Cover image for Boy-wives and female husbands : studies of African homosexualities
Boy-wives and female husbands : studies of African homosexualities
Murray, Stephen O.
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, 1998.
Physical Description:
xxii, 358 pages : maps ; 22 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HQ76.3.A6 B69 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Historians, anthropologists, and many contemporary Africans alike have denied or overlooked African same-sex patterns or claimed that such patterns were introduced by Europeans. Among African Americans questions surrounding sexuality and gender in traditional African societies have become especially contentious. In fact, same-sex love was and is widespread in Africa. Boy-Wives and Female Husbands documents same-sex patterns in some fifty societies, in every region of the continent. Essays by scholars from a variety of disciplines explore institutionalized marriages between women, same-sex relations between men and boys in colonial work settings, mixed gender roles in East and West Africa, and recent developments in South Africa, where lesbians and gays successfully made that nation the first in the world to constitutionally ban discrimination based on sexual orientation. An invaluable resource for everyone interested in the continent's history and culture, Boy-Wives and Female Husbands reveals the denials of African homosexualities for what they are -- prejudice and willful ignorance.

Table of Contents

Stephen O. MurrayM. HaberlandtDeborah P. AmoryMichael DavidsonRudolf P. GaudioNii AjenGunther TessmannGiovanni Antonio CavazziKurt FalkKurt FalkMarc EpprechtKendallStephen O. MurrayJoseph M. Carrier and Stephen O. MurrayStephen O. Murray
Preface: "All Very Confusing"p. xi
Africa and African Homosexualities: An Introductionp. 1
I. Horn of Africa, Sudan, and East Africa
Overviewp. 21
"A Feeling within Me": Kamau, a Twenty-Five-Year-Old Kikuyup. 41
Occurrences of Contrary-Sex among the Negro Population of Zanzibar (1899)p. 63
Mashoga, Mabasha, and Magai: "Homosexuality" on the East African Coastp. 67
II. West Africa
Overviewp. 91
A 1958 Visit to a Dakar Boy Brothelp. 111
Male Lesbians and Other Queer Notions in Hausap. 115
West African Homoeroticism: West African Men Who Have Sex with Menp. 129
III. Central Africa
Overviewp. 141
Homosexuality among the Negroes of Cameroon and a Pangwe Tale (1921, 1911)p. 149
Ganga-Ya-Chibanda (1687)p. 163
Same-Sex Life among a Few Negro Tribes of Angola (1923)p. 167
IV. Southern Africa
Overviewp. 173
Homosexuality among the Natives of Southwest Africa (1925-26)p. 187
"Good God Almighty, What's This!": Homosexual "Crime" in Early Colonial Zimbabwep. 197
"When a Woman Loves a Woman" in Lesotho: Love, Sex, and the (Western) Construction of Homophobiap. 223
Sexual Politics in Contemporary Southern Africap. 243
V. Conclusions
Woman-Woman Marriage in Africap. 255
Diversity and Identity: The Challenge of African Homosexualitiesp. 267
Appendix I African Groups with Same-Sex Patternsp. 279
Appendix II Organizations of Homosexuality and Other Social Structures in Sub-Saharan Africap. 283
Notesp. 299
Bibliographyp. 325
Indexp. 353