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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Transforming the Gospel of Domesticity: Luhya Girls and the Friends Africa Mission, 1917-1926
Author:Thomas, Samuel S.
Year:2000
Periodical:African Studies Review
Volume:43
Issue:2
Period:September
Pages:1-27
Language:English
Geographic term:Kenya
Subjects:missions
Luyia
schooling
girls
History and Exploration
Religion and Witchcraft
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Women's Issues
colonialism
Cultural Roles
Historical/Biographical
Sex Roles
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/524982
Abstract:Efforts to transform the lives of colonized women and girls were integral to Christian missionary efforts throughout the world. This study of the attempts by the Friends Africa Mission (a Quaker mission), in what is now Western Province, Kenya, to remake African womanhood indicates the limited success missionaries had in this effort. The purpose of the Friends' Girls' Boarding School (GBS) was to teach girls to be 'better wives and mothers'. This goal, however, was subverted by both the missonaries and the schoolgirls. While the curriculum was designed to teach the girls to submit to male authority, the female missionary in charge of the school refused to do so herself. Furthermore, the schoolgirls manipulated missionaries and mission institutions to delay marriage and to control their choice of partner. Graduates also used the skills learned at the GBS to cross gender and class boundaries, and contributed to the restructuring of Luhya society. While missionaries undoubtedly caused many dramatic changes in the lives of Luhya women and girls and in Luhya culture, they were manifestly unsuccessful in controlling the nature of these changes. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French.
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