Today science and technology are a booming industry changing every aspect of our lives. From work to leisure, the field of science continues to grow every year with new technologies and improvements on those gadgets accepted as industry standards. Women have been conspicuously absent from the field of science and technology. The history of African women is even more marginal. While it appears that African women have made little contributions to the advancement of technology , the truth is that civilization as we know it may at one time depended on the great inventions of African mothers many millennia before.
Today they are known as domestic sciences but in ancient times they were more fundamental to a communities survival and identity. Even today we still rely on the most basic of human technologies that took us dramatically from a stage of semi-animal existence to a more sedentary and professionalized society.
These basic technologies credited to African mothers,which illuminated the essential aspects of astronomy, chemistry, physics and architecture include;
- preserving foods and cooking
- the use of fire
- domestication of animals
- the charting of the first lunar calendar
- the making of domiciles
- the use of a variety of tools in agriculture, art and ritual.
Many of these arts and crafts were called "women's work". But it is not women's work because women do them only but because women discovered them in earlier times. Many recent improvements in science are replacing these womanly works, but the work remains incredible given that they were the first discoveries with no previous traditions to rely on.
These seeds technologies made a great difference in the lives of early humans and represent the root of the fantastic discoveries and inventions we find today.
May we continue to remember these women and their contribution not only to African civilization but to the world.
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