Integrity Research Journals

ISSN: 2811-2407
Model: Open Access/Peer Reviewed
DOI: 10.31248/IJAH
Start Year: 2020

The Feminist Dimension of Niger River Exploration: Accounts of memorable confrontations between the African woman and the Nineteenth Century European Explorer Mungo Park   |   Article Number: A83801462   |   Vol.4 (2) - April 2023

Received Date: 27 December 2022   |   Accepted Date: 11 March 2023  |   Published Date: 30 April 2023

Author:  Nwankwo T. Nwaezeigwe

Keywords: Exploration, feminism, African women, Mungo Park, Nineteenth Century, River Niger, West Africa.

The exploration of West Africa through the tortuous search of the once elusive River Niger by Europeans is no doubt a popular theme in the history of West Africa. But very little has been written about the significant roles of the African woman in the overall process of the various expeditions by European explorers in search of the Niger. That there is therefore a lacuna in the presentation of the African woman in this aspect of West African history is a fact which needs to be addressed. In addressing this lacuna, the present study takes a look at the fundamental roles women played during the first expedition to the Niger by Mungo Park that profoundly assured his survival and subsequent success of the expedition. In doing this, the work re-enforces the concept of “Mother Africa” against the modern and often fanciful concept of feminism imposed from without. It shows that the African woman defined conceptually as “Mother” under traditional African historical setting has never seen herself in conflict with the men folk but rather sees her role as complimentary and often times decisive when the roles of the men folk fails to present the desired result. As a historical work, every aspect of its approach is predicated on historical methodology.

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