Matriarchal Primogeniture: A Comparative Study of Islamic and Afenmai Systems of Inheritance since the 1860s

  • OM Osiki
  • L Izuagie


This article explores the nexus between matrimony, matriarchy and inheritance in Afenmailand using a comparative paradigm of traditional and Islamic perspectives. It examines factors that shaped systems of inheritance and succession among Afenmai people and emphasizes the role of polygamy in the decision-making process. It also highlights the inherent weaknesses in the two systems. By exploring related conceptual and definitional issues involved in inheritance, the article points out the difference between the traditional system of inheritance and that based on Islam, and concludes on the note that local peculiarities have affected both systems of inheritance in Afenmailand since the 1860s. It argues the case for an equitable sharing system that would consider the interest of all relevant stakeholders in the estate of the deceased instead of the current matriarchal primogeniture that excludes the wives of the deceased, the sons other than the first born as well as the daughters.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1596-5031