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Dr. Moses Joseph Yakubu

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The Involvement of Elderly Women in Traditional Male Cult and Festivals in Egba Land, Ogun State, Nigeria

Dr Moses Joseph Yakubu


Scholarship in cultural cults and festivals is one aspect of knowledge production that has continued to thrive in academia. It is also a recurring topical issue in both electronic and print media. In the ensuing discourses, the focus seems to have tilted toward a direction that continues to project men’s worldview far above the meaningful roles of women. Most studies have been written repeatedly in a way that promotes the Western idea of the universality of the oppression of women, and a rigidly gendered society. This study, therefore, explores the nature and value of elderly women’s involvement in male cults and festivals in precolonial Egba land. The study examines the indispensable functions of elderly women in men’s cults and festivals, and how their non-involvement negatively impacts society. It addresses the following issues: what are the roles of elderly women in men’s cults and festivals in precolonial Egba land? Why are elderly women valuable or indispensable in some men’s cultural spaces? And, what are the consequences of the non-involvement of elderly women in men’s cults and festivals? The study adopts a qualitative approach which entails data collection, analysis, and presentation. It anchors on feminist performance theory and the “male daughters, female husband” model of Ifi Amadiume. This study demonstrates the flexible gender relations that existed in pre-colonial Egba land. The conclusion is that women in Yoruba society, and elsewhere around Nigeria, are not among the categorization of the oppressed group universally depicted in Western feminist ideology.

Date: 14th of December 2023, 12:00-14:00 (GW I)

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