Valenge Women: Social and Economic Life of the Valenge Women of Portuguese East Africa, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Valenge Women

Social and Economic Life of the Valenge Women of Portuguese East Africa, 1st Edition

By E. Dora Earthy


302 pages

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pub: 2020-05-01
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When first published in 1933, this monograph shed new light on the life of the Valenge women of Portuguese East Africa. It discusses their social organisations, family relationships, education, tribal customs, and contains detailed information concerning initiation rites, religion, magic and sorcery. The volume collects a large number of native texts, rituals and formulae, thereby converting oral tradition into material of great value not only to students of Africcan ethnography but also to anthropologists more widely.


The International African Institute might well authorize the publication of a book planned and executed in so scientific a spirit.' Times Literary Supplement

Table of Contents

1. Origin and History

2. Social Organization and Kinship System

3. Valenge Women: Their Homesteads

4. The Agricultural Year 5. Material Culture 6. Birth Rites 7. Early Education 8. Games 9. String Figures 10. Tatuing, Scarification and Tribal Marks

11. Puberty, Initiation

12. Marriage, Relation Between the Sexes

13. Death

14. Dances

15. Religion, Magic and Sorcery

16. Folklore and Proverbs.


Appendix: The Sibs of Gazaland

About the Series

African Ethnographic Studies of the 20th Century

Routledge is delighted to be re-issuing 79 volumes originally published between 1931 and 1988 in association with the International African Institute. Unavailable outside a few key libraries, many of these republished volumes were at the cutting edge of a fieldwork and ethnographic revolution in African anthropology in the decades after 1930. It involved the production of a wide body of fieldwork-based ethnographic documentation about the cultures of the different societies in Africa. Secondly, it saw a methodological turn to intense, localized investigations of cultural tradition and social change in a rapidly modernizing context. These investigations involved a more sustained and systematic, more professional and ‘scientific’ form of immersion and participant observation, than anything that had gone before. The sites of engagement were urban as well as rural; the pioneering researchers were female as well as male. No longer was the journal essay the repository of the latest research in the discipline, but rich ethnographies running into hundreds of pages.

The volumes are supplemented with maps, which will be available to view on or available as pdfs from the publishers.


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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies