Ma Mishi Interview Report

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The article that we read for this week is on an interview done in 1983 by Sarah Mirza. The interview focuses on a women leader named Ma Mishi in the 1970s. She was born and raised in a mission statement in Feretown. She was raised as a Christian but later converted to a Muslim and grew up to be a leader in one of the groups of ‘makungwi’. This group included women who conduct life cycle rituals that are found in east Africa. Women were the practitioners and these roles were important and gave them power as leaders. Ma Mishi was a somo who replaced her mother’s responsibilities after her death. Somo’s initiated young girls into women when they reached puberty. Ma Mishi was raised by an Arab woman. In the reading it says that Arab girls were less mannered so they were brought to the ‘makungwi’ dances to learn some manners. Freeborn Swahili people took their girls to a “somo” so that they can be taught about menstruation and sexuality. To Ma Mishi rituals represented a source of pride and the instilling of proper values. The “makungwi’ group followed two important life cycle rituals; they included puberty rituals and wedding dances. Some aspects of the…show more content…
This book focused on masculinity and the roles of men throughout life. Miescher says masculinity is not just being male but it includes your responsibilities and roles. Colonialism impacted masculinity because now men had new options, but sometimes certain things were still mandated, such as school. In the book boys it was mandatory for boys to go to school unless they were already studying a certain skill. A quote from the book says “The status of elder hood is the desired goal of all”. To me the quote is saying that the men’s level of achievement by elder hood is measured by the success that they had during their lifetime. For men and women working outside of Kwawu and later returning home was a crucial transition in their
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