A Socio-Semiotic Analysis of Gender Relations in Hausa Proverbs

Volume 18
Issue 3
Ahmed UMAR
This paper investigates gender-relations among the Hausa via their proverbs. Using a socio-semiotic framework (Hodge and Kress, 1988;Kress, 2010;Van Leeuwen, 2005), the paper analyses some gender-related Hausa proverbs, sampled from 100 proverbs. The influence of those proverbs in the socio- cultural psyche of the Hausa is second only to religious injunctions. The findings show that 99% of the gender-related proverbs project negative affordances on those relations, especially in matrimony. The negative ensembles in the proverbs are made by framing either sex in negative imaging and metaphors. This result also reflects the reality of gender- relations among the Hausa society and the socio-political orientation in northern Nigeria, especially regarding women.

Keywords: socio-semiotics; proverbs; gender; af fordances; negative.