There is an adage that the Igbo have no kings. Farmers, Traders, Warriors and Kings focuses on an area in Igboland where, contrary to this popular belief, Igbos not only have kings, but female kings. It is an area where women served as warriors and even married many wives. Because women in Nsukka Division served as prominent actors in a complex set of interactions, relationships and manifestations unmatched elsewhere in Igboland, the author argues that researchers cannot adequately analyze the landscape of Nsukka Division (or any other African society, for that matter) without investigating the central place of women and the female principle in the spiritual world of the society. The author examines the political, economic, and religious structures that allowed women and the female principle to achieve measures of power and looks at some of the ways they reacted and adjusted to the challenges of European rule. Such an investigation into the history of this gender dynamic yields important results for both African History and Women’s Studies.
This is a brilliant and refreshing book, which gives ample and well-deserved voice to women…It is a book that will definitely be of interest to scholars and students in the fields of history, anthropology, political science, religion, and political economy. It is a must read for scholars and students in Women’s Studies Programs.Felix K. Ekechi, Professor Emeritus of History, Kent State University
This orginal and insightful work’s sensible and balanced view of Igbo women’s power and authority is modulated by a profound understanding of the ways in which women negotiated indigenous cultural spaces and at the same time negotiated with and refashioned pre-colonial and colonial contexts. Farmers, Traders, Warriors, and Kings is a major event in African gender studies publishing.Obioma Nnaemeka, Professor of French, Women’s Studies, and African/African Diaspora Studies, Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis