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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Doglientiri: An Institutionalized Relationship between Women among the Bulsa of Northern Ghana
Author:Meier, Barbara
Periodical:Africa: Journal of the International African Institute
Geographic term:Ghana
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Women's Issues
Cultural Roles
Family Life
Marital Relations and Nuptiality
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/1161078
Abstract:This article focuses on an institutionalized relationship between women among the patrilineal Bulsa of northern Ghana. This relationship is known as 'doglientiri' or 'doglieni', a term which is composed of the words 'dok' (room) and 'lie' (daughter). The partners in this relationship are a girl ('doglie', pl. 'doglieba') and a 'female father', a married woman of the same lineage. The alliance implies that the older woman incorporates her clan sister into her household and later marries her off to a man of her choice, preferably her own husband or one of his (classificatory) brothers. This specific form of sororal polygyny is firmly based on rituals and the structure of kinship relations among the Bulsa. Women bear the ritual responsibility for their brothers' offspring and therefore acquire the right to adopt their daughters. The article is based on field research carried out in 1988-1989 and 1990-1991. The author returned to Accra in 1994-1995 and 1997-1998 to examine the impact of large-scale migration on Bulsa culture in general and the 'doglientiri' system in particular. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French.