L’influence De La Modernite Sur La Pratique De Veuvage Dans Les Societes Akan : Le Cas Des Femmes De Kentinkrono, Kumasi

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Issues of feminism happen to engage the attention of the public in our contemporary societies. Some writers such as Sembene Ousmane, Oyono Mbia, Seydou Badian, Calyxthe Beyala, Ama Atta Aidoo, Buchi Emecheta, Mariama Bâ, and the like, highlight the issue of gender inequalities in the form of polygamy, dowry, decision making in traditional homes, choice of spouse, female circumcision, widowhood rites etc. This study was undertaken to find out the extent at which modernity has taken a toll on widowhood practices based on the Akan culture and tradition today. A particular reference has thus, been made to the widows of Kentinkrono, a village situated just on the outskirts of Kumasi which exposes it to urban and foreign influences. In this study, an investigation has been conducted into how, among the Akans, the practice was observed in the olden days in relation to how it is observed today and it has been discovered that the practice has undergone a considerable modification in the area of confinement, ritual cleansing, burial and funeral celebrations, food for the widow, shaving, identification of the widow, abuse of the practice, remarriage, resistance and superstition, and right to inheritance. The study has established that the modification in the practice as it stands today in the community under investigation is due to the phenomenon of modernity in the form of education and religion. The study concludes with its recommendations regarding the practice so as to improve upon the condition of widows in the community under research.
A Thesis Submitted to the Department of Modern Languages in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Award of the Degree in Master of Philosophy in French, August-2012