By T. C. McCaskie
An account of the lifetime of a Ghanaian village in the course of a century of tumultuous swap, this learn can be a richly textured microhistory and an exploration of the meanings of background and modernity in an African context. The years 1850-1950 witnessed numerous momentous and transformative advancements in Asante background, together with British annexation and colonial overrule. In Asante Identities,
T. C. McCaskie presents 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 way of the growth of the town of Kumase within the twentieth century. He tells this tale during the phrases of the villagers themselves, drawing on existence histories gathered by way of the Ashanti Social Survey within the Forties.
McCaskie offers a deep cultural examining that levels over problems with selfhood and group and their influence at the colonial adventure. His dialogue touches on questions of identification, trust, energy, funds, rights, responsibilities, gender, sexuality, and lots more and plenty extra. the result's a publication compelling in either its ancient aspect and its analytic sophistication.
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Extra info for Asante Identities: History and Modernity in an African Village, 1850-1950
A despairing interrogation of hopeless conditions. The suspicion he manifested in later life surely arose during this fraught time in exile. It was encouraged into being as he came to understand the fate that had befallen his father, brothers and maternal uncle. Then again Kwaku Dua must have become painfully conscious of his mother’s distress and recurring terror. On more than one occasion, Kwaadu Yaadom sent executioners (adumfo≈) to Dwaben with cloth to cover the indigent Amma Sewaa; but this was a poisoned gift, for the pattern of the cloth was nkum me fie nko su me abo nten (‘don’t kill me in private and then mourn me in public’), a deliberately threatening reminder to Amma Sewaa that the Asantehemaa thought of her as an irreconcilable foe who yet might suffer the death penalty.
A fourth group of subjects transplanted to the village comprised only three adults. Yaa Atiwaa and her two brothers had neither an actual nor a putative kinship connection with Kwasi Brantuo. They belonged to an asona lineage that originally served the Saawua stool. But this kin group was confiscated by the Asantehene Osei Yaw and then awarded to the twins Ata Panin and Ata Kumaa of Kwaso Deduaku. In 1844 these famously wealthy individuals (asikafo≈) were tried for murder and compounded their offence by angering the Asantehene Kwaku Dua.
About 1740 a Mampon atena wife of the Asantehene Opoku Ware grossly abused and assaulted him. She and her kin were executed. The incensed husband then abolished her clan (atena gu mbra) throughout Asante and ordered all its component lineages to assume a bretuo identity. The Asoromasohene Kwaa Asare demurred and was heavily fined. To meet this obligation he sold most of his asene∑ subjects to the Dade∑soaba stool of Kumase, which in its turn disposed of half (≈fa) to settle a debt to the Nkwantanan stool of Heman.