The Church in African American Life                  Monique Liston, MPA                     October 3, 2011     THE MALE/...
Ground Rules for Intellectual Work:        (Dr. Greg Kimathi Carr)10/3/2011          Liston                2
African Diaspora10/3/2011          Liston      3
Presentation OutlineGoalsQuestions to Think AboutConcepts & DefinitionsDispelling Myths of AntiquityPre-colonial Perc...
GoalsYou will…        have an understanding of male and female relationships  in African antiquity.        have an under...
African Women in World History            John Henrik Clarke (maa kherw) - Be present.10/3/2011                           ...
Guiding Questions• How does this relate to the church in  African-American life? (BEFORE)• What is traditional Africa?• Wh...
Presentation OutlineGoalsQuestions to Think AboutCONCEPTS & DEFINITIONSDispelling Myths of AntiquityPre-colonial Perc...
Ontology & Epistemology                                                           Manifestations    Ontology – What is    ...
Why does REALITY relate to our discussion?            “Power is the ability to define reality and to convince other       ...
Power of Language       Far more than princes, states       and economies, it is language       communities who are the re...
“Nommo”• the creative power of  the word• word creates life• Masters of the Water• The Teachers10/3/2011                 L...
Africana Religion and Science                        Dr. Ray Hagins is the Chief Elder                        & Spiritual ...
Presentation OutlineGoalsQuestions to Think AboutConcepts & DefinitionsDISPELLING MYTHS OF ANTIQUITYPre-colonial Perc...
"In Africa, the womans                              place was not only with her                                  family; s...
Queen Hatshepsut                        • “the first great woman                          in history”                     ...
African Origins of LifeKemet: Ausar, Auset, &        Yorubaland: Ifa and theHeru                          Orisa10/3/2011  ...
Matriarchy & Kingship• Patriarchal Theory      – Henry Maine, Ancient Law (1861)      – Concluded that individualism and s...
Ancient Women’s Rights                           • Hypatia, the great                             scientist and martyr    ...
Presentation OutlineGoalsQuestions to Think AboutConcepts & DefinitionsDispelling Myths Of AntiquityPRE-COLONIAL PERC...
Oyo-Yoruba*                     “Gender is a construction of                     two categories in hierarchal             ...
Igbo (Nnobi)                      • Myths of Origin                          – IDI UCHU                          – ITE UBA...
Presentation Outline Goals Questions to Think About Concepts & Definitions Dispelling Myths of Antiquity Pre-colonial...
Critically Analyzing Male/Female                   Principles                          “Mainstream Western                ...
Critically Analyzing Male/Female Principles: Colonialism and Beyond*• Sex v. Gender      – What‟s the difference?• Univers...
Presentation OutlineGoalsQuestions to Think AboutConcepts & DefinitionsDispelling Myths of AntiquityPre-colonial Perc...
The Church in African American Life• How does this relate to TODAY?• How does this relate to the church in  African-Americ...
Review  What was the male/female principle like in  antiquity?  What is the difference between the  male/female principl...
AssignmentPass in a maximum two-page analysis of thepresenter‟s thesis as it relates to Africanspiritual systems and their...
ResourcesThiong‟o, N. w. (2009). Something Torn And New An AfricanRenaissance.. New York: Basic Civitas BooksAmadiume, I. ...
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The male female principle in traditional africa

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The Church in African American Life - Lecture on October 3, 2011

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  • EnglishMakedaThey want to make us believe lost myths
The passages of history falsified and revised
From Ramses to Mandela, the truths that were killed
In ignoring the start, they wander aimlesslyMakeda was queen, beautiful and powerful
Solomon dreamed of her black skin
I sing to revive the memories
To dig up the knowledge
That the spiral of time erasesThe queen of Sheba lives in me
Makeda lives in me.Revive our memories
We must change history
It's going adrift
Adrift in words... no
The knowledge and the wisdom are to be carried in our hands
Listen and observeMakeda was queen, beautiful and powerful
Solomon dreamed of her black skin
I sing to revive the memories
To dig up the knowledge
That the spiral of time erasesThe queen of Sheba lives in me
Makeda lives in me.My people dance and sing
They exalt their joy
Far from ignorance
They show their faithRich in men and in value
We make up for the mistakes
Sons and daughters you and me
Ready for battleMakeda was queen, beautiful and powerful
Solomon dreamed of her black skin
I sing to revive the memories
To dig up the knowledge
That the spiral of time erasesThe queen of Sheba lives in me
Makeda lives in me.
