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Iron, Gender, and Power : Rituals of Transformation in African Societies - Eugenia W. Herbert

Iron, Gender, and Power

Rituals of Transformation in African Societies

Paperback Published: 22nd January 1994
ISBN: 9780253208330
Number Of Pages: 296

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" Herbert] has constructed a model of power relationships structured upon gender and age, and derived from male transformative processes, and in so doing has written a notable, and most enjoyable, book." -- African History

"Herbert examines with great care and thoroughness the relationships between gender and power and the rationales that give them social form.... Her] analytical ability is outstanding." -- Patrick McNaughton

"This book is a well-written and essential study of the place of belief in African material culture." -- International Journal of African Historical Studies

Herbert relates the beliefs and practices associated with iron working in African cultures to other transformative activities -- chiefly investiture, hunting, and pottery making -- to propose a gender/age-based theory of power.

Introduction: Techniques and Cosmologyp. 1
Those Who Play with Fire: African Metallurgy as Epic Drama
The Actors and the Artifactsp. 25
Rituals of Transformation and Procreationp. 55
Rituals of Transformation: Exclusions and Taboosp. 78
The Smith and the Forgep. 97
Ironmaking and Beliefp. 115
Symmetrics and Asymmetries: Power and Fertility
Le Roi-Forgeronp. 131
Of Forests and Furnaces, Anvils and Antelopesp. 164
Potters and Potsp. 200
Conclusion: Anthropomorphism and the Genderization of Powerp. 219
Appendix: Reconstructions of Iron Smelting in Africap. 239
Bibliographyp. 241
Indexp. 271
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780253208330
ISBN-10: 0253208335
Series: African Systems of Thought
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 296
Published: 22nd January 1994
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.24  x 1.27
Weight (kg): 0.43