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Oduduwa's ChainLocations of Culture in the Yoruba-Atlantic$
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Andrew Apter

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226506388

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226506555.001.0001

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The Blood of Mothers

The Blood of Mothers

Chapter:
(p.97) Four The Blood of Mothers
Source:
Oduduwa's Chain
Author(s):

Andrew Apter

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226506555.003.0005

This chapter explores historic locations of Yoruba gender ideologies, and their characteristic idioms of fertility and witchcraft, within a range of social practices and economic institutions throughout the Black Atlantic world. These include ideas about childbirth, lactation, infanticide and sexuality associated with women's economic activities in the marketplace and home. Relating the blood of mothers—the irreducible “secret” of human reproduction—to the circulation of money and commodities in the body social, reveals emergent vectors of black female agency in a broad range of plantation societies in the Americas.

Keywords:   Yoruba gender, female blood, witchcraft and fertility, infanticide, lactation, plantation societies

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