How single unmarried women thrived in one pre-colonial West African society

the adventures of cosmic yoruba and her flying machines

I have spent a considerable amount of time wondering how single women could have made do in West African history. The non-existent yet much spoken of “African culture” of today paints a picture that such things never happened even though there are several renowned women who we remember today that never married, whether it is Queen Amina of Zaria, or Sarrounia, or Pa Sini Jobu, or even King Ahebi Ugbabe. Yet, most of us believe that independent minded women who are not interested in marriage only came to be so due to colonial European influence. Or assume that it must have been hard for unmarried women back when. In this post, I use Baule women of Ivory Coast as an example to show that it was not impossible to be unmarried and childless in a pre-colonial West African society.

It was a great pleasure coming across Mona…

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