African chieftaincy in a new socio-political landscape

TitleAfrican chieftaincy in a new socio-political landscape
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication1999
Series EditorE.A.B. van Rouveroy van Nieuwaal, and R.A. van Dijk
Pagination1 - 251
Date Published1999///
PublisherLit Verlag
Place PublishedHamburg
Publication Languageeng
ISBN Number3-8258-3549-9
KeywordsAfrica, chieftaincy, Subsaharan Africa

The contributions in this collective volume explore the overlay of different chiefly power bases (imposed and imagined) in contemporary African society, and how African chieftaincy has been affected by the recurrent experiments in nationbuilding and by ideologies of democracy, liberalization, and development. Chiefs are shown to be richly varied in their responses to State authority and to the wishes and contestations of their subjects. They are viewed in the light of the diverse forces that determine their positions, their symbolic functions, and the resources they can mobilize within African societies and polities. Two central elements in an understanding of chieftaincy in Africa - mutation and domestication - are explored in a wide range of social, political, and economic contexts: in Togo (E. Adriaan B. van Rouveroy van Nieuwaal), among the Surma agropastoralists of southern Ethiopia (Jan Abbink), in the rural areas of Kivu, Zaire (Dirk Beke), among the Nkoya of western central Zambia (Wim van Binsbergen), in Niger (Christian Lund and Gerti Hesseling), in postapartheid South Africa (Ineke van Kessel and Barbara Oomen), in anglophone Cameroon (Piet Konings), and in Jamaican Maroon societies (Werner Zips)


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