  • the dispersion of people from their original homeland*“YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE EVER BROUGHT ME HERE!”TAKE ME HOME
  • Antiquity – most generic of all time names, any time before the middle ages in European thought --- Ancient times
  • Baba John Henrik Clarke, speaking in the early 1990s at a local church in what I believe to be New York City.A great historian and classroom teacher, John Henrik Clarke is known for his extensive research and understanding of the importance of reclaiming African history. If we recall our framing page, this introduction to the lecture helps us to build context, to be present in the topic at hand by looking backwards at the history of it and its implications.
  • The muddling of issues of ontology (the study of being - essentially studying questions of what kinds of entities exist) and issues of epistemology (the study of knowing - essentially studying what knowledge is and how it is possible) has been one of the key confusions in philosophy.Ontology greekontologia  “ontos” = being/essence & “logia” = writing/studying ofEpistemology  episteme  knowledge
  • Educational psychologist and intellectual Dr. Wade Nobles is known for this quote concerning reality….What is the relationship of this statement to ontology and epistemology as stated previously? Why is this important as we study this topic?
  • Something Torn and New (medium of memory, p. 40) (eagle among chickens, p. 97) (colonizer’s memory, p. 108)
  • The Dogon, an ancient Nile Valley Civilization conceptualized the “nommo”Represented by a hermaphoditic water creature/fishWhat do you think is important about the fact that this god of gods is a hermaphrodite?
  • Makare, daughter of Ahmose and Thutmose rulers in Ancient Egypt.She was the only child to survive to adulthood, but was trained from an early age to be a leader in the community. Her father saw leadership in her. Thutmose had a son with one of his concubines (Thutmose II) and when Thutmose I died he would have been the rightful leader, but there was no question that Hatshepsut should rule and she met no opposition to her being the leader of the kingdom. Apparently her husband was fat and sickly….and in effect died in his 30s. Hatshepsut and Thutmose II had to two daughters together. Thutmose had a son with one of his concubines and he was named as the heir of the throne. However, when he died, Thutmose III was 12 years old, too young to rule so Hatshepsut remained in power. This was important because he power was not only because of her leadership, she was respected by the Amun priesthood. She assumed all royal and holy titles of leadership included Son of the Sun and Living Horus, except for one. Mighty Bull of Maat which was a title that denoted male fertility. Thutmose III married one of Hatshepsut’s daughters…. (the only way to the throne was through the women of the royal family. She was a warrior queen, she actually led armies into battle and adopted a male gender for rulership. Pictures of her are often seen with the pharaoh beard and sphinx… male-gendered leadership symbols. She ruled for 21 years after her husband’s death and her body was never found. She may have been killed by Thutmose the II because he wanted the seat, she may have left because she was really a peaceable person… her fate is unknown, but in history she is known as one of the GREATEST rulers to have ever held the throne in Egypt. Women rulers in times of peace….How does the story of Hatshepsut shine light on the male/female principle in Ancient Kemet?
