Sample Term Paper
While looking at the indigenous languages of pre-colonialAfrica, linguists and sociologists have often commented on the remarkable absence of gender-specific pronouns as well as the commonality of first names shared by both the male and female population in these languages.While it would be wrong to say that pre-colonialAfricahad entirely disassociated gender from its sociopolitical discourse, it is true that it had succeeded in reducing the emphasis placed on it as a sole criterion for upward social mobility. Most of these societies instead placed greater premium on factors, such as a person’s seniority in terms of age, wealth and their social position in the community. (Cornwall, 2005)
Various works have thus continuously pointed out the predominantly matriarchal leanings of most pre-colonial African societies, and the almost exalted status that so many women had enjoyed throughout the pre-colonial history of the African continent. Furthermore, women were accorded importance in the religious practices developed in the various regions of the continent. Women could also rise to the position of spiritual leadership of their respective communities, albeit this avenue was not open to all but only a select group of African women As soothsayers, oracles, seers, exorcists, and spirit mediums, these women could command a considerable social position in the traditional settings of their respective societies. (Finch, 1991)
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