By T. C. McCaskie

ISBN-10: 0253340306

ISBN-13: 9780253340306

An account of the lifetime of a Ghanaian village in the course of a century of tumultuous switch, this examine can be a richly textured microhistory and an exploration of the meanings of heritage and modernity in an African context. The years 1850-1950 witnessed a number of momentous and transformative advancements in Asante background, together with British annexation and colonial overrule. In Asante Identities,
T. C. McCaskie presents a nuanced examine of this period 'from below,' targeting the typical lives of commoners in Adeebeba, an self sufficient village that used to be engulfed by way of the growth of the town of Kumase within the twentieth century. He tells this tale throughout the phrases of the villagers themselves, drawing on lifestyles histories accrued by means of the Ashanti Social Survey within the Forties.

McCaskie presents a deep cultural studying that levels over problems with selfhood and group and their effect at the colonial adventure. His dialogue touches on questions of identification, trust, energy, funds, rights, duties, gender, sexuality, and masses extra. the result's a ebook compelling in either its historic element and its analytic sophistication.

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Extra info for Asante Identities: History and Modernity in an African Village, 1850-1950

Example text

In so doing he became someone ‘who lives on his own land with his own subjects’, and by that token was ‘known by the King as an Abrempon’. It was most probably at some point around the close of the first week of July 1844 – the likeliest date being the auspicious kwadwo (Monday, 8th) – that Kwasi Brantuo performed the ritual of ‘hunting the elephant’ prior to exhibiting his wealth in Kumase. 13 Ade∑beba and the area around it just south of Kumase were a part of the Kaase chiefdom that was conquered and incorporated into the nascent Asante state in the 1680s by the first Asantehene-to-be Osei Tutu.

In 1945– 6 it was severally claimed that war captives (sa nneduafo≈) were added to the village by its founder. If this was indeed the case, then the people in question ADE ∑ BEBA LIVES: THE NINETEENTH CENTURY 43 may have been northern slaves (nn≈nk≈fo≈) allocated to Kwasi Brantuo’s lot from the spoils of Asamoa Nkwanta’s campaigning in Gonja. Be that as it may, the earliest body of enslaved prisoners of war at Ade∑beba that can be identified with confidence was captured in the trans-Volta campaigns (1867–71).

He was ‘besmeared all over with chalk, holding in his hand a small tusk, which he occasionally applied to his mouth, and having an elephant’s tail tied by a piece of string behind’. The hunter enacted stalking and shooting this ‘elephant’ and then took possession of the symbolically charged tail. The hunt took place ‘according to usage’ over a piece of land ‘not far from Kumasi’ that had been donated for the purpose by an individual who was himself of ≈bir∑mp≈n status. Afterwards, the recipient exercised tenurial rights over this tract and settled subjects on it.

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