Life Stories of Central African Women

This research explores eight African women’s life histories; individual chronologies from birth, childhood, adolescence and through the discovery of sexuality, marriage, childbirth, maturity and old age. To learn about the diverse lives of the Aka and Ngandu of Central African Republic, I collected formal interviews over 3-months in 2007, in addition to dozens of informal conversations covering an 7-year span. Varying in age from 15 to 82 years, the women were both living and or recalling specific events and memories of their lives. As I lived in both the Ngandu farming village, and Aka forager forest camps, the women shared their lives, their life stories, folk tales, songs, drawings, dances, and childhood games with me. I spoke too with their husbands, fathers, mothers, friends, and children. This collection forms the foundation of a book I am currently writing, which will be an in-depth narrative portrait of their lives as women, mothers, friends, daughters and fellow researchers with a particular focus on foundational schema as a lived experience. Exploring key research questions with resulting theoretical conclusions based upon qualitative and quantitative data, this book brings together cross-disciplinary, cross-cultural perspectives on key issues throughout the life course, contributing to an integrative analysis and view of the lives of Central African women.

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