The Female King of Colonial Nigeria

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2011-02-21
  • Publisher: Indiana Univ Pr

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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.

Author Biography

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

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
The Preparation: All Trees Grow in the Forest, but the Ora Singled Itself Outp. 1
The Introduction: Unspoken, Blame the Mouth; Unheard, Blame the Earp. 19
The Time of Childhood, ca. 1880-1895p. 37
Exile in Igalaland, ca. 1895-1916p. 62
Performing Masculinities: Homecoming-and She Becomes a Man, ca. 1916-1930p. 97
Inside King Ahebi's Palace, ca. 1916-1948p. 136
Mastering Masculinities: Ekpe Ahebi Masquerade-the Final Insult, ca. 1931-1948p. 172
The Conclusion: Ahebi Today-the Works That We Do Are the Things by Which We Are Rememberedp. 199
Appendix: Select Criminal and Civil Cases in Nsukka Division, in which Ahebi Participated 1918-1930p. 209
Glossary of Chronological Termsp. 219
Glossary of Igbo and Igala Wordsp. 221
Notesp. 225
Bibliographyp. 277
Indexp. 297
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