marriage -- "The opening of the eyes": the politics of manhood on the eve of independence -- Mothers and fathers of an Atlantic world -- Epilogue. A rebirth of "public mothers" and kings
Summary "Lorelle D. Semley explores the historical and political meanings of motherhood in West Africa and beyond, showing that the roles of women were far more complicated than previously thought. While in Kétou, Benin, Semley discovered that women were treasurers, advisors, ritual specialists, and colonial agents in addition to their more familiar roles as queens, wives, and sisters. These women with special influence made it difficult for the French and others to enforce an ideal of subordinate women. As she traces how women gained prominence, Semley makes clear why powerful mother figures still exist in the symbols and rituals of everyday practices"--Provided by publisher
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Mothers -- Political activity -- Africa, West -- History.
Sex role -- Africa, West -- History.
Women -- Benin -- Kétou -- History.
Women, Yoruba -- Political activity -- History.
Africa, Western -- History -- 1884-1960.
Kétou (Benin) -- History.
Kétou (Benin) -- Social life and customs.
Genre/Form History.
Form Electronic book
LC no. 2010020121
ISBN 0253004888 (electronic bk.)
9780253004888 (electronic bk.)