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Title:Nkoya royal chiefs and the Kazanga Cultural Association in western central Zambia today: resilience, decline, or folklorisation?
Author:Binsbergen, Wim vanISNI
Book title:African chieftaincy in a new socio-political landscape
Editors:Rouveroy van Nieuwaal, Emile A.B. van
Dijk, Rijk van
City of publisher:Hamburg
Publisher:Lit Verlag
Geographic terms:Subsaharan Africa
political change
External link:https://hdl.handle.net/1887/9669
Abstract:The author first traces the successive approaches to African chieftaincy in the course of the 20th century, contrasting the dualistic and the transactionalist models. He then examines the thesis of the resilient chief by considering a case from western central Zambia. He shows that the power base of local chiefs and their room for manúuvring is weakening and that the chiefs are experimenting with new strategies in order to survive. They are driven into the arms of new actors on the local scene, against whom they are rather defenceless. One such new actor is an ethnic voluntary organization, the Kazanga Cultural Association. This NGO has been amazingly successful in bridging indigenous politics and the State in a process of ethnicization. Gradually, the revival of chieftainship which this NGO has brought about, is turning out to lead not to resilience but to impotent folklorization. Chiefs who are unable to link their symbolic capital - their ceremonial functions - to the experimental worlds of the urbanites, find themselves locked into a position of declining significance. Bibliogr., notes, ref.