Allah Made Us: Sexual Outlaws in an Islamic African City by Rudolf Pell Gaudio

By Rudolf Pell Gaudio

A wealthy and engrossing account of 'sexual outlaws' within the Hausa-speaking zone of northern Nigeria, the place Islamic legislation calls for strict separation of the sexes and varied ideas of habit for ladies and males in almost each part of existence.

  • The first ethnographic research of sexual minorities in Africa, and one among only a few works on sexual minorities within the Islamic international
  • Engagingly written, combining leading edge, ethnographic narrative with analyses of sociolinguistic transcripts, old texts, and well known media, together with video, movie, newspapers, and song-poetry
  • Analyzes the social reports and expressive tradition of ‘yan daudu (feminine males in Nigerian Hausaland) in terms of neighborhood, nationwide, and worldwide debates over gender and sexuality on the flip of the twenty-first century
  • Winner of the 2009 Ruth Benedict Prize within the classification of "Outstanding Monograph"

Chapter 1 Introducing ‘Yan Daudu (pages 1–28):
Chapter 2 humans of the Bariki (pages 29–60):
Chapter three Out within the Open (pages 61–88):
Chapter four Women's speak, Men's secrets and techniques (pages 89–116):
Chapter five twiddling with religion (pages 117–142):
Chapter 6 males on movie (pages 143–174):
Chapter 7 misplaced and located in Translation (pages 175–195):

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Extra resources for Allah Made Us: Sexual Outlaws in an Islamic African City

Example text

It is not belief in spirits per se that troubles orthodox Muslims, for the Qur’an itself refers to jinn, or what Hausa call aljanu [‘Muslim spirits’]. Rather, it is Bori adepts’ willingness to let spirits possess or ‘mount’ them that orthodox Muslims view as shirk, the sin of associating lesser beings with the supreme power of Allah. For their part, virtually all Bori practitioners today are Muslims and view their ritual ‘play’ [wasa] as compatible with God’s will, for it was He who created the spirits and rules over them.

In most of these texts the term ‘yan daudu was translated as ‘homosexuals,’ ‘transvestites’ or ‘pimps,’ none of which turned out to be truly accurate, though they all convey a partial sense of ‘yan daudu’s activities and social identities. 27 With his encouragement and advice, I began to consider the possibility of changing the focus of my research from malamai to ‘yan daudu. Academic references and personal contacts thus pointed me to places and events that were far removed, socially if not spatially, from Kano’s Old City, where I lived, and the largely conservative, scholarly circles I had been traveling in.

Some Hausa cities, especially Kano and Katsina, grew rich from the trans-Saharan trade in gold, slaves, and other commodities, which attracted traders, travelers, and immigrants from near and far. In the early 1800s, inspired by Islamic reform movements in North Africa and Arabia, local reformists waged a jihad against the Habe (ethnic Hausa) emirs, who were accused of betraying Islamic norms of governance and justice. Under the leadership of Usman dan Fodio, an ethnic Fulani Muslim scholar whose ancestors had migrated to one of the ‘Seven Hausa’ cities, the jihadists succeeded in overthrowing most of the Habe dynasties and replacing them with Fulani emirs who swore allegiance to a centralized Islamic Caliphate based in the city of Sokoto (in present-day northwestern Nigeria).

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Categories: Sexuality