  • In the story, the Supreme Being manifested itself in the world as Ausar, who rules through adherence to the divine law of Ma'at. Ausar’s younger brother Set becomes jealous and murders him, cuts his body into several pieces and usurps the throne. Ausar’s devoted wife Auset gathers the parts of her husband’s dis-membered body and magically conceives their son, Heru (Horus). Heru eventually overthrows his evil uncle Set with the aid of Tehuti (the deity representing Wisdom) and reclaims the throne, and thereafter rules the land of the living while Ausar rules the land of the deceased (underworld). The god Ausar (Osiris) was the central deity in ancient Egyptian mortuary rituals. In Egyptian mythology he is ruler of the Underworld and associated with resurrection. Ausar is also associated with agricultural renewal. He is depicted as a man wrapped in white mummy bandages and holding the crook and the flail, both symbols of kingship. He is also wearing the White Crown a symbol of the South.This myth describes the forces of destruction that initiated the process of mummification. The love of Auset is symbolic of regeneration and the promise of eternal life. The cycle of destruction, death and rebirth was repeated each year in the annual flood of the Nile, the river that provided the essential ingredients needed to sustain life, giving birth to one of the first civilizations. Ausar (Osiris) and Auset (Isis) had a son named Heru (Horus). Together they represent a holy family: god, goddess and divine child. In the New Kingdom, the main temples throughout Egypt venerated a holy family modelled on the Ausar, Auset and Heru triad. An example is given in this excerpt from Dr. Marta Maria Vega's "Altar of My Soul:" "The Orisha Olodumare, the Supreme God, originally lived in the lower part of heaven, overlooking endless stretches of water. One day, Olodumare decided to create Earth, and sent an emissary, the orisha Obatalá, to perform this task. Olodumare gave Obatalá the materials he needed to create the world: a small bag of loose earth, a gold chain, and a five-toed hen."

"Obatalá was instructed to use the chain to descend from heaven. When he reached the last link, he piled the loose earth on top of the water. Next, he placed the hen on the pile of earth, and ordered her to scatter the earth with her toes across the surface of the water."

"When this was finished, Obatalá climbed the chain to heaven to report his success to Olodumare. Olodumare then sent his trusted assistant, the chameleon, to verify that the earth was dry. When his helper had assured him that the Earth was solid, Olodumare named Earth 'Ile Ife,' the sacred house."

"Before he retired to the uppermost level of heaven, Olodumare decided to distribute his sacred powers 'aché.' He united Obatalá, the Orisha of creation, and Yemayá, the orisha of the ocean, who gave birth to a pantheon of orishas, each possessing a share of Olodumare’s sacred power. At last, the divine power of Olodumare was dispersed. Then one day, Olodumare called them all from Earth to heaven and gave Obatalá the sacred power to create human life. Obatalá returned to Earth and created our ancestors, endowing them with his own divine power. We are all descendants from the first people of the sacred city of Ile Ife; we are all children of Olodumare, the sacred orisha who created the world."
  • Maine’s theory relegated African kinship systems to the lowest of the low concerning development and civilization. Maine saw matriarchy as a step above chaos and light years behind patriarchy…. For him, patriarchy was the norm, the necessity. Theorized a totalitarian patriarchyThink about HatshepsutMatriarchal in the sense of female rule, female transmission of property and descent and the man being the mobile element in marriage or sexual union.This egalitarian, women-centered and caring society was overturned by men (we do not know when, how, and why) with the introduction of the notion of ownership which saw woman as property a thing to be owned.In reviewing history, patriarchy is the mindset and the “norm” used by researchers to define cultures, so history becomes skewed from the wrong perspective…. It misses the “be present”-ness aspect of intellectual work.
  • This picture should look familiar, this woman is known as Hypatia, the great woman scientist and mathematician. As evident from this picture, she is often depicted as European with Greek roots. Little is known about this woman, her father was also a great mathematician from Alexandria, Egypt. She a non-Christian who was brutally murdered by Christian fanatics in 415AD. They dismembered her body and literally scraped the flesh from her bones. She is often denied her Egyptian (black) heritage in (modern) thought even though she lived in Egypt and when travelling in Greece and Rome she was treated like an Egyptian woman. In Greek society women were not permitted to move in public without a male escort, in fact women in Greece had little independence. Herodotus was amazed by Egyptian society, he was quoted as saying “The Egyptians themselves, in their manners and customs, seem to have reversed the ordinary practices of mankind. For instance, women attend market and are employed at trade, while men stay at home and do the weaving.” Diodorus was also surprised about equality for the queen and wives.In glyphs, when work was depicted… men and women worked side by side in all tasks. A letter from a farmer stated “pay according to work done, men and women alike” Scribes were the most favored positions in KMT and there were women scribes, the Goddess of Writing is Seshat… a woman. Unisex dress was typical.Men and women were equal before the law and special laws protected woman’s propety rights. (note on slavery – the records indicate tat slaves were assimilated into Egyptian society, free to marry free persons, could ear and save money and give testimony in court. Marriage was a private contract, an arrangement between equals. Women could choose their mates, accepting or regusing relationships. Sister and brother were used as terms of endearment. Before the “Ms.” title, these women were known as Lady of the House, or by professional/religious titles.
