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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Euro-African commerce and social chaos: Akan societies in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries
Author:Konadu, KwasiISNI
Periodical:History in Africa
Geographic term:Ghana
Subjects:Akan polities
mercantile history
colonial period
External link:http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/history_in_africa/v036/36.1.konadu.pdf
Abstract:The key 19th-century relationship in the Gold Coast (present-day Ghana) between Asante of the forest interior and Elmina of the coast provides a spatial parameter and a mnemonic for examining key transformations between those two boundaries as represented by the coastal Fante polities, forest-based Asante, and the Bono, who occupied the northern forest fringe. The author argues that the conflicts between and within Akan societies of varying orders were the product of multilayered factors occurring at the same time and in different places, such as power struggles and tensions born of conservatism and Christianity, that ultimately transformed all in the 19th and 20th centuries. Although the Akan share many social characteristics, the transformations in Asante society were not replicated among the Fante or Bono. The author suggests that Akan societies, beyond the almost exclusive focus on Asante, are better approached thematically than in spatial or chronological isolation, since the themes of social dissolution and conflicts were shared by all in a context of Euro-African commerce, Westernization, and Christian proselytization. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]