Regional Gender Roles Are Depicted In A Variety Of African Art Forms

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Regional gender roles are depicted in a variety of African art forms


This research paper aims to discuss the similarity and/or differences in the gender roles of two distinct cultures in Africa. The paper discusses the Maasai and the Samburu tribes in order the highlight the differences in clothing, body ornaments and bodily modifications in terms of males and females.

Table of Contents


Table of Contents3



Gender role4

Cultural Gender Roles4

African Culture5

Gender Role in Africa6

The Massai Tribe6

Body Decorations and Modifications6


The Samburu Tribe8

Bodily Modifications8



End Notes11

Regional gender roles are depicted in a variety of African art forms



Gender role

Gender role, as commonly referred to as is a set of behavioral and social norms in a culture that pertains to a particular sex. These norms are regarded as typical, socially appropriate or acceptable within the context of a distinct culture; however may vary widely between tribes, cultures, societies and nations.

Simply gender role is the behavior of an individual which brings forward the sexual identity or gender expression of the individual. However, with the turn of the millennium and the dawn of the 21st century where manufacturers are increasingly producing unisex commodities and products; the topic of sex and gender is no longer equated to the culturally and socially prescribed gender roles. Despite this diminishing, biological characteristic which signifies gender roles are still present.

There is a much heated debate with reference to the source of gender roles. Some argue that these behavioral and personality differences between genders are based on cultural variables; while others persist that physiological or biological differences are the leading source for gender roles. The notion of gender roles refers to the division between women and men of behavioral models and various social functions, according to cultural norms that may vary over time. The history of women was first devoted to the analysis of gender roles, particularly in the context of the couple. In the 1990s, gender studies (gender studies) have broadened the range of research by questioning the social organization of gender relations in all fields.

Cultural Gender Roles

Human history is filled with historical accounts where culture has played a vital role, and gender roles is not an exception. It is important to note that cultural gender roles differ greatly between different cultures, because they are formed uniquely and are subject to constant change.

Even though the cultural aspect of gender roles is very broad and distinct, certain main trends can be easily identified and can be traced across cultures. Men has been always been depicted as a dominant and aggressive individual, responsible for the safety of his family and providing for other needs, such as food, shelter and clothing. Women, on the other hand are often shown as weak, emotional and irrational and responsible for taking care of the home and the children. Certain cultures attribute dignified status to women due to their reproductive capabilities.

African Culture

The African continent is often regarded as the birthplace of Homo sapiens. The continent is characterized by as an accumulation of a great number of diverse ...
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