The Female King of Colonial Nigeria: Ahebi Ugbabe

Paperback (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $11.95
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 58%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (21) from $11.95   
  • New (13) from $16.96   
  • Used (8) from $11.95   

Overview

Nwando Achebe presents the fascinating history of an Igbo woman, Ahebi Ugbabe, who became king in colonial Nigeria. Ugbabe was exiled from Igboland, became a prostitute, traveled widely, and learned to speak many languages. She became a close companion of Nigerian Igala kings and the British officers who supported her claim to the office of headman, warrant chief, and later, king. In this unique biography, Achebe traces the roots of Ugbabe's rise to fame and fortune. While providing critical perspectives on women, gender, sex and sexuality, and the colonial encounter, she also considers how it was possible for this woman to take on the office and responsibilities of a traditionally male role.

Indiana University Press

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Women's Review of Books

"The Female King is a thoughtful, well-written, and amply documented work that should have great influence on those who write about the Igbo, about African women, and about African history." —Women's Review of Books

American Historical Review

"Achebe presents a compelling history that embodies yet transcends the local. This thorough and detailed biography will be of great use to specialists in Igbo history and to scholars of women's and gender history more broadly." —American Historical Review

International Journal of African Historical Studies
"The Female King of Colonial Nigeria is a rich and significant book that illuminates history, culture, politics, and gender constructions in Igbo land. The book is lucidly written, provides good examples of field methods, and will enrich scholars and students of a wide range of disciplines from history to anthropology and gender studies." —Intl. Journal of African Historical Studies
Jean Allman

"This important, but neglected, story of Nigeria’s only female warrant chief is thoroughly grounded in local meanings and local categories, yet speaks to some of the most important concerns in comparative women’s history: from slavery and freedom, to sexuality, power, and spirituality." —Jean Allman, Washington University of St. Louis

Stephan F. Miescher

"An unusual biography and a compelling tale about the life of an extraordinary woman." —Stephan F. Miescher, University of California, Santa Barbara

Anene Ejikeme

"An important contribution to the study of modern African history. It will be of special interest to scholars of African history, women's studies, and comparative politics." —Anene Ejikeme, Trinity University

T. Falola

Readers have to praise the publishers and author for a creative title, since Nigeria as a country did not have a colonial king, male or female. The title diverts attention to an important topic: the rise of an Igbo woman to the status of warrant chief, a position created by the British as part of their 'indirect rule' system of government, and how she later became her town's head chief. Historian Achebe (Michigan State Univ.) aims to use the biography of a successful woman to talk about women/gender history within a colonial framework. In the book's conclusion, the author also wants history to become memory, so that the legacy of Ahebi Ugbabe and her town in eastern Nigeria can be retained
and converted into tourism to generate revenues to benefit the community. The narrative is structured around difference and agency. If the majority of women in colonial Africa were marginalized, here was a case of one who had power. The tone and contents fall within nationalist historiography in three strands: first, the recovery of African history pioneered in the 1940s; second, the need to insert gender into nationalist histories as advocated in the 1960s; and third, extending the frontiers of Igbo history. Summing Up: Recommended. All levels/libraries. --Choice T. Falola, University of Texas, November 2011

Intl. Journal of African Historical Studies

"The Female King of Colonial Nigeria is a rich and significant book that illuminates history, culture, politics, and gender constructions in Igbo land. The book is lucidly written, provides good examples of field methods, and will enrich scholars and students of a wide range of disciplines from history to anthropology and gender studies." —Intl. Journal of African Historical Studies

Leeds African Studies Bulletin

"The Female King of Colonial Nigera... is one of the most compellingly argued, rigorously researched scholarly writings in the fields of history and women studies in colonial Igbo society, Nigeria and Africa." —Leeds African Studies Bulletin

Reviews in History

"[This is] the story of a woman, Ahebi Ugbabe, who rose from the status of a local girl and commercial sex worker to that of a village headman, a warrant chief and a king....[This book]... salvage[s] the history of a woman who became the only warrant chief in colonial Nigeria...distinguishes between Western concepts of gender and sexuality, and the indigenous meanings of these concepts in an African setting.... [A] well-written, amply researched, and efficiently documented [book]. It is a major contribution to African history and the practice of oral history." —Reviews in History, March 2013

Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History

"The Female King of Colonial Nigeria will be a valuable read for a variety of audiences. Whether one is interested in colonial history, gender history, family history, or women’s history, there is much to be found in this biography to enrich and complicate one’s understandings." —Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History

From the Publisher
"The Female King of Colonial Nigera... is one of the most compellingly argued, rigorously researched scholarly writings in the fields of history and women studies in colonial Igbo society, Nigeria and Africa." —Leeds African Studies Bulletin

"The Female King of Colonial Nigeria makes a solid contribution to the literature on women’s (auto) biography and the cogent treatments of gender, and sexualities. The book will benefit scholars, students, and those interested in issues of women and gender." —African Studies Quarterly

Readers have to praise the publishers and author for a creative title, since Nigeria as a country did not have a colonial king, male or female. The title diverts attention to an important topic: the rise of an Igbo woman to the status of warrant chief, a position created by the British as part of their 'indirect rule' system of government, and how she later became her town's head chief. Historian Achebe (Michigan State Univ.) aims to use the biography of a successful woman to talk about women/gender history within a colonial framework. In the book's conclusion, the author also wants history to become memory, so that the legacy of Ahebi Ugbabe and her town in eastern Nigeria can be retained
and converted into tourism to generate revenues to benefit the community. The narrative is structured around difference and agency. If the majority of women in colonial Africa were marginalized, here was a case of one who had power. The tone and contents fall within nationalist historiography in three strands: first, the recovery of African history pioneered in the 1940s; second, the need to insert gender into nationalist histories as advocated in the 1960s; and third, extending the frontiers of Igbo history. Summing Up: Recommended. All levels/libraries. —Choice T. Falola, University of Texas, November 2011

"The Female King is a thoughtful, well-written, and amply documented work that should have great influence on those who write about the Igbo, about African women, and about African history." —Women's Review of Books

"This important, but neglected, story of Nigeria’s only female warrant chief is thoroughly grounded in local meanings and local categories, yet speaks to some of the most important concerns in comparative women’s history: from slavery and freedom, to sexuality, power, and spirituality." —Jean Allman, Washington University of St. Louis

African Studies Quarterly

"The Female King of Colonial Nigeria makes a solid contribution to the literature on women’s (auto) biography and the cogent treatments of gender, and sexualities. The book will benefit scholars, students, and those interested in issues of women and gender." —African Studies Quarterly

Library Journal
The history of an Igbo woman, born in the late 19th century, who became king in colonial Nigeria, having lived a well traveled and varied life. Author Achebe also steps back and examines the wider perspective of gender roles, sexuality, and colonial studies.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780253222480
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press
  • Publication date: 2/21/2011
  • Pages: 322
  • Sales rank: 1,135,394
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Nwando Achebe is Professor of History at Michigan State University. She is author of Farmers, Traders, Warriors, and Kings: Female Power and Authority in Northern Igboland, 1900–1960.

Indiana University Press

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Ekene ix

The Preparation: All Trees Grow in the Forest, but the Ora Singled Itself Out Nkwado 1

The Introduction: Unspoken, Blame the Mouth; Unheard, Blame the Ear Nkowa 19

1 The Time of Childhood, ca. 1880-1895 Oge Nwatakili 37

2 Exile in Igalaland, ca. 1895-1916 Mgbapu Ahebi 62

3 Performing Masculinities: Homecoming-and She Becomes a Man, ca. 1916-1930 97

4 Inside King Ahebi's Palace, ca. 1916-1948 136

5 Mastering Masculinities: Ekpe Ahebi Masquerade-the Final Insult, ca. 1931-1948 172

The Conclusion: Ahebi Today-the Works That We Do Are the Things by Which We Are Remembered Mmechi 199

Appendix: Select Criminal and Civil Cases in Nsukka Division, in which Ahebi Participated 1918-1930 209

Glossary of Chronological Terms 219

Glossary of Igbo and Igala Words 221

Notes 225

Bibliography 277

Index 297

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)