The First Frontier? Exploring the Ramifications of Hidden Histories from the Backs of Women in Southwest Nigeria
Vortrag von Olotayo Adessina – University of Ibadan, Nigeria
The backs of women are here considered as the first frontier in the battle for the minds of children in their earliest search for identity and meaning. Thus, the backs of women, far from being peripheral to historical and societal development, are integral parts of the epic past of society that underlie everyday practices, beliefs, perspectives, practices, and judgements about behaviour and human characteristics. Such an approach conceptualizes the backs of women as multifaceted zones of sustained interaction and integration. An understanding of what transpired at the backs of women over time are necessary to account for change, continuity, rates of change, and, or absence of change in a deeply traditional society. It is by reconstructing in detail the micro-events drawn from memory that we begin to recreate the building blocks of society. The focus of this presentation is Yorubaland of Southwest Nigeria.
A major question addressed by this paper is: What do mothers transmit to the children strapped to their backs from sun-up to sundown? The paper analyses processes of historical transmissions and identity formation in the context of cultural communications between mother and child in the longue duree. Oral traditions, oral interviews, popular culture, primary and secondary sources are used to collect narratives of how women have from centuries of backing their children become and remained of great importance to identity formation, human relations, and culture in Yoruba society.
Olotayo Adessina is the Head of the Department of History at University of Ibadan, Nigeria.
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