Three incredible examples of gender fluidity among African peoples

Nii Ntreh March 12, 2021
TirKashi! Yan daudu nacin karensu ba babba ka - YouTube
The Yan Daudu have been present among the Hausa for centuries. Photo Credit: Youtube

Yan Daudu among the Hausa

Ask any Nigerian, particularly from the north of the country, and they know who is a yan daudu – plural of dan daudu – is. The term is the cultural connotation of men who behave as if they are women although literally, yan daudu means ‘Daudu’s people/sons”. Maarit Sinikangas described the yan daudu as “a strictly distinctive social category of males, who have adapted feminine mannerism, speech and dress in Hausa society.”

Both the etymology and the idea of the yan daudu is associated with Hausa Bori cult practice. It is a spirit-believing cult that is thought to have started somewhere before the 18th century. Bori was associated with “independent women”, a euphemism for women who were not married in the patriarchal Hausa society. They were considered sexual libertines and lived in quarters with the effeminate men who were thought to have been possessed by Daudu, a spirit from Bori mythology.

Last Edited by:Nii Ntreh Updated: March 12, 2021


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