By T. C. McCaskie
An account of the lifetime of a Ghanaian village in the course of a century of tumultuous switch, this learn is additionally a richly textured microhistory and an exploration of the meanings of heritage and modernity in an African context. The years 1850-1950 witnessed numerous momentous and transformative advancements in Asante historical past, together with British annexation and colonial overrule. In Asante Identities,
T. C. McCaskie offers a nuanced learn of this period 'from below,' targeting the standard lives of commoners in Adeebeba, an self sufficient village that was once engulfed by means of the growth of town of Kumase within the twentieth century. He tells this tale throughout the phrases of the villagers themselves, drawing on lifestyles histories amassed through the Ashanti Social Survey within the Forties.
McCaskie presents a deep cultural studying that levels over problems with selfhood and neighborhood and their impression at the colonial event. His dialogue touches on questions of id, trust, strength, funds, rights, tasks, gender, sexuality, and lots more and plenty extra. the result's a publication compelling in either its old element and its analytic sophistication.
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Extra resources for Asante Identities: History and Modernity in an African Village, 1850-1950
Before his Elders and Chiefs the King heartily thanked Barima Kwaku Dua and the Dwabenhene for having brought the [Golden] Stool to him safely. 6 In the years after the military disaster at Katamanso Osei Yaw became capricious, tyrannical and unpopular. As he did so, support for Kwaku Dua increased. In 1834 Osei Yaw died and the heir-apparent Kwaku Dua was enstooled as Asantehene. When Kwaku Dua became Asantehene he summoned Kwasi Brantuo from Heman to Kumase to serve him. He raised him to a senior position in the corps of elephant tail bearers (ahoprafo≈; sing.
On that propitious day Kwasi Brantuo (‘Brentu’) performed a public ritual in Kumase that was both crucial to and symbolic of his aggrandisement. 34 ASANTE IDENTITIES Two of the principal Chiefs have, at the King’s command, been ‘showing themselves, and their Gold’ today. One of them (Brentu) is a treasurer of the King’s. The other (Afarqua) [presently unidentified, at least in as much as a number of possible identifications exist] is reckoned to be among the most wealthy among his aristocratical compeers.
The very name of this office – ≈man (‘nation’: embracing concepts of people, place and polity) + were (‘just vindication’: implying a body of men who punished wrongdoing on behalf of the Asantehene) – conveyed Kwaku Dua’s sense of inhabiting and incarnating the justified power of prerogative. The manwerefo≈ (those assigned to serve the fekuo stools) were nicknamed ‘ears’ (aso), because they acted to spy out (sra) and deter (tu obi aba mu) enemies of the Asantehene. It was (and to this day is) said that because of his experiences Kwaku Dua lived in fear of plots (adwemmb≈ne nhyehy∑).