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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Counters to male domination: images of pain in Igede women's songs
Author:Ogede, Ode S.ISNI
Periodical:Research in African Literatures
Geographic term:Nigeria
Cultural Roles
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/3819848
Abstract:One of the injustices experienced by women in contemporary Igede society (Nigeria) is the fact that many of the oral forms with which some Igede male artists are now associated were, in fact, first invented by women. Igede religious and social precepts no longer allow or have marginalized the participation of members of the female sex in many of those cultural practices. Yet despite numerous obstacles, many Igede women continue to express themselves in their own voices. This article first presents two songs performed by men, and shows that in this type of song negative images of women as prostitutes, temptresses, angels or devils abound. Then it focuses on two songs performed by housewives. The first song is a saga tracing the fortunes of one individual woman whose plight is archetypal, representing that of all female victims of male harassment. In the second song, the composer makes a direct and straightforward statement on the predicament of all Igede women who find themselves victims of a combination of all sorts of social abuses. The songs show that Igede women are conquering new artistic spaces and territories, and are helping to undercut the social ideologies that seek to dehumanize them. The songs, collected by the author during fieldwork in 1981 and 1991, are presented in Igede with an English translation. Bibliogr.