Mother Is Gold, Father Is Glass (Hardcover)

Gender and Colonialism in a Yoruba Town

By Lorelle D. Semley

Indiana University Press, 9780253355454, 235pp.

Publication Date: November 29, 2010

Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (11/29/2010)

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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 K tu, B nin, 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.

About the Author

Lorelle D. Semley is Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Wesleyan University. Her work has been published in Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures and she is a contributor to Crossing Memories: Slavery and African Diaspora (forthcoming).