The oral histories and folk stories of the Hausa women are examined to challenge the written documentation of the Sokoto Caliphate during the colonization of Western Africa.
Through reconstruction of oral testimony, folk stories and poetry, the true history of Hausa women and their reception of Islam's vision of Muslim in Western Africa have been uncovered. Mary Wren Bivins is the first author to locate and examine the oral texts of the 19th century Hausa women and challenge the written documentation of the Sokoto Caliphate. The personal narratives and folk stories reveal the importance of illiterate, non-elite women to the history of jihad and the assimilation of normative Islam in rural Hausaland. The captivating lives of the Hausa are captured, shedding light on their ordinary existence as wives, mothers, and providers for their family on the eve of European colonial conquest.
Features From European observations to stories of marriage, each entry provides a personal account of the Hausa women's encounters with Islamic reform to the center of an emerging Muslim Hausa identity.
Each entry focuses on: Female historiography The importance of oral history New methodoligical approaches to the oral culture of popular Islam The raw voice of Hausa women.
The comprehensive history is easy to read and touches on an era that no other scholar has dissected.
Reviews "This book fills in crucial gaps in the historiography and historical knowledge of the Sokoto caliphate. Bivin's book makes an important contribution to research in the social history of precolonial Africa, Islamic expansion and the Sokoto caliphate, and African women's history."—International Journal of African Historical Studies