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The Igbo Intellectual TraditionNwanyibuife Flora Nwapa, Igbo Culture and Women’s Studies

The Igbo Intellectual Tradition: Nwanyibuife Flora Nwapa, Igbo Culture and Women’s Studies [This chapter evaluates the principal themes in Nwanyibuife1 Flora Nwapa’s literary production and historical lessons that could be drawn from her writings.2 While acknowledging the intellectual contributions of Nwapa to the development of scholarly focus on Igbo culture and women’s studies, the chapter also reconciles the contradictions in her fictional representations of women vis-à-vis their actual historical experiences and their place within Oguta’s and Igbo worldviews. For instance, how do we reconcile the primacy of motherhood in Oguta and Igbo society with Nwapa’s elevation of economic power as the ultimate source of fulfillment for women, especially childless ones? The Igbo condemned adultery, which could attract sever punishments such as death and enslavement, yet in Nwapa’s fictional world, it was condoned as long as it resulted in motherhood. She represents Uhamiri, the Goddess of Oguta Lake, as a deity that denies her worshippers the gift of procreation. Yet in reality, the goddess has been credited with the gift of fertility and human reproduction among other functions she performed.] http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png

The Igbo Intellectual TraditionNwanyibuife Flora Nwapa, Igbo Culture and Women’s Studies

Editors: Chuku, Gloria

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References (10)

Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan US
Copyright
© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Nature America Inc. 2013
ISBN
978-1-349-45691-8
Pages
267 –293
DOI
10.1057/9781137311290_11
Publisher site
See Chapter on Publisher Site

Abstract

[This chapter evaluates the principal themes in Nwanyibuife1 Flora Nwapa’s literary production and historical lessons that could be drawn from her writings.2 While acknowledging the intellectual contributions of Nwapa to the development of scholarly focus on Igbo culture and women’s studies, the chapter also reconciles the contradictions in her fictional representations of women vis-à-vis their actual historical experiences and their place within Oguta’s and Igbo worldviews. For instance, how do we reconcile the primacy of motherhood in Oguta and Igbo society with Nwapa’s elevation of economic power as the ultimate source of fulfillment for women, especially childless ones? The Igbo condemned adultery, which could attract sever punishments such as death and enslavement, yet in Nwapa’s fictional world, it was condoned as long as it resulted in motherhood. She represents Uhamiri, the Goddess of Oguta Lake, as a deity that denies her worshippers the gift of procreation. Yet in reality, the goddess has been credited with the gift of fertility and human reproduction among other functions she performed.]

Published: Nov 3, 2015

Keywords: African Woman; African Society; Female Circumcision; Nigerian Woman; Petty Trader

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