An exploration of Patriarchy in folktales. a case study of selected folktales of the Iteso.
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The study is to explore the incorporation of Patriarchy in oral history as a defining category of analysis, for women often remember the past in different ways in comparison with men. The study intends to examine and critically analyze the aspect of patriarchy in relation to the gender roles portrayed among the Iteso in their various folktales. The concept of Patriarchy does not only place the men as the superior but further refers to women as being misconceived or misunderstood in some quarters. It entails the aspect of gender which entails the “relationship between man and women, the ways in which the roles of men and women are socially constructed and to the cultural interpretations of the biological differences between men and women.” With regard to the representation of gender roles, a first orientation is given by the symbolic system where space and activities are organized around the male /female distinction. In the house, the main beam represents the man and the central pillar is the woman; in the village, the men’s word and the world is the village assembly, while the women’s word and the world is the house, and garden. Considering the various Ateso folktales later in the study, men’s activities take place in the external world (the field, the forest, or faraway countries), while women’s activities take place in the internal world (the house, the garden, the village area). The study aims at a relative balance between masculinity and femininity and creates a better framework of a definite division of social roles among men and women in society.