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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Unsettled Accounts: Stool Debts, Chieftaincy Disputes and the Question of Asante Constitutionalism
Author:Berry, Sara S.
Year:1998
Periodical:The Journal of African History
Volume:39
Issue:1
Pages:39-62
Language:English
Geographic terms:Ghana
Great Britain
Subjects:colonialism
Ashanti polity
succession
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
History and Exploration
Law, Human Rights and Violence
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/183329
Abstract:This essay explores interrelations among stool debts, chieftaincy disputes and the production of knowledge about Asante 'custom' through a case study of conflict in Kumawu - a stool which like other outlying provinces of the precolonial State, enjoyed considerable autonomy from Kumase under colonial rule in the Gold Coast (Ghana). The author begins by discussing some of the causes of stool indebtedness in the early colonial period and the place of stool debts within broader debates among colonial officials, chiefs and commoners over where to draw the line between public finance and private income and wealth. She then describes a series of disputes over destoolment and chiefly succession which kept Kumawu in an uproar for most of the decade from 1915 to 1925 and prompted debate between the governor and the Asante administration over the practice of indirect rule. The crisis in Kumawu contributed to the government's decision, in 1935, to 'restore' the Asante confederacy. In the years following the restoration, stool debts were receding as a bone of contention, but local struggles over chieftaincy continued. Notes, ref., sum.
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