Mke si mume

Mke si mume is another very old expression that we also find in studies of ethnology and dictionaries of the late 19th century. In some areas like Bardanza, it is used to name both men and homosexual women, and in others, it means sexually receptive man. The English translation of this expression cannot be simpler, but the interpretation is much more complicated. In all texts, it is translated as “woman not man” or “woman is not a man”. However, Swahili dictionaries define Mke as wife and mume as a husband. This is something that we have not been able to clarify and for which we expect help from Swahili speakers.

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