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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Chieftaincy succession disputes and the challenge to traditional authority in Mamprugu, northern Ghana
Author:Tonah, SteveISNI
Periodical:Research Review (ISSN 0855-4412)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Ghana
West Africa
Subjects:political conflicts
Mamprusi polity
Anthropology, Folklore, Culture
Mamprusi (African people)
Kings and rulers
Abstract:This paper examines the impact of chieftaincy succession disputes on the power and authority of traditional rulers among the Mamprusi of northern Ghana. Using mainly participant observation, unstructured interviews and focus-group discussions, the author collected data from individuals, households and groups in several Mamprusi settlements between 2001 and 2003. Two succession disputes at the provincial and the sub-provincial level of the traditional political hierarchy are analysed in detail. Both cases represented a challenge to traditional authority and are an indication of the changing relationship between chiefs and their subjects in Mamprusi society and throughout northern Ghana. Finally, the paper examines the factors accounting for the rising incidents of chieftaincy succession disputes, including the increasing number of contestants, the commercialization of the contest, the demise of traditional authority during the postcolonial era, and the secularization of the selection process. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]