Aissata G. Sidikou and Thomas A. Hale reveal the world of women's songs and singing in West Africa. This anthology—collected from 17 ethnic traditions across West Africa—introduces the power and beauty of the intimate expressions of African women. The songs, many translated here for the first time, reflect all stages of the life cycle and all walks of life. They entertain, give comfort and encouragement, and empower other women to face the challenges imposed on them by their families, men, and society. Women's Voices from West Africa opens a new window on women's changing roles in contemporary Africa.
Introduction: The Powerful Voices of Women in Song
3. Women in Society
Appendix: Original Transcriptions of Selected Songs
"Women's Voices from West Africa is a must for libraries, scholars, professors, and researchers. It is an interdisciplinary resource for all who are interested in authentic voices from Africa recorded in indigenous languages. It is also a valuable resource for the enrichment of general readers."~African Studies Review
"There is a very limited source literature of this kind in French and local African languages, but nothing comparable in English. . . . It will open doors."~Heather Maxwell, University of Virginia
"A valuable contribution to the corpus of literature on African women's verbal art."~Fiona Mc Laughlin, University of Florida