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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Defining Akyemfo: The Construction of Citizenship in Akyem Abuakwa, Ghana,1700-1939
Author:Rathbone, RichardISNI
Periodical:Africa: Journal of the International African Institute
Geographic term:Ghana
Subjects:Akim polity
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
History and Exploration
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/1160934
Abstract:Akyem Abuakwa is believed to have been part of what 16th and 17th-century European observers called 'Accany' in what is now the Republic of Ghana. A full-fledged Akyem Abuakwa polity was in place around 1700. By the early 20th century the ruler of Akyem Abuakwa and his subjects confronted one another over issues of identity and allegiance. The evidence suggests that not only was this debate unprecedented but also that its language was novel. Such divisive issues were forced upon them by a succession of new factors. These included the ownership of, or rights to, land as farms acquired increasing cash value in the wake of the success of cocoa cultivation. No less important in a jural setting dominated by the institutions of indirect rule was the issue of which chiefly jurisdiction applied to individual communities and even families in a kingdom with a historically varied ethnic population. The article shows how Ofori Atta, king of Akyem Abuakwa throughout the most important decades of colonial rule, gradually elaborated both an ideology and a corpus of regulation which attempted to define citizenship and stranger status. The king and his council's organizing principle idealized an ethnically homogeneous State, but many sections of the population strongly contested this idea. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French.