Iron, Gender, and Power

Rituals of Transformation in African Societies

by Eugenia W. Herbert

Published by: Indiana University Press

278 Pages, 6.12 x 9.25 in, 38 b&w photos

  • Paperback
  • 9780253208330
  • Published: January 1994


  • eBook
  • 9780253115966
  • Published: January 1994


"[Herbert] has constructed a model of power relationships structured upon gender and age, and derived from male transformative processes, and in so doing has written a notable, and most enjoyable, book." —African History

"Herbert examines with great care and thoroughness the relationships between gender and power and the rationales that give them social form. . . . [Her] analytical ability is outstanding." —Patrick McNaughton

"This book is a well-written and essential study of the place of belief in African material culture." —International Journal of African Historical Studies

Herbert relates the beliefs and practices associated with iron working in African cultures to other transformative activities—chiefly investiture, hunting, and pottery making—to propose a gender/age-based theory of power.