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The Yoruba Iyalode

Fehintola Aina Mosadomi


This two-part essay examines the high-ranking roles of two Yoruba female chiefs who influenced cultural, economic, religious, and political institutions of royalty and chieftaincy emphasizing limited power within Yoruba socio-economic structures. Yoruba social institutions represent gendered and complementary realms of power (authority) and governance (traditional political structure). In the 1800s, Efset Anand Madame Tinb the two exemplary principals of this essay, rose through the ranks of Yoruba society and political economy to become the e, the female representatives to the all-male Council of Chiefs. In their time, these two women epitomized the most notable, successful, industrious, and wealthy Yoruba in a colonial economic regime. Both defied Yoruba and colonial patriarchies. Efset An challenged her male counterparts, her fellow chiefs, but she lost her life and the power she garnered. Madame Tinb on the other hand, triumphed in her position of authority, even though she defied the chiefs and colonial masters.


Power; women; patriarchy; 19th century;warlords, barrenness

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JENdA: A Journal of Culture and African Women Studies. ISSN: 1530-5686 (online).
Editors: Nkiru Nzegwu; Book Editor: Mary Dillard.

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