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HISTORY OF PRE COLONIAL AFRICA
Homework Assignment for Module 3: In a long paragraph or two, summarize the sexual division of labor in various pre-colonial African societies as outlined by Henn. You may consider questions like: What are the basic features of this division? How does it vary? Explain the importance of patriarchy in organizing social and economic production in Africa. What kinds of power do patriarchs have? What is the basis of their power? How does patriarchy impact the personal lives of men and women? Describe the structures of political organization in pre-colonial Africa. What was the basis or fundamental unit on which larger structures were built? How were decisions made? By whom? How did political structures vary between different societies organized around different economies?
In another full paragraph, address the following questions: In the Tale of the Old Woman, How well is the woman doing on her own? How does she get children? Who makes the rules she has to follow? What specific jobs and chores did the girls have? What happens when she fails so follow the rules? What is the overall lesson or message in the tale?
In the next two thorough paragraphs explain how the folktale “Tale on an Old Woman” illustrates and reinforces the sexual division of labor and patriarchal authority described by Jeanne Henn in her scholarly analysis of women in African history. Your response needs to discuss the Henn and Old Woman readings equally; please do not simply summarize the folk tale. Using Henn as a resource, define and explain the terms ‘sexual division of labor’ and ‘patriarchal authority’ and then analyze how the folktale illustrates these terms. Are there any ways that you can see these patterns reflected in the movie clip from Maasai Women? What about the BBC episode Nubia? Does the Strayer and Nelson chapter for this module speak to these questions at all? The task for this assignment is to connect an analytical, scholarly text that describes big patterns in gender relations with a primary source, which can be seen as an instructive folk tale about parenting.
Extra Credit: What do you think about the scene of Gus wrestling?
Extra Credit: What are some of the ways the Maasai Women movie clip reinforce or challenge some of the claims in the BBC Nubia episode? ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mpz8h_MFkWg)