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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Negotiating 'plainness' and gender: dancing and apparel at Christian weddings in Matabeleland, Zimbabwe, 1913-1944
Author:Urban-Mead, Wendy
Periodical:Journal of Religion in Africa
Geographic term:Zimbabwe
Subjects:marriage rites
Ndebele (Zimbabwe)
gender roles
Baptist Church
External link:https://doi.org/10.1163/157006608X289684
Abstract:This article analyses the phenomena of dancing and wedding apparel in weddings of rural members of an unusual Protestant denomination of Anabaptist origins in Matabeleland, colonial Zimbabwe. The focus is on gendered aspects of African Christian adaptation of mission teaching amongst Ndebele members of the Brethren in Christ Church. The church in North America was firm at home on the matter of dancing (it was forbidden), and internally conflicted regarding men's garb. In the decades preceding World War II, African members of the church embraced fashionable dress for grooms and dancing at wedding feasts as common practice at BICC weddings. However, in a gendered pattern reflecting Ndebele, colonial and mission ideas of women's subjection, African women's bridal wear adhered to church teaching on Plainness, while African men's did not. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]