  • Sociologist, researcher, professorUniversity of CaliforniaFamily rooted in Yoruba (Nigeria), came from prominent family there Obtained formal education in the USHer research came into fruition after observing and understanding the he/she dynamic in the United States and its prominence and her understanding of it from her upbringing.Rin is the suffix that suggest humanity, obin and okun specify which variety of anatomy.  Ob(i)nrin = woman  Ok(u)nrin = manWoman does not derive from man…. Etymologically or religiously.  What does that mean in response to man/woman and using Adam’s rib to create Eve?O^mo^ – offspring my - m(i)IThere is no notion of “sissy” or “tomboy”Seniority rules  Older = ëgbôn Younger = àbúrò
  • This text grew out of a PhD thesis when IfiAmadiume was studying social anthropology and found that interpretations of African culture were grossly misconstrued. Eurocentric, racist, phallocentric, male dominated and just out and out wrong!This study focuses on Igbo women in Nnobi a community in Nigeria. Prior to her reseaerch it had not been studied by any social scientist or anthropologist.READ THE ORIGIN MYTH (p. 28)The most highly praised person in this tradition was a woman. The gender ideology governing economic production was that of female industriousness: IDI UCHU, perserverance and industriousness, and ITE UBA, the pot of prosperity were gifts women were said to have inherited from the goddess IDEMILI.Male daughters – the Nnobi people were subsistence farmers and traders so land was a major economic resource. When the male figure of the household died, either male children received the land or it was returned to the deceased man’s older brothers. If the man who died had no sons, his daughter could be granted possession of the land, these would be “male daughters”. This was done to safeguard her fathers “obi” line of descent and property associated with it. Female husbands – in social practice, gaining to access to land might be more important than actual ownership. “Males” owned the land and females worked and managed the land. A husband would take on more wives to acquire more land because that was access to the distribution of land from the fatherEkwe title – Wealthy women who through control of others’ services were able to create more wealth. Two ways to hold this title, either people worked for you voluntarily or you assumed a wife from another village or town. The female husband would give the wife a male husband somewhere else and adopt the role of mother to her OR wives may stay with her and bear children in her name. The title was reflective of thriftiness, industriousness, money-making ability, and leadership qualitites in a woman. It is an involuntary title. This was the ultimate indication of wealth and power (the title system) and it was open to men and women. Woman would get a reading and then make an announcement of the title, first telling co-wives and then the community at large. Longest standing title holder, was the leader of all women.
  • Oyewumi discusses the idea of bodylessness that women are what they are because of their physical selves and men just are, without exception, concieved as greater than bodies, just minds that have opportunity to discuss ideas and thoughts and philosophies.There is an obsession with understanding with the body. What you see is what you get… as opposed to many African societies the focus was on listening and hearing…. Interdependence is refelected in African societies instead of subordination…World-sense vs. World-view (p. 14 of Invention of Women)The body is the bedrock on which the social order is founded in the west. The body is always in view and on view.
