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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Flowers in the Garden: The Role of Women in African Religion
Author:Mbiti, J.S.ISNI
Year:1988
Periodical:Cahiers des religions africaines
Volume:22
Issue:43-44
Pages:69-82
Language:English
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic term:Africa
Subjects:African religions
women
Cultural Roles
Religion and Witchcraft
religion
Traditional culture
Abstract:The author examines the place and the role of women in African society according to African religion. The paper focuses on three areas: mythology, proverbs and prayers. Through myths of origin, we get a picture of the woman as someone placed by God in a special position. She shares with Him the creative process of life. At the same time, however, she is blamed for the misfortunes, suffering and death which in various ways came to the world. Many proverbs point out women's value in African society. The mother or wife is probably the most important member of the family, the centre of familyhood, as opposed to the non-married woman, who has practically no role in society. However, women also have their weaknesses, and one of them is jealousy. Proverbs also illustrate prejudices against women. Women's significant role in religious activities is expressed by their offering prayers for their families in particular and their communities in general. In many areas there were (and still are) female priests; mediums are nearly always women; those who experience spirit possession are in most cases also women.
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