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Nwando Achebe presents the fascinating history of an Igbo woman, Ahebi Ugbabe, who became king in colonial Nigeria. Ugbabe was exiled from Igboland, became a prostitute, travelled widely, and learned to speak many languages. She became a close companion of Nigerian Igala kings and the British officers who supported her claim to the office of headman, warrant chief, and later, king. In this unique biography, Achebe traces the roots of Ugbabe's rise to fame and fortune. While providing critical perspectives on women, gender, sex and sexuality, and the colonial encounter, she also considers how it was possible for this woman to take on the office and responsibilities of a traditionally male role.
Nwando Achebe is Professor of History at Michigan State University. She is author of Farmers, Traders, Warriors, and Kings: Female Power and Authority in Northern Igboland, 1900-1960.
Table of Contents
|The Preparation: All Trees Grow in the Forest, but the Ora Singled Itself Out||p. 1|
|The Introduction: Unspoken, Blame the Mouth; Unheard, Blame the Ear||p. 19|
|The Time of Childhood, ca. 1880-1895||p. 37|
|Exile in Igalaland, ca. 1895-1916||p. 62|
|Performing Masculinities: Homecoming-and She Becomes a Man, ca. 1916-1930||p. 97|
|Inside King Ahebi's Palace, ca. 1916-1948||p. 136|
|Mastering Masculinities: Ekpe Ahebi Masquerade-the Final Insult, ca. 1931-1948||p. 172|
|The Conclusion: Ahebi Today-the Works That We Do Are the Things by Which We Are Remembered||p. 199|
|Appendix: Select Criminal and Civil Cases in Nsukka Division, in which Ahebi Participated 1918-1930||p. 209|
|Glossary of Chronological Terms||p. 219|
|Glossary of Igbo and Igala Words||p. 221|
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