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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Domesticity: The Basis for Missionary Education of Batswana Women to the End of the 19th Century
Author:Mafela, LilyISNI
Periodical:Botswana Notes and Records (ISSN 0525-5090)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Botswana
Southern Africa
adult education
Christian education
women's education
Education and Oral Traditions
Religion and Witchcraft
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Women's Issues
History and Exploration
Cultural Roles
Education and Training
Sex Roles
Education of women
Domestic education
External links:https://www.jstor.org/stable/40959184
Abstract:This paper examines missionary education of Tswana women in Botswana during the 19th century. The informal training of Tswana women in housework came to constitute a crucial part of the role of both missionaries' wives and female missionaries' in the main mission stations and their outstations. It aimed at moulding Tswana women into home-makers in general, and 'good Christian wives and mothers' in particular. In its practical application, this aim entailed equipping Tswana women with the skills needed for running and maintaining moral Christian households. The women were particularly taught the proper use of European housewares, the preparation of European-style foods, the sewing of European clothing, and general European housekeeping procedures. Sewing, knitting and cookery were generally propounded as the main components of women's education, in both formal and informal settings. In this way, formal and informal forms of education worked in a complementary manner to institutionalize the notion of 'Western' domesticity amongst the Tswana. Ironically, although missionary views were otherwise firmly set against the 'oppression' of Tswana women, the missionary notion of women's work tended to be even more domesticating than that of the Tswana in precolonial times. Ref., sum.