Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Constanze Weise

Committee Members

Henry Antkiewicz, John Rankin


This thesis discusses how the gender dynamics and religious festivals of the Yoruba people in Isaga Orile were not affected by colonialism. The study draws on various accounts, particularly from the Church Missionary Society’s journals, to attest to colonialism's restructuring of male political hegemony. Focusing on two major festivals, Gelede and Oro, the study argues that men's inclusion in Gelede reinforces female supremacy, while the Oro society shows men's hegemony and restrains women from its activities. The study found that gender dominants in these festivals played complementary roles by mirroring female and male roles within the Isaga Orile political system. The study concludes that these festivals strengthened political and gender dynamics in pre-colonial times and continued to do so during the British colonial regime, providing opportunities for women and men to assert their dominance and complement each other's roles in society, despite the restructuring of male political hegemony by colonialism.

Document Type

Thesis - embargo


Copyright by the authors.

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