Gender and Space

Authored by: Susan Rasmussen

The Ashgate Research Companion to Anthropology

Print publication date:  May  2015
Online publication date:  March  2016

Print ISBN: 9780754677031
eBook ISBN: 9781315612744
Adobe ISBN: 9781317044116


 Download Chapter



One striking memory from my early field research in a rural Saharan, then semi-nomadic Tuareg community was the sound, during late night visits, of women weaving strips of palm-fiber for their tent construction and repair, often accompanied by their telling of tales depicting female founding ancestral culture-heroes. At that time, both men and women visited freely outside households, and attended late-night musical concerts together, only avoiding certain places haunted by spirits of the wild, such as tombs on roads connecting villages and camps. I also recall being startled by many unexpected visitors casually wandering into fenced circular compounds surrounding tents. Later, household compounds became enclosed by solid mud walls, often surrounding both the female-owned tent and the male-owned house, and visitors were expected to clap their hands once, or greet, to gain entry. In sedentarized and urban centers, gendered spaces are now even more contained: walls tend to be higher, metal doors stronger, men and women usually depart for musical concerts separately in gender-based groups, and visit at different times: women in the afternoon and men at night.

Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.