Yoruba palace gardens

If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you know “mud” buildings can be majestic. But more needs to be said about the royal architecture in precolonial Africa. Enter “Yoruba Palace Gardens” by J. B. Falade published in Garden History (Vol. 18, No. 1). I must have read this journal years ago and I suspect…

Any sources on Ondo and Epe history?

Every once in a while, I get emails. Recently Dupe asked for resources to help understand the lives of Yoruba men and women in the 19th century. From her email; I’m especially interested in understanding the lives of Yoruba women and men in the 19th century. How gender relations worked. Childcare practices. Practices of farmers/traders….

The institution of tsarance

Back to Hausaland and fascinating things I learned reading “Baba of Karo”. We’ve covered marriage, divorce, and cheating spouses, now it’s time to talk about sex. Disclaimer though, tsarance kind of isn’t sex and tbvh, I found the institution slightly disturbing when it hit me how young the girls who participated in it were. In…

A folktale about divorce

Moving away from “Baba of Karo” and Hausaland, last month I read “In the Shadow of the Bush” by P. Amaury Talbot. He was District Commissioner in colonial Nigeria and wrote anthropological texts on people of the South-South region. His work is extensive and covers not just culture and society, but jujus, witchcraft, flora and…

Squad goals: Kawaye

Friends can make or break you and one of the major themes in “Baba of Karo: A Woman of the Muslim Hausa” is just how important bonds between women are. Baba gives us a glimpse into the complex social constructs that went into these bond friendships, there’s jealousy and betrayal, but there’s also support. Kawaye…

Who was…this warrior woman

‘Who was…?’ a series that explores the African women who pop up in history yet remain mysterious. The quote below this image says enough, “A warrior woman near Kambole insisted on fighting with the men”. Abeg, what’s her story? Image source, USC Libraries Digital Collection via Tumblr I did a quick search and it seems…