Friday, October 30, 2009

Leo Africanus

So we have began reading Leo Africanus which is a ficitonal story which is different from all the other books we have read so far. This book describes the life of a character named Amim Maalouf. This setting is in the 1500's in the town of Granda and Fez and it begins with the start of his life. His parents were Salma (his mother) and Warda (his father). With the birth of Amim, Salma was able to establish herself as more than being Warda's mistress. They now have physical proof that they are together. In the reading the narrator tells us that Abul Hasan Ali has lost his postion as sultan. He sent troops to go and fight Christian areas in which Muslims had no chance of winning. Granda was surrounded and the Castilians took control of everything. The civilians there were asked what the sultan should do. And then they all agreed that the best thing to do will be to surrender. The Castilians took over the entire city which in turn made the Muslims to leave.

What I found interesting was about the structure of a family. How people in other countires will perform polygamy and think that it is acceptable. It's interesting to see how things have changed and also to compare their morals. Why are most polygamists male oriented and the women more of a possession to men. What has caused women to feel like they have no say or value?


  1. I definitely found the polygamy aspect very interesting as well. I'm a psychology major and think it would be interesting to discover the mentality behind those who are involved in a polygamist relationship.

  2. I also thought the prevalence of polygamy was very interesting. The difference in sexes is what strikes me the most. The practice of polygamy still exists today and the role of sexes remains the same. Since the origins of polygamy, males had numerous partners, whereas females remained monogomous. Even when polygamy is not the practice, males have a tendency to have more partners than their female counterparts. I would like to argue that is not because women feel they have no say in the matter, but it is more natural for them to take on this role. From a survival perspective, the chances of procreating are greater the more partners a male, not a female, have. Because it is the ultimate goal of the human race to reproduce, I believe that we have a natural instinct to act in ways that increase our chances of reproducing. It is for this reason, I believe, that females tend to practice monogamy, whereas males practice polygamy.

  3. I find both polygamy and polyandry (a woman having more than one husband) very interesting. I feel from a practical standpoint it could be a good thing. For example in Africa if a woman's husband dies she then becomes his brother's wife. Because the women do not work they have someone to look out for them. I do agree that it may make women feel less important to their mate, but they may just be our western prospective has skewing our views.