A dedicated hub of information promoting awareness of Africa's female leadership traditions including Rain Queen Mothers, Queen Mothers, Queens, Priestesses, Shaman Healers, Warriors and their associated roles, customs and history.
The Rain Queen and the Lobedu: A North Sotho Tribe

The Rain Queen and the Lobedu: A North Sotho Tribe

The Balobedu (Ba Lobedu - Ba gaModjadji) are a Bantu tribe of the Northern Sotho group, with strong affinities to the Venda, or Vhavhenda, to the north. They have their own kingdom, in the district of Balobedu - Limpopo Province - South Africa. The Lobedu Kingdom comprises over 150 villages....
Modjadji V, Rain Queen

Modjadji V, Rain Queen

TweetSouth Africa: Queen Modjadji V has thirty-three wives. She is not allowed to marry men, but must choose her “wives” among the eldest daughters of the Lovedu people, while her dynasty has ruled for two centuries. Modjadji V the Rain Queen has mystical rainmaking powers. The Zulu have always feared...
The Power of Women in West Africa: Queen Mothers

The Power of Women in West Africa: Queen Mothers

For West Africa, one aspect remains consistent: the African people have a very different approach to power among women than the traditional western conception implies. When people in the West consider the concept of equality between the sexes, they think of men and women sharing equal roles in society....
The Queen Mother and the Golden Stool of Ashanti

The Queen Mother and the Golden Stool of Ashanti

The Golden Stool is a mysterious symbol of power and history of the Ashanti people. The myth is told that Okomfo Anokye conjured the famous Golden Stool from the sky and landed it on the lap of King Osei Tutu, the first King of the Ashantis.
The Warrior Queens of Dahomey

The Warrior Queens of Dahomey

The kingdom of Dahomey, now called Republique du Benin is located in Western Africa, bordered by Togo on the west and Nigeria on the east. Dahomey has a unique feature in its history that reads like something out of Greek mythology - they had Africa's most well known corps of...

The Lovedu Rain Queen

The Rain Queen is an integral part of Lovedu culture and history. Oral traditions have the Lovedu being formed by Dzugudini – the daughter of the chief of the Monomotapa (part of the Karanga Empire) who were based near Maulwi in Zimbabwe. The Mudjadji is considered to be the living embodiment of the rain goddess and is also known by the title Khifidola-maru-a-Daja ('transformer of clouds'). She is considered the embodiment of the rain, guarantor of the yearly seasonal cycle, and her very emotions are said to be paralleled by the weather. Amongst her other royal duties she presides over an annual rain ceremony held each November.
Latest entries

The Queenmother, Matriarchy and the Question of Female Political Authority

The Queenmother, Matriarchy, and the Question of Female Political Authority in Precolonial West African Monarchy Journal of Black Studies 1997 27: 579-597. By Tarikhu Farrar

African Women and Feminism: Reflecting on the Politics of Sisterhood

TweetAuthor: Oyeronke Oyewumi The relationship between African women and feminism is a contentious one. Embedded in this connection is the question of whether sisterhood—a mantra assuming a common oppression of all women and signifying feminist international/cross-cultural relations—describes the symbolic and functional representation of African women. The contributors in this book are aware of the global...

Re-Inventing Africa: Matriarchy, Religion and Culture

Challenging western anthropologists to recognize their own class-based, patriarchal thought, Ifi Amadiume, the author of 'Male Daughters, Female Husbands', issues a clarion call for a new understanding of Africa.

Female Song Tradition and the Akan of Ghana: The Creative Process in Nnwonkoro

Nnwonkoro is a genre of women's song found among the Akan speaking peoples of Ghana. Based on extensive field work this book investigates the nature of composition in oral culture, together with issues such as the scope of the poetic imagination and the transformation process that accompany's modernisation.

Daughters of the Goddess, Daughters of Imperialism: African Women, Culture, Power and Democracy: African Women Struggle for Culture, Power and Democracy

This volume charts a genealogy of class transformation in the 20th century. Ifi Amadiume contrasts the idea of a collectivist, humanist culture of traditional African matriarchal heritage with a corrupt and oppressive culture of imperialism that she argues is the heritage of contemporary, elite-led women's organizations.

Women Leaders in African History (African Historical Biographies)

Lively portraits of twelve key figures whose periods of influence ranged from ancient Egypt to the colonial era. Illustrated with maps, photos, and engravings.

African Matriarchal Foundations: The Igbo Case

The received anthropological view is that the Igbo are not a matriarchal society. This book is a contribution to this debate and the author uses a variety of lines to demonstrate her primary thesis: that Igbo societies are fundamentally matriarchal and have suffered an imposition of patriarchy upon it.

Looking for Lovedu: A Journey Through Africa in Search of the Legendary Rainmaking Queen

The tale of an African adventure. The American author, a well-known travel writer, set off with an English photographer named Muggleton, to drive the length of Africa from Morocco in the north to the southernmost tip to find the great rainmaking queen Modjadji of the Bantu tribe, the Lovedu.

In Praise of Black Women: Ancient African Queens

This series is a tribute to women in Africa and the African diaspora from the ancient past to the present. This first volume weaves together oral tradition, folk legends and stories, songs and poems, historical accounts, and travelers' tales from Egypt to Southern Africa, from prehistory to the 19th century.

Queen Mother Yaa Asantewaa

Yaa Asantewaa was an Edwesohemaa (Queen Mother of the Edweso tribe of the Asante) in modern day Ghana. She is often credited with empowering the people to rise up against the British.

Queen Nyabingi: Shamanic priestesses of East Africa

The legend of Queen Nyabingi began with an amazon queen named Kitami, who possessed a sacred drum. Later generations revered her as a powerful ancestor (emandua) and she spoke through priestesses called Bagirwa. Most of them were were traditional healers, chosen by Nyabingi as her prophets.

Women’s Medicine: Zar-bori Cult in Africa and Beyond

Despite the large-scale destruction of traditional practices throughout the world, the Zar-Bori spirit-healing cult continues to hold tremendous meaning for some women in West Africa, the Sudan and North Africa, and even in the more progressive countries such as Tunisia, Kuwait, Egypt and the Gulf States.