  • The male female principle in traditional africa

    1. 1. The Church in African American Life Monique Liston, MPA October 3, 2011 THE MALE/FEMALE PRINCIPLE IN TRADITIONAL AFRICA10/3/2011 Liston 1
    2. 2. Ground Rules for Intellectual Work: (Dr. Greg Kimathi Carr)10/3/2011 Liston 2
    3. 3. African Diaspora10/3/2011 Liston 3
    4. 4. Presentation OutlineGoalsQuestions to Think AboutConcepts & DefinitionsDispelling Myths of AntiquityPre-colonial Perceptions of Manhood/WomanhoodCritically Analyzing Male/Female PrinciplesThe Church in African-American Life10/3/2011 Liston 4
    5. 5. GoalsYou will…  have an understanding of male and female relationships in African antiquity.  have an understanding of pre-colonial African perceptions of the male/female principle in contrast with post- colonial African diasporic perceptions of the male/female principle  have a basis for critiquing modern* ideas and philosophies on the male/female principle  have a list of resources to find out more information on the male/female principle in the African diaspora10/3/2011 Liston 5
    6. 6. African Women in World History John Henrik Clarke (maa kherw) - Be present.10/3/2011 Liston 6
    7. 7. Guiding Questions• How does this relate to the church in African-American life? (BEFORE)• What is traditional Africa?• What is the male/female principle?• How was the male/female principle changed over time and space?• How does this relate to the church in African-American life? (AFTER)10/3/2011 Liston 7
    8. 8. Presentation OutlineGoalsQuestions to Think AboutCONCEPTS & DEFINITIONSDispelling Myths of AntiquityPre-colonial Perceptions of Manhood/WomanhoodCritically Analyzing Male/Female PrinciplesThe Church in African-American Life10/3/2011 Liston 8
    9. 9. Ontology & Epistemology Manifestations Ontology – What is Epistemology – What is of being? knowing? Understanding (Religion & Spirituality) • Concerned with the • Concerned with ideas • Ifa natural world about the natural world • Santeria • Defines the • How can we know and • Christianity fundamental concepts reason REALITY? • Islam of REALITY10/3/2011 Liston 9
    10. 10. Why does REALITY relate to our discussion? “Power is the ability to define reality and to convince other people that it is their definition.” - Dr. Wade Nobles10/3/2011 Liston 10
    11. 11. Power of Language Far more than princes, states and economies, it is language communities who are the real players in world history, persisting through the ages, Ways of clearly and consciously Knowing perceived by their speakers as symbols of identity, but nonetheless gradually changing, and perhaps splitting Power and or even merging as the Reality communities react to new realities. - Nicholas Ostler, Empires of the Word Language as a ToolLanguage is the means ofmemory, the medium ofhistory.10/3/2011 Liston 11
    12. 12. “Nommo”• the creative power of the word• word creates life• Masters of the Water• The Teachers10/3/2011 Liston 12
    13. 13. Africana Religion and Science Dr. Ray Hagins is the Chief Elder & Spiritual Leader of The Afrikan Village and Cultural Center in St. Louis, Missouri. He is also a clinician, therapist, musician, and a pilot.

Dr. Hagins has attended and completed studies in various academic institutions such as: Montclair State University, Northeastern Bible College, Lighthouse Christian College and Trinity Theological Seminary and holds a doctorate (C.C.D.) in counseling and a Ph.D. with an emphasis in Cognitive Psychology.10/3/2011 Liston 13
    14. 14. Presentation OutlineGoalsQuestions to Think AboutConcepts & DefinitionsDISPELLING MYTHS OF ANTIQUITYPre-colonial Perceptions of Manhood/WomanhoodCritically Analyzing Male/Female PrinciplesThe Church in African-American Life10/3/2011 Liston 14
    15. 15. "In Africa, the womans place was not only with her family; she often ruled nations with unquestionable authority. Many African women were great militarists, and on occasion led their armies in battle. The Africans had produced a civilization where men were secure enough to let women advance as far as theirJohn Henrik Clarke“African Warrior Queens” in talent, royal lineage andBlack Women in Antiquity prerogatives would takeEdited by Ivan Van Sertima them.”10/3/2011 Liston 15
    16. 16. Queen Hatshepsut • “the first great woman in history” • Hatshepsut means chieftain of noble women • Ruled as the “Living Horus” • Matrilineage key in supporting her authority10/3/2011 Liston 16
