Culture and Gender in Sidama Folk Poetry: A Post Stucturalist Approach

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Addis Ababa University


The thesis focuses on the themes of Sidama Folk Poetry in showing Culture and Gender differences. In Sidama women are treated as if they are weak, incapable of doing some thing by their own and they deserve everything of the lesser quality. They are respected only when they give birth to so many children, which is considered as their great life time achievement. Males on the contrary do almost nothing where as the women hold all the major responsibilities, but they are socially more influential. These problems are well stated in the oral poems and the poems portray women are subordinated and maltreated in the society since the social structure is built upon the reality that confirms men are privileged over women. The existing reality is set on the cultural conditions that dwarf the role of women in the society. So it must be de constructed so as to show the prejudices and the ill treatment of the women. The social institutions prohibit the women from participating actively and not to make any decision on their own family and life. The patriarchal culture also confirms this reality as it is seen in the different poems. The voices of the women haven't been heard for ages where women do express their opposition towards males' superiority. The analysis of the poem is done based on the post structuralist point of view by deconstructing the male centered reality. The oral poe tries are very suitable to learn about the voices of the women and at the same time they help to understand the social position of the women through their themes. The poems are collected through field work by administering interviewing (unstructured) , and with participant and non participant observations based on situations. Other works in the area of folklore are reviewed to give the background for the analysis.



Culture, Gender