Veiling in Africa
Publication Year: 2013
The tradition of the veil, which refers to various cloth coverings of the head, face, and body, has been little studied in Africa, where Islam has been present for more than a thousand years. These lively essays raise questions about what is distinctive about veiling in Africa, what religious histories or practices are reflected in particular uses of the veil, and how styles of veils have changed in response to contemporary events. Together, they explore the diversity of meanings and experiences with the veil, revealing it as both an object of Muslim piety and an expression of glamorous fashion.
Published by: Indiana University Press
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This volume grew out of a panel on veiling in Africa at the African Studies Association annual meeting in San Francisco in November 2010. The enthusiasm of the panelists and the interest of the audience encouraged me to invite others to contribute to an edited volume on this topic—which has been under-examined, at least, in the African context. I would like to ...
Introduction: Veiling/Counter-Veiling in Sub-Saharan Africa
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The little white gauze veil clung to the oval of a face full of contours. Samba Diallo had been fascinated by this countenance the first time he had beheld it: it was like a living page from the history of the Diallobé country. All the features were in long lines, on the axis of a slightly aquiline nose. The mouth was large and strong, without ...
Part 1 Veiling Histories and Modernities
One: Veiling, Fashion, and Social Mobility: A Century of Change in Zanzibar
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...“tHe Veil” HAs never been a static thing, nor have its use and meaning been firm. In this chapter, I explore changes in veiling habits in Zanzibar over the course of more than a century, illustrating both how and why the veil has changed over time. Though “the veil” is often condemned in the West as a sign of women’s subordination, here I illustrate that in Zanzibar ...
Two: Veiling without Veils: Modesty and Reserve in Tuareg Cultural Encounters
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...in tHis cHAPter, I analyze the power and vulnerability of a gendered cultural value that not only involves the literal wearing of veils, but also incorporates a more general respect, shame, and modesty, called takara-kit in Tamajaq, the local Berber (Amazigh) language of the Tuareg resid-ing in oases and towns of Niger, Mali, Algeria, Libya, and Burkina Faso. ...
Three: Intertwined Veiling Histories in Nigeria
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...“God instructs us to wear hijab, is it not the Prophet who said we Veiling in nigeriA—a practice which consists of wearing a cloth which may cover the head, body, and at times, the face, feet, and hands—reflects a complex set of social relationships that have religious, political, and historical dimensions. In Nigeria, Muslim women with different eth-...
Part 2 Veiling and fashion
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Plate 1. Market in Zanzibar, with women wearing abaya and Ninja veiling style Plate 2. Tuareg woman, wearing headscarf and shawl, collecting leaves Plate 3. Ekiti Yoruba ẹlẹẹha, Ikọle-Ekiti. Two passages from the Qurʼān are written on the wall behind her, Sura 112:1–4 and Sura 48:1–3. February 2003, Ikọle-Ekiti Plate 4. Coumba Tall in a fashionable tenue traditionnelle tunic with pagne and ...
Four: Religious Modesty, Fashionable Glamour, and Cultural Text: Veiling in Senegal
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...by its MetAMorPHosis from austere religious symbol into fashion-able adornment, the veil in Senegal illustrates the power of fashion to transform social polarization into dialogical process. This process began in the 1990s, when Islamic sects from Iran and Saudi Arabia, quite foreign to the Sufi brotherhoods that compose most of Senegalese Islam, gained ...
Five: Modest Bodies, Stylish Selves: Fashioning Virtue in Niger
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You must cover your body because it is God’s command. God will send angels to light up the graves of women who cover their heads with veils.According to a hadīth, the woman who does not veil will never smell the smell of paradise. [ . . . ] Every time she comes out of her home in tHe eArly 1990s a wave of religious fervor swept through Niger, pro-...
Six: "Should a Good Muslim Cover Her Face? ”Pilgrimage, Veiling, and Fundamentalisms in Cameroon
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THE ISSUE OF veiling in sub-Saharan Africa has received little attention. Perhaps that is because most women as well as men, Christians as well as Muslims, have used various types of head coverings as indicative of social distinctions as well as protection against the sun. However, in recent decades in Cameroon and elsewhere in Africa, veiling as a form of ...
Part 3 Veiling/Counter-Veiling
Seven: Invoking Hijab: The Power Politics of Spaces and Employment in Nigeria
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...tHe fAct tHAt changes in dress styles are taking place in Nigeria reflects perhaps the normal processes of change which occur in all societies. Yet these transformations, at both the macro-national and micro levels, dif-fer as each reflects a unique experience. In Nigeria, women’s dress has increasingly become an object of contention at the macro level, more so ...
Eight: "We Grew Up Free but Here We Have to Cover Our Faces”: Veiling among Oromo Refugees in Eastleigh, Kenya
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THE ADOPTION OF the veil among Oromo refugees living in Eastleigh, Kenya, one the largest urban refugee communities in Africa, is a recent phenomenon. Women feel increasing pressure to cover their heads and bodies in accordance with the practices of their Somali neighbors and fellow refugees. More and more, as instability and violence escalate, Oromo ...
Nine: Vulnerability Unveiled: Lubna’s Pants and Humanitarian Visibility on the Verge of Sudan’s Secession
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Journalist Lubna Ahmed Al-Hussein traveled to France to sign a book based on her story on the 23rd of November, 2009. Internet sales of her book . . . reached half a million copies, each selling for 18 Euros, 6% of which will go to Lubna. Lubna told reporters that the book will be in July 2009, the transnational media circulated news about yet another ...
List of Contributors
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Page Count: 248
Illustrations: 8 color illus., 31 b&w illus.
Publication Year: 2013
Series Title: African Expressive Cultures