    17. 17. African Origins of LifeKemet: Ausar, Auset, & Yorubaland: Ifa and theHeru Orisa10/3/2011 Liston 17
    18. 18. Matriarchy & Kingship• Patriarchal Theory – Henry Maine, Ancient Law (1861) – Concluded that individualism and social contract were the highest form of civilization and superior to kingship based systems – Forms the basic patriarchy paradigm in European philosophical and political thought• Cheikh Anta Diop – The Cultural Unity of Black Africa (1989) – Traces patriarchy to the Kurgans (Indo- Europeans) – African structure was essentially matriarchal10/3/2011 Liston 18
    19. 19. Ancient Women’s Rights • Hypatia, the great scientist and martyr • Egypt v. Rome • Equal Pay for Equal Work • Legal Rights • Property Rights10/3/2011 Liston 19
    20. 20. Presentation OutlineGoalsQuestions to Think AboutConcepts & DefinitionsDispelling Myths Of AntiquityPRE-COLONIAL PERCEPTIONS OF MANHOOD/WOMANHOODCritically Analyzing Male/Female PrinciplesThe Church in African-American Life10/3/2011 Liston 20
    21. 21. Oyo-Yoruba* “Gender is a construction of two categories in hierarchal relationship to each other; and it is embedded in institutions. Gender is best understood as “an institution that establishes patterns of expectations for individuals [based on their body type], orders the social processes of everyday life, and is built into major social organizations of society, such as the economy, ideology, the family, and politics. (p. 39)”10/3/2011 Liston 21
    22. 22. Igbo (Nnobi) • Myths of Origin – IDI UCHU – ITE UBA • Production – Female crops: cocoyam and cassava – Women did not own land but the symbols of wealth were similar, including the taking of wives. • Male Daughters • Female Husbands (Ekwe title)10/3/2011 Liston 22
    23. 23. Presentation Outline Goals Questions to Think About Concepts & Definitions Dispelling Myths of Antiquity Pre-colonial Perceptions of Manhood/Womanhood CRITICALLY ANALYZING MALE/FEMALE PRINCIPLES The Church in African-American Life10/3/2011 Liston 23
    24. 24. Critically Analyzing Male/Female Principles “Mainstream Western characterizations of the social world tend to be unilinear and universalistic in ways that arrest critical theorizing about the rest of the world…” – Oyeronke Oyewumi10/3/2011 Liston 24
    25. 25. Critically Analyzing Male/Female Principles: Colonialism and Beyond*• Sex v. Gender – What‟s the difference?• Universals v. Particulars – Is this true for everyone or just a sample of the population?• Language (again!) – What power does language bring to the situation?• Epistemology (again!) – How can we know and reason reality?• Religion & Spirituality (again!)10/3/2011 Liston 25
    26. 26. Presentation OutlineGoalsQuestions to Think AboutConcepts & DefinitionsDispelling Myths of AntiquityPre-colonial Perceptions of Manhood/WomanhoodCritically Analyzing Male/Female PrinciplesTHE CHURCH IN AFRICAN-AMERICAN LIFE10/3/2011 Liston 26
    27. 27. The Church in African American Life• How does this relate to TODAY?• How does this relate to the church in African-American life?10/3/2011 Liston 27
    28. 28. Review What was the male/female principle like in antiquity? What is the difference between the male/female principle in pre-colonial African societies and post-colonial African societies? How and why should we be critiquing „modern‟ ideas of gender?10/3/2011 Liston 28
    29. 29. AssignmentPass in a maximum two-page analysis of thepresenter‟s thesis as it relates to Africanspiritual systems and their impact onAfricans in the Diaspora. Due next class.10/3/2011 Liston 29
    30. 30. ResourcesThiong‟o, N. w. (2009). Something Torn And New An AfricanRenaissance.. New York: Basic Civitas BooksAmadiume, I. (1987). Male daughters, female husbands: gender andsex in an African society. London: Zed Books.Diop, C. A. (1978). The cultural unity of Black Africa: the domains ofpatriarchy and of matriarchy in classical antiquity. LA: Third WorldPress.Oye , O. (1997). The invention of women: making an African senseof Western gender discourses. Minneapolis: University of MinnesotaPress.Oye , O. (2005). African gender studies: a reader. New York:Palgrave.Sertima, I. (1984). Black women in antiquity. New Brunswick:Transaction Books.10/3/2011 Liston 30

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