The Institution of Female-Husband in Ilorin and Its Environs Up to the Early Colonial Period

Omon Merry Osiki, Kenneth Chukwuemeka Nwoko

Abstract


There are limited cases of female to female marriages in the socio-cultural practice of marriage. This work revisits a historical instance of a female to female marriage in Ilorin. Based on an analysis of extant archival and secondary sources, the paper discusses a practice where female slaves were caught in a socio-economic arrangement headed by their fellow female in the nineteenth century. The study demonstrates that while the female “slave wives” were generally marginal to the socio-political spheres under which they were subjugated, their female “master husband” on the other hand wielded enormous political and socio-economic powers over them, even though they were treated as her wives in an imitative or improvised male role. It concludes that rather than motivated by altruistic marital desires, the institution was propelled by domiciliary considerations coupled with a patriarchal-imitated role in a factory-like, slave-like and composite fashion for the benefits of the female-husband.


Keywords


Gender; Power relations; Ilorin; Slavery

Full Text:

PDF

References


Coquery-Vidrovitch, C. (1997). African women: A modern history (p.121). USA: Westview Press.

Grier, B. (1999). Pawns, porters, and petty traders: Women in the transition to cash-crop agriculture in Colonial Ghana. In Lovejoy & Falola (Eds.), Pawnship, slavery, and colonialism in Africa. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, Inc.

Joseph, C., & Miller, J. C. (2008). Domiciled and dominated: Slaving as a history of women. In G. Campbell, S. Miers, & J. C. Miller (Eds.), Women and slavery: The modern Atlantic, (Vol. 2, p.284). Ohio University Press, Athens.

Lovejoy, P. (1983). Transformations in African slavery: A history of slavery in Africa. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Lovejoy, P. (1988). Concubinage and the status of women slaves in early Colonial Northern Nigeria. Journal of African History, 29(2), 245-266.

Lovejoy, P. E., & Falola, T. (Eds.). (1999). Pawnship, slavery, and colonialism in Africa. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, Inc.

Miller, J. (1988). Way of death: Merchant capitalism and the Angolan slave trade, 1730-1830. University of Wisconsin Press, Madison.

Miller, J. C. (2008). Domiciled and dominated: Slaving as a history of women. In G. Campbell, S. Miers & J. C. Miller (Eds.), Women and slavery: The modern Atlantic, (Vol.2, p.288). Athens: Ohio University Press.

Nadel, S. F. (1942). A Black Byzantium. London.

Nwokeji, G. U. (2001). African conceptions of gender and the slave traffic. William and Mary Quarterly, 58(1).

Nwoko, K. C. (2012). Female husbands in Igbo Land Southeast Nigeria. The Journal of Pan African Studies, 5(1), 75-78.

O’hear, A. (1999). Pawning in the emirate of Ilorin. In P. E. Lovejoy & T. Falola (Eds.), Pawnship, slavery, and colonialism in Africa (pp.137-163). Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, Inc.

Ogbomo, O. (1997). When men and women mattered: A history of gender relations among the Owan of Nigeria. University of Rochester Press, Rochester, NY.

Robertson, C., & Robinson, M. (2008). Re-modeling slavery as if women mattered. In G. Campbell, S. Miers, & J. C. Miller (Eds.), Women and slavery: The modern Atlantic (Vol. 2). Ohio University Press, Athens.

Semley, L. D. (2011). Mother is gold, father is glass: Gender and colonialism in a Yoruba town. Indiana University Press.


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c) 2015 Omon Merry Osiki, Kenneth Chukwuemeka Nwoko



About us | Privacy Policy | Online Submissions
Home | Search | Browse | My Journals | Sign In | Contact Us | Help 

Copyright © 2014 by Developing Country Think Tank Institute