Ancient West African Women - Toppled Cornerstones

Ancient West African Women - Toppled Cornerstones

by Christiana Oware Knudsen

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Overview

The period between the 9th and the 19th centuries was a dark period in the history of West African Women. The effect of this dark period continues today, in part, in the form of persistent gender inequalities.
Prior to this period, ancient West African women were empowered to the point that they effectively organised their own societies in ways that helped complement their interaction with men. In those instances, matriarchal inheritance systems ruled. The phenomenon of females ruling societies was based on the basic acknowledgement that all men and women, great or humble, emerged into this world from the womb of a woman.
However, these matrilineal cultures were gradually destroyed by the arrival of, first, Islam, then the North Atlantic chattel slave trade, colonisation and, finally, Christianity. Slave trading was taking place across the world, but chattel slavery was first introduced in West Africa by a number of Western European countries.
Ancient West African Women is a short, crisp book which systematically explains how women in ancient West African tribes migrated from the Nile Valley in Egypt westwards to an area south of the Sahara, which we now know as West Africa. The book also polemically explores the lasting impact of chattel slave trading, colonization, Christianization and Islamization on the standing of West African women.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940157093822
Publisher: Pneuma Springs Publishing
Publication date: 08/06/2016
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 172
File size: 365 KB

About the Author

Christiana Oware Knudsen was born and brought up in Ghana West Africa. As a newly trained schoolteacher, she met the Danish medical doctor, Peder Christian Kjaerulff Knudsen, at Koforidua, Ghana, in 1955. They married and had three children. Later on they moved to Denmark to settle. Christiana Knudsen holds a Cand Phil degree in Social Anthropology from Aarhus University, Denmark and a PhD degree in Medical Anthropology from Derby University, UK. Christiana has carried out anthropological and ethnographic research and has published several books, including one on female circumcision in Ghana, The Falling Dawadawa Tree: Female Circumcision In Developing Ghana (1994), and on tribal markings in Ghana, The Patterned Skin: Ethnic Scarification In Developing Ghana (2000). In 2010 she published the controversial book The Theologian Slave Trader. Now a mother, a grandmother and a great grandmother, she continues to research and write about a variety of anthropological and ethnographic issues.

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