Art, Writing, and Learning: The Clerisy Quarter => History, Science, and Interesting Information - The Great Library => Somali Mythology Project => Topic started by: Jubal on February 03, 2015, 10:30:57 PM

Title: [Character] Araweelo
Post by: Jubal on February 03, 2015, 10:30:57 PM

Araweelo is one of the most significant characters in Somali myth, being a powerful matriarchal ruler-figure variously identified as a powerful warrior queen and, in some versions, a man-hating tyrant.

The portrayal of Araweelo is consistently explicitly powerful. In negative versions of her stories, such as those preserved in Hanghe, she is shown with unpleasant attributes, particularly being fat and having an extremely unpleasant odour.

Brief synopsis
The cycle of Araweelo stories moves through her entire reign as Queen, through her seizure of power and her reign to her eventual death at the hands of her grandson. She is shown as seizing power by a mass revolution of women, started with a "housework strike" that forces the men to do housework, at which point the women arm themselves and take control. Hanghe's myths show her rule as absolute and tyrannical, with her power kept in place via castration of men, which is implied to decrease their reasoning abilities and strength. Her daughter has a son by an un-castrated man, a hidden wise man who acts as Araweelo's nemesis, and manages to persuade Araweelo to spare her grandson until he grows to adulthood, at which point he eventually kills the mighty warrior queen and ultimately establishes or re-establishes a patriarchal society.


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